This is the 10th Message concerning the Marturia. In my last message I took the chapter of Mark’s Gospel to challenge us to see change in the “religious system” and see God do a new thing. Yet what was to be revealed was the parallel between Mark 11 and Zechariah 4, which I had not seen before.
Zechariah 4 is about the foundation of Zerrubabel’s temple and Mark 11 speaks to the Foundations of Herod’s temple and its replacement. Why is that relevant now? Its relevant because the elements presented are the same in each. They speak of: 1. Temple 2. Tree 3. Mountain. These 3 elements are significant of what God wants to do in both Israel and the Church in this time.
A change of trees between the Olive Tree and the Fig Tree speaks to the difference in origin of each…
The Olive Tree represents covenant, where the pipes from the olive tree in Zechariah 4 go to the lampstand as a sign of the Presence of God that comes from Covenant. In Revelation 2 we see the same Lampstand present in the Church at Ephesus, and in Chapter 4 in the inner place of God’s Throne. It is an important distinction when it comes to a Sanctuary made for God that it be filled with God. Paul says in Ephesians 2:20 that the Church is the “habitation of God in the Spirit”. This means for it to be Church it must be filled with God in the Spirit, or its a club or empty building. The Temple here in Zechariah 4 is one that speaks to origins, what starts the Temple, what makes a Church get birthed, especially the one in Ephesus. Paul preaches the Gospel and the converts form what is known as a Church, and God is pleased to place there His Lampstand as a sign of His Covenant. When that happens we get the confirming signs of Presence, Provision, Protection, Power.
In contrast in Mark 11, the Tree is no longer a Olive Tree, but a Fig Tree. This is a Temple made with hands, and never bears fruit. This is a sanctuary whose origins are self, and effort. What was the Word in Zechariah 4:6 “It is not by power nor by might, but by my Spirit…” makes the Temple of Herod especially that which was built by human power and demonic might. And no Spirit. The Fig Tree demonstrates the contrast between fruit and leaves. If you get many leaves, you get little fruit, and much fruit few leaves. There is no Olive Tree because this is not a Temple God designed. It was man’s design.
I have heard and even prayed about the issues surrounding this pandemic, even the inconsistencies of government attitudes and measures. The only “anchor of divine truth” I have found is that God allowed the pandemic to spread around the world, and the crisis surrounding it. The way that God permitted it tells us that He has a Purpose through it and in it. Therefore we must see that God wants us to establish faith communities where the Olive Tree is present and not the Fig Tree. This will bring His Presence to heal our communities to bring peace, bring His Provision when the Church is under financial hardship due to persecution. Protection from every type of attack and power to distinguish the people of God from the people of the world.
In Revelation 11 we see the culmination of what happens when God raises up His Witnesses with the Olive Trees and what influence they have on end time events. This will be a message in this series of its own. However the appearance in power of these two witnesses is what ends all the end time events in terms of earthly judgments, we see the heavenly judgments come, where the false trinity and Babylon is dealt with in the following chapters. This shows us that the “marturia” is not just given to individuals as in Hebrews 11, which states this, but now there is a collective “marturia” in congregations which make up the Body of Christ.
We need to identify our mountains as opportunities for overcoming…
Mark 11 and Zechariah 4 talk about the mountain as being a obstacle that is dealt with when a true godly foundation is laid. A building is only as good as its foundations. I wrote about this in my book “12 Foundations of the Church” concerning the foundations of the New Jerusalem and the Bride of Revelation 21. I saw that eternal foundations are built in our lives in the here and now, our love, faith and obedience being building blocks right now. If we would just identify what these foundations are in the real then we would see ourselves builders of eternity in our generation.
There are mountains that stand in our way. These are evident in Zechariah 4, the nations round about opposed Cyrus’ edict, even some writing to Darius to stop the restoration, coming with accusations, and with insinuations. In Mark 11 it was commerce in God’s house, and appeasing the Roman occupation by making out that the Temple was God’s House when it was not. In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death we read that the Temple veil is torn, to reveal a gloryless house. A Temple without Glory is akin to a house that is empty and not a home for anyone to live in, its not a Temple but a building.
When we overcome the Mountain is because we have a Olive Tree and a Lampstand in our midst. It causes us to overcome. If we read the Letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation 2 and 3 we see Jesus emphasising the need to overcome and the eternal fruits and privileges of such a attitude and such an achievement. We must therefore identify what mountain stands before the Church today. One is globalism. The Church, the true Church cannot subscribe to the globalist agenda, concerning climate change, digital currency, and multi faith. You cannot mix the different religions into one. This “globalist” agenda intends to bring the “religious system” together with politics and economics. These strands come together around the time Jesus was crucified, and will come again when the Church experiences the end time persecutions. Bloodshed will pave the way for God’s end time judgments. This mountain must be overcome by God’s Word, God’s provision, and God’s reign through Jesus Christ, the King He sets on His Holy Hill. Psalm 2. God’s presence cannot be felt and manifest where He does not reign. The other mountain is “heresy”, a watering down of the Word of God, and people pleasing with taking out the judgments and commandments of God of the Word replacing it with a one sided God is love message. This heresy will open the door to corruption and apostasy. We cannot bow to the prevailing tendencies of our generation.
The final mountain is found in the Church in Thyratira where they “tolerated” Jezebel and her sexual perversions. Throughout the Body of Christ we read of priests, pastors, teachers and prophets abusing people in this realm. It seems a door from hell, millions of demons have caught hold of the vocationed, and have barraged them with a sensual life, sensual temptations. Once we take a zero tolerant stance over this tolerance gospel we will overcome temptations.
A true Temple must be grafted into the Olive Tree, and have pipes to God’s Lampstand and overcome the mountain
Here we have the elements that distinguish between man’s habitation and God’s. The Olive Tree represents the covenant. Jesus said He was the “Root and Offspring of David”. If Jesus is the Root, of David’s covenant, a covenant that joins the prophetic, the priestly and the kingly, to establish a domain where God reigns, this is the type of witness, the type of Church God is making us to be. Not just the Church, but there were two olive trees, and two witnesses in Revelation 11, and they are Israel and the Church, the two peoples that represent the 12 Gates and 12 Foundations. God’s programme for this time is to join these two covenant peoples together. For this reason the “marturia” is so important to understand. It has given us identity for the now, destiny for the future.
This message is profound to me personally, and hope it inspires you to reach out in your walk with God to understand there are dimensions revealed in God’s Word that will ground us, establish us, protect us and predestine us for this end time work of God. May we anchor our faith in this.