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Zechariah 4: The Golden Bowl Prophecy

not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”—2 Thessalonians 5:19, 20

“Despise

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The text for this study was excerpted from the original publication by V. T. Houteff entitled, The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 283-289. For a digital scan of the original publication, see: http://www.upa7.org/PDFs/Original-Scans/2SR-book-s.pdf To purchase an e-book version of this book, see: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24918415/Shepherd-s-Rod-Vol-2 For additional Rod studies, see: www.shepherds-rod-speaks.org

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books of the Bible meet, and end in the book of Revelation. Therefore, the revelation of The anti-typical symbols of the second Zechariah’s prophecy must be found there temple (the type), were shown to Zechariah also. in vision, and recorded in the fourth chapter We quote: “The seven stars are the of his prophecy as follows: angels of the seven churches: and the “And the angel that talked with me seven candlesticks which thou sawest came again, and waked me, as a man that are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:20.) It is wakened out of his sleep. And said unto will be noticed that the messages to the me, What seest thou? And I said, I have seven churches are not addressed to the looked, and behold a candlestick all of candlesticks (the church as a body), but to gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and the angels, saying, “And unto the angel of his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes the church of the Laodiceans write.” (Rev. to the seven lamps, which are upon the top 3:14.) This angel is not a heavenly angel, thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon for he is at fault—under condemnation and the right side of the bowl, and the other about to be spued out, except he repent. upon the left side thereof. So I answered It is this angel who has charge of the and spake to the angel that talked with candlestick (church). There-fore, the seven me, saing, What are these, my lord? Then angels denote the leadership of the seven the angel that talked with me answered churches, and the candlesticks are the and said unto me, Knowest thou not what symbols of the seven churches. Thus, the these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he churches in this instance are symbolized answered and spake unto me, saying, This by candlesticks. Therefore, the candlestick is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, in Zechariah’s vision denotes the church as saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by a body. my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. . . . And The revelation of the olive trees is found I answered again, and said unto him, What in the eleventh chapter and the fourth be these two olive branches which through verse: “These are the two olive trees, and the two golden pipes empty the golden oil the two candlesticks standing before the out of themselves? And he answered me God of the earth.” The olive trees and the and said, Knowest thou not what these be? two candlesticks are the two witnesses. (See And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These verse 3.) Zechariah also states that “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Verses 1-6, the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:14.) 12-14.) Therefore, these two olive trees, and two Thus the word of God is represented candlesticks are inseparable, for they both by these symbols. Therefore, the inter- “stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” The pretation of them is to reveal the manner two candlesticks in this instance represent of communicating the Word of God to God’s church in two sections, and each one Zerubbabel. Not to the Zerubbabel that has an olive tree. The angel interpreted was engaged in building the typical temple, them to Zechariah as the Word of God to for he was orally instructed by the prophets Zerubbabel. Therefore, the two candlesticks Zechariah and Haggai. Therefore, as the represent the Old and New Testament significance of these prophetic symbols churches (Jewish and Christian). And the were not understood by them, they must be two olive trees are symbols of the Old and applicable to those who are to be engaged in New Testament Bible (the Word of God to building the antitypical, or spiritual temple Zerubbabel). These two witnesses “shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three (church), as it was previously explained. score days (from 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D.) Each one of these symbols must be clothed in sackcloth.” (Rev. 11:3.) “The separately deciphered by uncontradictory two Witnesses represent the Scriptures of evidence, and their significance must the Old and New Testament.”—“The Great constitute the method by which God is to Controversy,” p. 267. communicate His Word to His servants. It has been previously stated that all the Thus we have a candlestick for each of -5-

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the two sections of God’s church while the Scriptures were being written. One candlestick and one olive tree to the Jewish, and one candlestick and one olive tree for the apostle’s, and seven for the remaining history of the church to the time of the separation of the tares from the wheat, or to the commencement of the harvest. Thus the candlestick (church) in Zechariah’s vision is the tenth, de-noting a universal church; depicting the living church that shall unite with all the saints since the world began—which will join with the church of the entire universe of God! This candlestick in Zechariah’s vision is a glorious one, which in comparison, all others stand as “nothing”—in perfect harmony with the second temple, which in comparison the first stood as “nothing.” The Two Golden Pipes True then, the candlestick represents the church, and the two olive trees the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Now, “What be these two golden pipes,” which “empty the golden oil out of themselves?” We quote from “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 7, p. 249: “The inner lamp must be supplied with the oil that flows from the messengers of heaven through the golden tubes into the golden bowl. The Lord’s communication never comes to man in vain.” Therefore, the two golden pipes that empty the golden oil into the golden bowl are God’s messengers of inspiration through whom present truth is revealed, and the only true interpreters of the Scriptures. The oil represents the revealed Word of God from the Bible as it is explained through His appointed servants, and the bowl describes the publications into which these revelations are compiled. This is the “Testimony of Jesus”—“the Spirit of Prophecy.” (Rev. 12:17; 19:10.) The revelation which John received is called “The Testimony of Jesus.” (See Rev. 1:9.) Therefore, the testimony of Jesus is also the Spirit of Prophecy, because his testimony is revealed only by the Holy Spirit through a human channel. Thus the Scripture interpreted by Inspiration, is the only testimony that can be, “the testimony of Jesus”—truth without error. The Seven Lamps

If the candlestick represents the church as a body, then the seven lamps thereon must denote the sisterhood of churches scattered throughout the denomination. The Biblical number of completeness takes in the entire movement as a whole. This fact is also proven by the following quotation: “When the anointed ones empty themselves through the golden pipes, the oil flows out of themselves into the golden bowl, to flow into the lamps, the churches.”—“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 337. The Seven Golden Tubes If the “golden bowl” is that which contains the inspired interpretation of the Scriptures or the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and the lamps or churches are supplied with oil from the bowl through the seven golden tubes, then the ministry is represented by the tubes, whose duty is to feed the entire church with the inspired Word of God only. This fact also is proven by the “Spirit of Prophecy,” as we read: “The golden oil represents the Holy Spirit. With this oil God’s ministers are to be constantly supplied, that they, in turn, may impart it to the church.”—Id., p. 188. Note, the seven tubes (Ministry) draw the oil from the golden bowl, not direct from the olive trees (Scriptures). This divinely illustrated lesson is too plain to be misunderstood, or its meaning misconstrued. The only safe way by which God’s servants and His church can be free from error, full of faith without guile in their mouth (all speak the same thing), is the never erring guide—“The Spirit of Prophecy.” The acceptance of so-called truth, without inspiration, is the devil’s trap of deception, and they who advocate such fallacious teachings are the hardest and most impossible ones to rescue from Satan’s bottomless pit; for he makes them believe that confession of their errors would disqualify them for teachers, and dishonor their high standing. He who denies inspired interpretation of the Scriptures is denying the office of the Holy Spirit, and is sinning against Him —committing the unpardonable sin! This golden candlestick is the most

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remarkable symbol in the Bible pertaining to the church of God. Its arrangement with complete number of lamps, bowl, tubes, and pipes, all of gold, with its two olive trees emptying themselves of the golden oil in the golden bowl, reveals that the last section of God’s church, is to be the most glorious church in all ages. This “continued communication” by the Holy Spirit to the church, represented by the olive branches emptying the “Golden Oil out of themselves” into one Golden Bowl, and its complete set of Supply Tubes from the bowl to all its lamps, is to bring every part of the entire body in perfect harmony; a church without guile. This prophetic symbol unmistakably points forward to a heavenly agency absorbing human weakness and imperfection into everlasting glory. “A glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27.) A church that keeps “the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”—“Prophets and Kings,” p. 725. (Song of Sol. 6:10.) To this “candlestick” is the promise: “Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. (Isa. 41:15.) The “one stone”—the church—shall have complete vision of heavenly glory: “For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.” (Zech. 3:9, 10.) To the servants of God (the church) is granted to possess the earth, and restore the land to the saints to whom it originally belonged. Thus, “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” (Micah 4:4.)

“And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.” (Zech. 10:5.) “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6.) “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. . . . In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” (Zech. 12:3, 8.) “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” (Zech. 13:8, 9.) “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” (Psa. 87:3.) “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitants of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” (Isa. 12:6.) “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. (Zech. 2:10.) What Is Inspired and What Is Not? Cunning men under the power of the great deceiver, with good words and fair speeches have sought to overthrow the faith of the saints in the word of God by almost innumerable interpretations of the Scriptures, and multiplicity of sects; making it nearly impossible for one to find his way out through the confusion, and thus keeping him in ignorance of the truth. God, knowing beforehand of these cunning devices, has prophetically illustrated the truth by this candlestick in its assemblage of parts, symbolically showing that the truth of the Bible is revealed by Inspiration only. Written words can be misconstrued, but symbols can not. Thus making it possible for both learned, and unlearned,

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to immediately distinguish the difference between truth and error. The question may arise with some, How can I determine what is inspired, and what is not? The prophetic word of God is capable of answering the question and clearing the confusion, dividing the one from the other as wheat is separated from the chaff. First, “to the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (uninspired). (Isa. 8:20.) Second, the churches who were in existence prior to 1844, fell with the proclamation of the second angel’s message (Rev. 14:8), showing that God would no longer reveal Himself through that channel. Therefore, every theory, and offshoot or sect that has sprung from the denominations in existence at that time, is false with no light in them. This is also proven by the fact that nearly all the authors or founders of these theories and movements make no claim of inspiration. The prophecy of Ezekiel, chapter four (explained in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol, 1, pp. 115-133), proves that Luther, Knox, Wesley, Campbell, Miller, and E. G. White were divinely called. It is also proven by the parable of Matthew 20 that Luther, Knox, Wesley, and Campbell were not given light on prophetic truth, but were inspired to call for reformation on certain truths which were revealed before their time, and had been “trodden underfoot.” It is further proven by the same parable that through Miller and White, prophetic truths were revealed which had never before been taught. (See pages 227, 228). It is also shown by Ezekiel’s prophecy that light and truth on the Scriptures would continue for 390 years; that is, from 1500 A. D. to l890 A. D.; and then it was to cease for forty years. (See “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 114-133.) Thus, while the 1844 movement proclaimed that light had ceased to be revealed through all other sects, it is shown by Ezekiel’s prophecy that light was to continue with the latter, up to the year 1890. This fact also is self-evident, for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has had no additional light on the Scriptures in the stated forty years. Therefore, any theory, or so-called truth, that might have

been advanced by some within this (S. D. A.) denomination that had not been revealed prior to 1890, is also false; though some things were written in the Spirit of Prophecy, they were not to be understood until 1929. The truths revealed prior to 1844, and up to 1929, are found in the writings of the “Spirit of Prophecy,” and that which is not written there, is of no value. Not until our minds have been cleared from all these false theories can we comprehend the truth. In other words the Laodiceans must confess that the charge against them is true—“wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”; and by acceptance of the truth they would anoint their eyes “with eyesalve”; for it is the “true witness speaking, and his Word must be correct.” Find your explanations “in the Bowl,” and you will have no trouble in knowing the truth, or of avoiding the ever ready trap of deception. Thus the difficulty in knowing the difference between truth and error is eliminated.  End of Study 

Text from the original publication entitled, Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 283-289. For questions, comments, or to request additional studies on various topics of present truth, please contact the address on the copyright page:

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