SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW)


Chapter 4

6. See EGW on 2 Kings 2:11-15, Vol. 2, p. 1037. 4BC 1179.2

6, 7, 10. Assumed Power Is Not God's Strength—This chapter is full of encouragement for those who do the work of the Lord in these last days. Zerubbabel had gone to Jerusalem to build the house of the Lord. But he was compassed with difficulties. His adversaries “weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,” “and made them to cease by force and power.” But the Lord interposed in their behalf, and the house was finished. [Zechariah 4:6, 7, 10 quoted.] 4BC 1179.3

The very same difficulties which were created to hinder the restoration and upbuilding of the work of God, the great mountains of difficulty which loomed in Zerubbabel's way, will be met by all who today are loyal to God and to His work. Many human inventions are used to carry out plans after the mind and will of men with whom God is not working. But it is not boastful words nor a multitude of ceremonies that show that the Lord is working with His people. The assumed power of the human agent does not decide this question. Those who place themselves in opposition to the Lord's work may hinder for a time, but the same Spirit that has guided the Lord's work all the way through will guide it today. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” ... 4BC 1179.4

The Lord would have every soul strong in His strength. He would have us look to Him, receiving our directions from Him (The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899). 4BC 1179.5

11-14 (Matthew 25:1-13). Oil Purifies the Soul—We all need to study as never before the parable of the ten virgins. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. This is the holy oil represented in Zechariah [Zechariah 4:11-14 quoted]. This representation is of the highest consequence to those who claim to know the truth. But if we do not practise the truth, we have not received the holy oil, which the two golden pipes empty out of themselves. The oil is received into vessels prepared for the oil. It is the Holy Spirit in the heart which works by love and purifies the soul.... 4BC 1179.6

Satan is working with all his hellish power to quench that light which should burn brightly in the soul and shine forth in good works. The words of God to Zechariah show from whence the holy golden oil comes, and its bright light which the Lord kindles in the chambers of the soul gives light through good works to the world. Satan will work to quench the light God has for every soul, by casting his shadow across the pathway to intercept every ray of heavenly light. He knows that his time is short. The people of God must cleave to God, else they will lose their bearings. If they cherish hereditary and cultivated traits of character that misrepresent Christ, while professedly His disciples, they are represented by the man coming to the gospel feast without having on the wedding garment, and by the foolish virgins which had no oil in their vessels with their lamps. We must cleave to that which God pronounces to be truth, though the whole world may be arrayed against it (Manuscript 140, 1901). 4BC 1179.7

Oil Conveyed Through Messages—[Zechariah 4:1-3, 11-14 quoted.] By the holy beings surrounding His throne, the Lord keeps up a constant communication with the inhabitants of the earth. The golden oil represents the grace with which God keeps the lamps of believers supplied. Were it not that this holy oil is poured from heaven in the messages of God's Spirit, the agencies of evil would have entire control over men. God is dishonored when we do not receive the communications that He sends us. Thus we refuse the golden oil which He would pour into our souls to be communicated to those in darkness (The Review and Herald, February 3, 1903). 4BC 1179.8

Word Flows Into Messengers’ Hearts—[Zechariah 4:11-14 quoted.] These empty themselves into the golden bowls, which represent the hearts of the living messengers of God, who bear the Word of the Lord to the people in warnings and entreaties. The Word itself must be as represented, the golden oil, emptied from the two olive trees that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. This is the baptism by the Holy Spirit with fire. This will open the soul of unbelievers to conviction. The wants of the soul can be met only by the working of the Holy Spirit of God. Man can of himself do nothing to satisfy the longings and meet the aspirations of the heart (Manuscript 109, 1897). 4BC 1180.1

12 (Isaiah 58:8). To Constantly Receive, One Must Constantly Impart—The capacity for receiving the holy oil from the two olive trees which empty themselves, is by the receiver emptying that holy oil out of himself in word and in action to supply the necessities of other souls. Work, precious, satisfying work—to be constantly receiving and constantly imparting! The capacity for receiving is only kept up by imparting (NL No. 12, pp. 3, 4). 4BC 1180.2