O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
19 April 2021
A Clean Headdress
The Old Testament is rich with symbols that teach spiritual lessons about the Father and Son, and the church. However, in order to uncover the message contained in these symbols requires a person to listen to the voice of God. The scriptures must be approached in a humble and prayerful attitude which will allow God to reveal Himself and the condition of our hearts, which we cannot discern on our own either. Additionally, God uses people to minister to other people. So, to be effective we must learn to teach and minister the way Christ did - he is our example. Zechariah, chapters 3 & 4, discuss how this will be done, beginning with those living in the last generation.
The Church & its condition: Isaiah 4:1: And in that day, seven women have taken hold on one man, saying, 'Our own bread we do eat, And our own raiment we put on, Only, over us let thy name be called - Remove our reproach.' This verse sums up the preceding verses in which Isaiah writes about the condition of the daughters of Zion. In Isaiah 3:16-26, Zion is said to be haughty, walking in the deception of their own understanding (verse 16), and wearing all kinds of clothing and ornaments, symbols of an impure spiritual condition. This is the general condition of the church today - they are eating their own bread (interpreting scripture themselves) and wearing their own apparel (forming a character after man). Note: Lexicons and Bible Interlinears have been consulted for the best translation and clarity, and scriptures arranged as close to the original language as makes sense in English.
Isaiah goes on to write: Isaiah 4:2: In that day is the Branch of Yahweh for honor and for glory, and the fruit of the earth for excellence and for beauty to the escaped of Israel. “That day” is when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion (verse 4), by correcting their understanding of the Branch and showing them God’s love. This bringing forth of the Branch is given in more detail in the book of Zechariah.
Zechariah 2:6-7: 6. Ho, Ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. 7. Deliver thyself, O Zion, who is dwelling with the daughter of Babylon. Isaiah was describing the spiritual confusion of Babylon as jewelry and expensive clothing; Zechariah calling a people to come out of the confusion - confusion about the Branch.
Zechariah 3:1-2: 1. And he (Yahweh - 2:13) caused me to consider Joshua the high priest standing before the messenger of the Lord, and the adversary standing at his right hand, to resist him. 2. And the Lord saith unto the adversary: The Lord rebuke the adversary of you, even the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: is not this a brand (burning wood) plucked out of the fire? [more literal to the Hebrew] All have an adversarial attitude inside, that comes from the ‘sin nature’ which, when we desire to do good, it causes us to resist, and do the opposite. Paul stated the idea very clearly: Romans 7:20: Now if I do that I which I desire not, it is no more I that do it, but the sin (nature) dwelling in me. God desires to make of each of us a high priest. In order to do this, He must reveal our adversity in the way we think about Him.
Wood is a symbol for the natural man, and fire can be viewed two ways: 1) The environment of an individual with family, job, church or a group of friends can contain friction, turmoil and consternation. 2) Everyone has fire inside, which is what causes # 1. Each person must deal with his own fire. God will pluck you out of that fire, IF, you choose to let Him, so that the fire does not consume you. Now, the only positive representation of fire is that of God’s spirit, which will burn away sins (Deuteronomy 4:24; 9:3; Heb 12:29) by inactivating the sin nature.
Zechariah 3:3-4: 3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and standing before the angel. 4. And he (the angel) answered and spake unto those (fellows, companions - verse 8) standing before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him (Joshua) he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will cloth you with change of raiment. Isaiah described the apparel, while Zechariah speaks of a changing it. Filthy garments are a symbol of the character formed based on perverted faith and works, here called ‘iniquity’, which are a result of wrong ideas and actions. The Hebrew root for iniquity is a verb meaning, ‘to twist, bend, distort, make crooked.’ It perfectly describes the serpent, or adversity, within each of us, which is our distorted thinking and understanding about the world, God, our environment and others with whom we come in contact. Here are two scriptures describing the unsanctified fire:
Psalms 39:3: my heart became hot within me. As I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
Psalms 57:4: My soul is among lions; I lie among them that are set on fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword.
A lion is a symbol for ‘pride’, teeth are ‘authority’, manifested in the words spoken. James uses this imagery to describe the human condition: James 3:5-6: 5. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! 6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. Only by the spirit of God can the tongue be controlled.Zechariah 3:5: And I said, Let them set a clean headdress upon his head. So they set a clean headdress upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord (Christ) was standing by. Most of the time, the word ‘angel’ is the transliteration of the original language. In Hebrew or Greek the word means‘ messenger, or one who is sent.’ The Son of God was sent (John 3:17) into the world. His life, viewed as an allegory, is the type to which we can attain if we listen to the spirit of God. Jesus was nailed to a piece of wood and he died with a crown of thorns on his head. Thorns are a symbol for the cares of the world we carry (Mark 4:7, 18-19). Think about how the crown was made - a man took thorny branches, then bent, twisted and intertwined them to form the crown - a perfect picture of our iniquity. It is the thorny crown God wants to remove from our heads, and replace with a pure, clean linen headdress, an emblem of cleaning up our twisted, bent thinking.
God calls certain ones with whom He directly communicates, like apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers. It is through these people He will communicate the truth. When we hear, we are to consider what is taught and let the Spirit convict our hearts. God puts people (messengers) in our lives, and it is God who will convince us of the truth of the message that they carry. However, we are required to study and seek God for the understanding, for we are not to worship the messenger (cf Revelation 19:10). Zechariah 3:6: And the messenger of the Lord (Christ) bear witness unto Joshua, saying...
Zechariah 3:7-9: 7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts (the Father); If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these standing by. 8. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men of symbol: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. 9. 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.
It is important to notice the “if” in verse seven. To walk in God’s way is to apply, in the activities of your life, the principles He is teaching you. To keep His charge is obey the impressions of the heart, which come directly from Him. If you are not doing this, you are feeding the wrong fire with the wood (human nature).
Men of symbol, or sign: Zerubbabel was appointed governor and leader of the returning exiles. Joshua (Jeshua in Ezra 2) was the high priest in charge of the priesthood, etc. These men, and the people who came with them, are a symbol of the last generation group who will be instrumental in rebuilding the temple - not a literal temple, but the temple of the mind in which the thought’s of God dwell (cf 1 Corinthians 3:16).
Zerubbabel: There are two meanings given to his name: ‘sown at Babylon’ and ‘born at Babylon.’ Either way, when it is understood that Babylon is the name of a city representing spiritual confusion about God, defined in Genesis 11:9, we realize, all were born in Babylon, and all have been sown with the seeds of spiritual confusion. Zech 4:9: The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. Literally, it was one generation of Jews who built the temple, and it will be one generation of spiritual Jews who finish the spiritual temple. These people are identified in Revelation as the 144,000, and these are they which were not defiled with women (Rev 14:4; cp Isaiah 4:1). Those who come out of Babylon (confusion), God uses to begin the last message to a dying world.
The Branch: The literal group that came out of Babylon did not bring forth the understanding of the Savior. It is the last generation who builds the temple, and who brings forth the Branch, a symbol of Christ (cp Jeremiah 23:5-6), also called “headstone”, or the Hebrew is “top stone.” (Zech 4:7). Think about what this prophecy implies. If Jesus Christ is to be brought forth in the last generation, then the majority of the people living at that time must not know Christ. Because of an erroneous teachings about the Savior, our heavenly Father and His love for all humanity is not understood, resulting in a message with no power (cf Romans 1:16-17).
Stone with seven eyes: Here are three symbols: stone = a concept; seven = a fulness of something; eyes = understanding. Zechariah 4:7: What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!' (Revised version) The great mountain is a symbol for the kingdom of Babylon (cf Jeremiah 51:24-26) - the mass confusion about God. Before the message of Zerubbabel, this great mountain is destroyed by the truth concerning the Father and Son and their love for all humanity (cf John 3:16-17).
The seven eyes represent the fulness of the understanding of God given to the last generation, and eventually the whole church. This imagery is expanded in the discussion, in chapter four, by the two olive trees and the candlestick. Zechariah 4:14: And he saith, 'These [are] the two sons of the oil, who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.' (Young’s) The “two sons” represent the preincarnate and incarnate Son of God. The oil is the spirit of the Father with which the Son is anointed, and which the Son pours into the bowl on top of the candlestick. The bowl is a person who receives the truth and gives it to the church, represented by the candlestick.
Summary: The fire of hades (hell) is the human ignorance about God, and the fire of geenna (hell) is the sin nature (worm - Mark 9:43-48) which stokes the fire, and which brings about internal torment because a person cannot deal with the stresses generated by a corrupted mind (i.e. crown of thorns). If you are willing, God will pluck you out of this fire (Zechariah 3:2). This process is called “refining:” Zechariah 13:9: 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. When we receive His understanding, then will we be like the fire of God to those with whom we share. Zechariah 12:6: In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about... And this is how it will be accomplished: Zechariah 4:6: ...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. Amen!
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