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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

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June 22, 2014


SCRIPTURE: Haggai 2:20-23; Zechariah 4:5-14


KEY VERSE: Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, 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. (Zechariah 4:6)


INTRODUCTION: The Lord would use Zerubbabel, His humble servant, and Zerubbabel’s small and unimpressive temple in a great way. There is an important truth that we need to learn from this Bible study. The Lord is pleased in using small things: Moses’ rod (Exodus 4:2), a hammer and a tent peg (Judges 4:17–24), David’s sling (1 Samuel 17), a jawbone (Judges 15:15), a piece of rope (Joshua 2:15–21), fish and loaves (John 6:9), a cup of cold water (Matthew 10:42), a basket (Acts 9:23–25), and even mud (John 9:6–7).


I. A SERVANT OF GOD. (Haggai 2:20-23)


Note: Haggai 2:20-23 was addressed to Zerubbabel (the Hebrew governor) who is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord wanted His people are to be encouraged. In the latter days, the Lord will overthrow the gentile powers and restore King David’s line, to which Zerubbabel belonged (Matthew 1:12). Perhaps Zerubbabel thought his work was unimportant because the temple was so ordinary, or because the nation of Israel was so weak and small. But Zerubbabel was part of God’s plan that would lead one day to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.


A. A Message Concerning The Man Zerubbabel. (Haggai 2:20-21)


(Haggai 2:20-21) 20 And again the word of the Lord came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying. 21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth.


1. Two messages.


“The four and twentieth day of the month” is the same day on which the previous message was given in Haggai 2:10-19 -- December 24. I don’t know why Haggai gave two messages on the same day -- but he did.


2. One leader.


“Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah.” This message is to the civil ruler, the man in the kingly line of David, and it is God’s promise to him.


B. A Message Telling About The Future Great Tribulation Period. (Haggai 2:22)


(Haggai 2:22) 22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.


“I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen [the nations].” When the Lord says that He will shake the heavens and the earth and will overthrow the ruling governments, He is speaking of the Great Tribulation Period, as He did in Haggai 2:6 and 7. God says that He “will overthrow the chariots,” because it was that in which the people trusted; in our day it is nuclear weapons. God says, “I am going to remove all of that.”


C. A Message Outlining The Traumatic Coming Events. (Haggai 2:23)


(Haggai 2:23) 23 In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.


1. “In that day” -- notice it is not “in this day.”


This looks forward to the end times. “I …will make thee as a signet.” The signet was the mark and identification of royalty. A man used it to sign letters and documents. Since it represented him, he guarded it very carefully and usually wore it. It came to represent a most prized possession.


2. “I have chosen thee, saith the Lord Of hosts.”


As we have seen, Zerubbabel is in the line of King David. God’s promise is that not only will the Messiah come through King David; He will also come through Zerubbabel. God made good His promise to Zerubbabel when Jesus Christ was born. The Lord Jesus Christ is just as much the Son of Zerubbabel as He is the Son of David.


3. Mark the importance of Zerubbabel’s temple.


Now it is true that the little temple built in Haggai’s day, which became known as Zerubbabel’s temple, was not very impressive. But it is very important because it is in the line of temples into which the Messiah Himself will come someday.


Note: The prophecy looks forward to the day when the Lord Jesus will come at the end of the Great Tribulation period. And God intends to put this line of Zerubbabel, this line of King David, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, upon the throne of the universe. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He will come to the earth to rule. This little Book of Haggai puts Christ in His proper position as the moral ruler, the civil ruler, and the King to rule over this earth in that day, which makes the Book of Haggai an important book.


II. A TEMPLE TO FINISH. (Zechariah 4:5-10)


Note: In 586 b.c. the Hebrew temple was destroyed along with Jerusalem. In in 538 b.c. the Hebrews living in exile were given permission to return to Jerusalem so that the temple could be rebuilt. The project ceased for a number of years due to opposition from gentile outsiders and Hebrew disinterest from within. The Lord wanted the project to get back on track and in the process, restore the Hebrews’ broken relationship with their Lord.


In Zechariah 4:1-4 the Lord gave a vision. In this vision, a table with seven lamps and two olive trees is pictured, each connected to a central bowl of oil. The lamps represent the eyes of God, ones that can see in all directions. The olive trees represent Joshua and Zerubbabel, the ones the Lord set aside to lead the Hebrews who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild God’s House (the temple). Zechariah chapter four addresses the Lord’s desire for the Hebrews to get the temple building project back on track and the role Zerubbabel was to play in its restoration.


A. The Angel’s Question. (Zechariah 4:5)


(Zechariah 4:5) Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.


The Prophet Zechariah is awakened by an angel with the question, "What seest thou?" The new vision is a very striking one.


B. The Lord’s Message. (Zechariah 4:6)


(Zechariah 4:6) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, 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.


1. A vision is given.


A golden candlestick appears before the seer. An oil receiver is seen on top, from which the oil flows to the seven lamps of the candlestick through seven pipes. Two olive trees stand alongside of the candlestick and hang their fruit-laden branches over the golden bowl, filling it with oil, which flows through the seven pipes into the seven lamps.


2. A power is given.


The question of the prophet, "What are these, my lord?" is answered by the angel with this statement, "This is the word of Jehovah to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might and not by power but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of Hosts.”


C. The Challenge Given. (Zechariah 4:7-10)


1. The work. (Zechariah 4:7-9)


(Zechariah 4:7-9) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 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.


The Lord had called Zerubbabel to ensure that the temple was rebuilt; he was responsible to see that it was completed. The Lord was telling Zerubbabel and the people of God that serving Him was not to be by their own strength or might but by staying connected to the Holy Spirit of God. The temple was small, but God was in it!


2. The reward. (Zechariah 4:10)


(Zechariah 4:10) 10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.


Who in our day is going to determine who is doing a great work and who is doing a small work? Your Sunday school class or some other seemingly insignificant ministry may be far more important than an impressive work that is well known in our day. Only the Lord can know the importance of it. Let us be found faithful, and then let us work. This is the message of Haggai and this is the message of Zechariah.


III. TWO ANOINTED SERVANTS. (Zechariah 4:11-14)


A. The Angel’s Question. (Zechariah 4:11-13)


(Zechariah 4:11-13) 11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.


Zechariah is asking again for an explanation. And the angel’s answer, “Knowest thou not what these be?” implies that he ought to know. But he doesn’t know.


B. The Angel’s Answer. (Zechariah 4:14)


(Zechariah 4:14) 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.


1. These are the two Spirit-filled men, Joshua, the religious ruler, and Zerubbabel, the civil ruler.


Joshua, representing the nation, has been cleansed and now stands in clean garments. When the remnant of Israel confessed their sin and accepted the Lord’s redemption, they were cleansed and now stand in the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, they can be Spirit-filled and can be used of the Lord.


2. This has a message for you and for me in 2014.


The Lord wants to fill us with the Holy Spirit. But there are certain conditions to be met.


Two of them are negative: (1) “…grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). We cannot be filled with the Spirit if there is sin in our lives -- we have to be clean in God’s sight.


(2) “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Quenching the Spirit is being out of the will of God. And when we are out of the will of God, God cannot use us. If God wants you in Africa and you are still in the United States of America, I don’t think that the Lord is going to use you here. But, if you are in Africa and the Lord wants you to be in the United States of America, He won’t use you there either.


 The third condition to be met for the filling of the Spirit is positive: (3) “…Walk in the Spirit…” (Galatians 5:16). Walking in the Spirit is a very practical sort of thing. It is to walk by means of the Holy Spirit, to rest on Him, depending upon Him to do what we cannot do ourselves.


3. The vision of the lampstands was an encouragement to the remnant in Zechariah’s day.


It, also, has an application to our day, and it looks forward to the day when the Lord will pour out His Spirit without measure. I see very little of a genuine pouring out of the Holy Spirit in our contemporary society, but during the Millennium the Lord is going to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. That day is still future.


The Power of the Holy Spirit


". . . I [have] raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee..." -- Romans 9:17


Walter Knight tells the story about a little boy who had recently received Christ. "Daddy, how can I believe in the Holy Spirit when I have never seen Him?" asked Jim. "I'll show you how," said his father, who was an electrician. Later, Jim went with his father to the power plant where he was shown the generators. "This is where the power comes from to heat our stove and to give us light. We cannot see the power, but it is in that machine and in the power lines," said the father. "I believe in electricity,” said Jim. "Of course you do," said his father, "but you don't believe in it because you see it. You believe in it because you see what it can do. Likewise, you can believe in the Holy Spirit because you can see what He does in people's lives when they are surrendered to Christ and possess His power." Day-By-Day with Billy Graham, World Wide Publications, 1976


CONCLUSION: For God’s people to live in the power of the Holy Spirit we have to maintain a continuous relationship with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit live in and through us. Only then can believers be the lights the Lord wants us to be in a dark, sin-sick world. When His people live in the Holy Spirit’s power, we can see what the Lord will do through us. We will recognize God’s leading and providing in our lives.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “One plus God is always a majority.”


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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, By Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network, www.ttb.org, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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