The Two Olive Trees
Dec 16, 2009
In Zechariah 3, Joshua was given new clean garments. This occurred in a vision that was given to Zechariah (3:1), so we should not think that the high priest had simply forgotten to do his laundry. These were spiritual garments given to him, "the garments of salvation" (Isaiah 61:10).
The Hebrew word for "salvation" is yeshua, usually translated Joshua. It is also Jesus' Hebrew name, Yeshua. Hence Joshua the high priest is given spiritual garments, which Isaiah identified as "the garments of Yeshua." This identifies him as a type of Christ, though His high priesthood is of the Order of Melchizedek. These spiritual garments are required for all Melchizedek priests in order to minister to God in the Sanctuary in heaven (Ez. 44:17).
Zerubbabel is given the plumbline of Truth. Between the two of them, they are fully equipped to worship God "in spirit and in truth," as Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:23. In fact, in the previous verse, he said, "salvation is of the Jews" (KJV). This had a double meaning, for what He was really saying was: "Yeshua comes from the Judeans," i.e., from the tribe of Judah.
In a broader application of Zechariah's prophecy, it is plain from chapter 4 that Joshua and Zerubabbel represent the two olive trees (4:3) pouring oil into the Candlestick in the Sanctuary. This passage is the foundation of the prophecy of the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11, where we are told in 11:4,
"These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth."
It is a reference to Zech. 4:14,
"Then he said, These are the two anointed ones, who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth."
The main difference is that John adds a new flavor to the mix by telling us that there are two lampstands (candlesticks) instead of just the single one that Zechariah pictured. Furthermore, while Zechariah pictures the two olive trees as being distinct from the lampstand, John tells us that we are to think of the olive trees as also being the two lampstands.
Earlier, John had said in Rev. 1:20 that there were 7 lampstands, which correlate with the 7 stars (the Pleiades, The Seven Sisters). He identified these as the angels of the 7 churches. This may be confusing, but no more so than to know that ALL of the furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses point to Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world--the Lampstand. He is the Bread of Life--the Table of Showbread. He is the Ark of the Covenant--where the divine presence rested.
So it is obvious that each piece of furniture first points to Christ, and secondarily to His body. So the Lampstand has 7 lights on it, representing the 7 churches. However, in John's message to the 7 churches in Rev. 2 and 3, Jesus speaks to "the angel of the church." Angels are spirits who are created when the Word of the Lord is spoken in conjunction with His imagination. His imagination gives it form, and the Word gives it a Name that describes its character and purpose.
The angels are different because they are assigned to different churches or individuals who each have different callings and functions. Each person is called to conform to the image of God in his or her particular angel. As that happens, it is my revelation that we become one with our angel. In this way, we become the Living Word that is in that angel, and we manifest its purpose and calling as our own.
The message to the 7 churches implies that not all would "overcome" the flesh, but those who overcome are given a specific reward that correlates with the name and purpose of the specific angel assigned to it. It is somewhat complex, but I think you get the idea.
The Two Witnesses first have a calling to minister to the Lampstand. If we view the Lampstand as being Jesus Christ, then it depicts the Melchizedek priests ministering to God in the Sanctuary as per Ezekiel 44:19. But those priests were also to minister in the "outer court," that is, to the rest of the people yet in the earthly realm. This would include the Church, primarily, because the outer court was the area where the citizens of Israel were restricted. Only priests could enter the Holy Place.
Citizenship in Israel is only by justification by faith--that is, one's Passover experience. To enter the Holy Place, which is the realm of (true) Pentecost, one must experience Pentecost and receive what the NT calls the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a second baptism, the first being of water of the laver in the outer court.
The lampstand was in the Holy Place. The 7 churches were part of the lampstand, indicating that the NT church was a Pentecostal church, rather than a mere Passover church like the church in the wilderness under Moses. The church under Moses (Acts 7:38) might be pictured in terms of the brazen altar, but not properly as the lampstand.
On the other end of this, we look forward to being identified as part of the third church, the Tabernacles church, where we are part of the Ark of the Covenant, accessed only by the High Priest (and His Body of Tabernacles people).
I believe that it is the primary function of the Two Witnesses, whoever or whatever they are, to be the conduit of "oil" (Holy Spirit), so that those of the Lampstand might qualify for membership in the third church. Such people will have access to the very throne of God and will be allowed to see Him face to face and minister to Him as part of the body of the High Priest.
I have met many who claimed to be one of the Two Witnesses. Most of them are so busy trying to convince others of their calling that they never actually do the work that the Two Witnesses are called to do. They seem to think that they have to be recognized before they can fulfill their calling. My advice to them is to know that only God can give a genuine calling, and that it does not depend upon man's recognition. Look to Him, and at the appointed time, just do what you are called to do.
In my view, the Two Witnesses are more than just two individuals. I believe that they represent two distinct bodies of people that must work together for the common goal, even as Joshua and Zerubbabel, or as Aaron and Moses. The callings themselves can be thought of generally as the Law and the Prophets. The Law is the realm of Moses and Zerubbabel; the Prophets are represented by Aaron, Joshua, and more importantly, Elijah and Elisha.
There are many today who are fascinated by the prophetic, and so there are many "schools of the prophets" to teach them how to function in the anointing of Elijah. That is good. However, most of them do not really recognize the importance of Moses and the Law, which is the other "witness." Elijah cannot function fully in his calling without the witness of Moses, nor vice versa.
I believe that the various "Elijah" ministries throughout the past centuries have been partial and incomplete, because they have not been accompanied by Moses with an understanding of the Law. When I observed this some years ago, I determined to rectify the situation to the best of my ability, in order to train a body of people who were schooled in the Law and could function as a second witness to the Elijah company.
Frankly, I want to be part of this company, and I figure that the best way to do it is to be led by the Spirit and to do what I am called to do in compliance with the law and prophets, as interpreted and revealed in the New Testament.
It is my prayer that many more will catch this vision and do the same.
Dr. Stephen Jones