Zechariah Chapter 5: Healing of the Deadly Wound of Rev. 13Dec 17th, 2009 | By admin | Category: Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name), Zechariah
Zechariah Chapter 5: Healing of the Deadly Wound of Rev. 13
Zech. 5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
Zech. 5:2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
Zech. 5:3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.
Zech. 5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
Verses 1-4 are one unit. Zechariah would now have his sixth vision, or experience. In this case, he saw a “flying roll [or scroll],” which contained a message. And even stranger, the scroll was seen to be rectilinear with specific dimensions: 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide. The measurements indicate a relationship to the Holy of the Tabernacle. (The Holy was 20 by 10 cubits, and the Most Holy was 10 by 10 cubits.) Combining the two thoughts—the dimensions of the Holy of the Tabernacle and the scroll being a message—suggests the judgment of a class not in favor with the Lord. And the scroll was not stationary in the Tabernacle but was flying; in fact, it traveled “over the face of the whole earth.”
The association with the Holy suggests that the message is, first, to the true Church. Therefore, not only does the time element pertain to the Gospel Age, but also the “flying” aspect indicates that the scroll travels throughout the age, from beginning to end, with a very searching and penetrating message. The Scriptures teach a certain principle in connection with this judgment; namely, the true Church, including both the Little Flock and the Great Company, is on trial first. Presented from a negative standpoint, the judgment message goes into every dwelling on the “face of the whole earth” to do a soul-searching examination. The purpose of the judgment is to weed out the unfaithful who profess Christianity. “Every one that stealeth … and every one that sweareth shall be cut off.” In the Old Testament, the term “cut off” means to be cut off in death. When this scroll gets near the terminus, or the end time of its travel, other Scriptures intensify the message. For instance, 1 Peter 4:17 states, “Judgment must begin at the house of God,” meaning that judgment will start with those who have made a consecration vow to serve the Lord. Such individuals have a greater responsibility but also a much, much greater reward for faithfulness.
The Book of Revelation shows there will be two harvests: (1) the harvest of the wheat and (2) the harvest of the tares. The wheat class are garnered into the barn (heaven), but the tares (falsely professing Christians) will be burned up in the following sense. Never having made a real personal commitment by wholly submitting their wills to the Lord, they will see in the Time of Trouble that it is expedient to cease their profession of Christianity lest they suffer violence.
Certain pictures in the Scriptures show that, unlike those who falsely profess Christianity in the nominal Church, the Great Company will escape suffering for perhaps a period of three years or a little less. (1) One such picture shows that after Elijah is taken up by a whirlwind, the sons of the prophets of Israel will question Elisha and search in vain for Elijah’s body for three years. (2) The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins also shows a time period. When the wise virgins go in the door to the marriage, having made their calling and election sure, the foolish virgins will be in the marketplace securing oil. Upon their return, the foolish virgins will find out that the door to the marriage is shut. (3) A third picture, Leviticus 16, speaks of two goats: the Lord’s goat and the scapegoat (Satan’s goat, the goat for Azazel). First, the inner organs of the bullock, representing Jesus, were burned on the Brazen Altar, and the blood of the animal was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy. Next the inner organs of the Lord’s goat were sacrificed on the altar, and its blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. After these two events, the high priest sprinkled the Brazen Altar in the court with the remaining blood of both the bullock and the Lord’s goat. Following these activities, the scapegoat was sent into the wilderness, suggesting a period of time after the Little Flock is
gone. (4) In the Song of Solomon, both sisters leave the bed to go out to meet the Savior, but the Bride goes earlier of her own volition, whereas the little sister needs encouragement. There are other pictures as well, but these four indicate a period of judgment on the consecrated. After the completion of the Little Flock, which is the primary application, the nominal system will be destroyed through a series of events under the Lord’s providence and direction. However, the Great Company class will be delivered out of Babylon before the fall.
In fact, the fall of Babylon will be a sign that the door is closed and the high calling has ceased.
At this time, the Lord will tell the Great Company, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). The Great Company will realize that they were not honored as part of the Little Flock but that the Lord has delivered them so that they can wash their robes in the great tribulation and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14); the washing will take time.
The sequence with the consecrated seems to be (1) the Little Flock goes off the earthly scene first, before the fall of Babylon; (2) the Second Death class is dealt with; and (3) those of the Great Company class wash their robes. Other events will follow, but the fall of Babylon will precede the death of the Great Company and the demise of the Second Death class. When all the pictures are collated, we get a three-dimensional perspective of events yet future.
The Little Flock will be cut off in the middle of the hour of power of the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet. The last half hour of the hour of power will end with the dissolving of the nominal Church system. With violence, mystic Babylon will be cast into the sea like a millstone (Rev. 18:21). However, the Great Company will be delivered from that destruction. As several pictures show, they will be noticed and spared death during the period of the destruction of the nominal Church. Certain events will happen whereby those in the nominal Church will be so angry at the system for its corruption, great injustices, persecutions, and inconsistencies with the profession of Christianity that they will tear it down with violence, but at the same time, the Great Company, sincere Christians, will be spared that experience as a class. With regard to that class, there seems to be a connection between the two angels who yanked Lot out of Sodom and the two spies whom Rahab hid (Gen. 19:15,16; Josh. 2:1-6). Rahab was in Jericho but did not have the spirit of the city (the nominal system in the antitype). If only that portion of the type is considered as a unit—with no elaboration before or after—then that slice of time corresponds with the deliverance of the Great Company out of mystic Babylon—just as Rahab was delivered out of Jericho.
Q: Please explain the representation of the two spies in the antitype.
A: They are angels who will be sent to protect the Great Company as a class in the fall of Babylon. The holy angels, who have been underneath Jesus’ supervision all down the Gospel Age as “ministering spirits” to the consecrated, will finish this work (Heb. 1:14). They have been involved in the selection and development of the true Church. When the feet members die as a class in the middle of the hour of power, they will be instantaneously resurrected and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Then Jesus and the complete Church will go as a group to the Father for the “marriage of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7). After the marriage, Jesus and the
Bride will say, “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?” (Song 8:8). They will be indirectly involved in the salvation of the Great Company left behind, for how that class will be dealt with and saved has been prepared in advance. At that juncture of time—up to the very end of the selection of the Great Company class who do not die previously of old age, sickness, accident, etc.—Jesus and the Church will be involved in their salvation. We believe that salvation will be done in regard to the action taken to bind Satan and destroy the materialized fallen angels. This is a big subject with many strands, and we are digressing far from the fifth chapter of Zechariah. In a nutshell, this chapter shows that the flying scroll, or the examination of professed Christians throughout the earth, will separate out the false, leaving just the true in the Lord’s house, or arrangement.
“I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.” In other words, the destruction of the Second Death class will be eternal, and the destruction of the false Church is symbolized by Second Death, for never again will there be a false nominal system, even at the end of the Kingdom Age. The deception in the Little Season will be along another line (Rev. 20:3,7-10). When mystic Babylon is cast into the sea, when it is burned up, the smoke of that burning will be everlasting (Rev. 18:7-9,18; 19:1-3). The destruction will be final and eternal.
Zech. 5:5 Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.
Zech. 5:6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.
Zech. 5:7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
Zech. 5:8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.
Zech. 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
Zech. 5:10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
Zech. 5:11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.
We do not list verses 5-11 as a separate vision because although different symbols are used, the scene is really a supplement to the sixth vision. Therefore, rather than a total of eight visions, we would understand the total to be seven, of which the sixth vision consists of two closely related component parts. The seven visions are separated by statements such as “I lifted up mine eyes” or “I turned.” Here the auxiliary part of the sixth vision starts with the clause “Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.”
Earlier Zechariah saw a flying scroll, and now the center of attention was an ephah, a vessel. Depending on the contents, a vessel might be made of wicker—for example, a bushel basket, which is a quantified measure. An ephah can also be metal, wood, or another material. The point is that an ephah is a measuring container. Therefore, the suggestion is that a judgment was to occur.
When Zechariah saw the object going forth and asked, “What is it?” the angel replied, “An ephah … goeth forth…. This is their resemblance through all the earth.” A transitional picture was taking place. The measuring ephah was what we sometimes call Christendom, that is, the nominal system, or arrangement. However, instead of expressing it in the singular, the angel used the plural pronoun “their”—“This is their resemblance through all the earth.” In other words, there was a plurality to this system.
What happened next? “Behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.” This wording is a little ambiguous unless we understand the purpose of the vision. Thus far the components are a vessel, a woman, and a class. Just as with the flying scroll, Zechariah was seeing a motion picture. As the flying scroll came out of the Holy, it was seen rolled up with two curled ends. Now the prophet was looking at an ephah, or measuring container, when a woman suddenly appeared. However, she was described in the plural, for she was a class, that is, the Catholic Church membership. The mother Church is a class of believers that includes a pope and certain doctrines (church canon law).
What is the thought of the woman’s sitting in the midst of the ephah? Like a queen, she controls and domineers those in the system—the church hierarchy under the pope (cardinals, bishops, priests, etc.) as well as the communicants. “This is their resemblance”; that is, they are pictured as this woman. The woman (church doctrine) domineers, but without realizing it, she herself was about to be domineered. From a position of authority that filled the container, she would be made a prisoner in her own system. When this dramatic picture is shown in the future with utmost clarity and perfection, the historic lesson will very convincingly show the significance of the events that introduce the Kingdom Age.
The angel said, “This [woman] is wickedness. And he cast it [her] into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.” The woman had been rising up, but then the angel thrust her down, slamming the lid. To portray wickedness, she must have looked like a harlot, possibly wearing seductive apparel.
A “talent of lead” weighs close to 100 pounds. This “talent,” the lid of the ephah, will cover, or imprison, the woman in the container. The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares shows that false Christians will be gathered, or bound, and then burned as tares (Matt. 13:30,40,41). Another picture shows the system being lifted up like a great millstone, a solidified mass, and cast into the sea to drown forever (Rev. 18:21,22). Thus the singular woman represents a class, a plurality, who swear falsely concerning their profession of faith (Zech. 5:3).
The vision is telling about the fate that will befall falsely professing Christians. The Great Company, who are truly consecrated, will not have this same experience—except for those who do not leave Babylon. Any of the consecrated who compromise and want to remain in the nominal system will not be yanked out. However, there are not many pictures on this element, for the main focus is on the nominal system itself.
When the lid is lifted up, what will bind the nominal system? The exposure of truth concerning the false claim of the false Church will do the binding. We see a tiny degree of this exposure with the acceptance of homosexuality in the nominal Church here in America and also with the exposure of pedophilia. As a result, some communicants are beginning to see that the nominal system does not want to change. Even when the Catholic hierarchy claims to be trying to overcome this discomfiture and to restore the prestige of the church, the efforts are in vain because priests are judging priests. An independent outside group should be used instead of allowing the hierarchy to hide behind the cloak of the ministry, using it as a protective shield.
Therefore, truth itself will expose the falseness. In the Tabernacle picture, sockets of silver (truth) held the boards, representing the true Church. The comparison between what a saint should do in the current life and what pretending Christians actually do is in itself a condemnation. The truth is a sickle that not only separates the true from the false but also eventually separates the more-than-overcomers into the heavenly barn and the false into a bundle or bundles (plural) depending on the picture.
The talent of lead that held down the woman was heavy, for it will cause the nominal Church and even the pope to swallow their words. For example, the pope professes that his words are infallible, and he makes all kinds of statements. Eventually the communicants will have their eyes opened to the fact that it is not just the priests who have erred but also the entire system. That which separates one class unto salvation will separate another class unto destruction. The dividing work, which will take place after the true Church is complete, will be climactic.
After the heavy lead cover was cast on the mouth of the ephah, Zechariah lifted up his eyes “and looked, and, behold, there came out two women” in spite of the weight of the cover. The moving picture continued. First, the prophet saw a container, then a woman in the container, and next a lead cover being put on the ephah. Then, all of a sudden, two women came out of the container. The second woman pictures Protestantism. The falsity of Papacy and the Catholic Church will be seen first. Next the falsity of the Protestant churches will be seen in the motherdaughter relationship. Both are guilty, for the Catholic Church is the mother of harlot daughters, that is, all the Protestant systems (Rev. 17:5).
Chapter 5 ends on a mysterious note. “And the wind was in their [the women’s] wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.” The arms of the women resembled the wings of a stork, which are almost like sails on a boat, billowing out to catch the wind. Zechariah then asked, “Where are the women taking the ephah?” The angel answered, “To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.” Hence the two women took the ephah to the land of Shinar (Babylon), where it would be established and set upon its own base, or pedestal. On a base she previously occupied. This ties in with the healing of the deadly wound in Revelation Chapter 13. The two that restore her to her own base, or position, would be the Two-horned beast, Protestantism, specifically the Church of England and Ireland.
The moving picture continued. In spite of the lead cover, the two women momentarily escaped from the ephah and took their sectarianism to the land of Babylon.
Traditionally, the stork has been associated with birth, and mystic Babylon has produced many illegitimate children. Also, with the stork being an unclean bird, its wings represent the misapplication of Scripture. In contrast, the wings of an eagle (the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God) carried the true Church into the wilderness, where she was nourished for a period of 1,260 years (Rev. 12:14).
The best clue to see that Shinar is Babylon is Daniel 1:2, “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [King Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god.” While Shinar had an early beginning back in the kingdom of Nimrod (Gen. 10:10), the mention in Daniel was a later application to Babylon.
What is the vision telling us? Out of the first constriction, which seemed to be inescapable captivity, the woman miraculously escaped to another location, and there she was set up on a base. In the antitype, this activity represents the setting up of the image of the beast on its “base,” which is particularly Europe since the beast, the Papacy, will be destroyed in its own heartland. Protestantism will be involved because with the downfall of Papacy, the whole setup will be seen as wrong. The Scriptures are silent as far as giving much particularity about the United States, but presumably the image of the beast, the evangelical system, will have momentary persecuting power here. In Europe, the Catholic Church and Papacy will be the persecuting force. In other lands—in Africa and Asia—the dragon, civil power, will persecute Christians. Persecution is already taking place in outer perimeters such as Sudan and Indonesia, but this is only the beginning. We are in the end-time situation, but it has not reached the climax where great decisions will have to be made. In fact, right now, probably tomorrow or the next day, an order will be sent, as the Pastor predicted in the Second Volume, enforcing ordinances for a dossier to be on the computer for every person in the United States. Not only was Big Brother in Russia in the past, but also, with the tremendous advance in technology, it will soon be here and in Europe as well. Those in government will know everything about us if they so desire, and they will be able to find the information very quickly.
The “wind” represents catering to and listening to the desires of the public. The nominal system has prospered because it has brought the ideals of truth down to the level of human thinking and desires. “Do as you please, and then go to Confession” is the attitude. The phrase “between the earth and the heaven” signifies mixing earthly and heavenly ideas, having false professions, and not adhering to the Scriptures.
In the natural picture in Zechariah’s day, the two women were Israel and Judah, who were taken to the land of Babylon because of wickedness. Of the larger remnant in captivity, a small remnant learned the lesson.
The talent of lead (the cover), which was lifted up to reveal a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah, was worthless. In contrast, the Tabernacle candlestick, which weighed one talent of gold, was valuable. A talent, a lead weight used on a scale for buying and selling, implies judgment of the woman. The candlestick, which was made of beaten gold, represents the persecution of the true Church by the false Church; it also indicates that retribution will come upon the class that is responsible for the persecution. Lead and gold are both heavy and malleable; hence the lead is a counterfeit. We are reminded of the image in the second chapter of Daniel, where the stone was the true Church and the clay was imitation stone (Dan. 2:31,33,34).
The woman was the wickedness that was cast into the ephah. Her temporary escape from the ephah will be the time when the nominal Church systems bind themselves together. The true Christian is told not to say “A confederacy, to all them to whom this [nominal] people shall say, A confederacy; neither [is the true Christian to] fear … their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isa. 8:12,13).
Instead of capital and labor being the opposing forces, as the Pastor predicted, the Muslim threat will drive Papacy and Protestantism to coalesce in the hour of power. From a human standpoint, unity, surveillance, and the suppression of liberties and human rights will seem reasonable for survival. Thus Catholics and Protestants will be bound together by fear, and the Muslims will be bound together by hatred of the common enemy. As Christians, we will be in between the two, for our consecration and dedication are to Jesus Christ, and our hope is in Jehovah, the Heavenly Father. Our citizenship is in heaven, but we abide by the laws of the land while we are in the flesh as long as they do not conflict with conscience and obedience to God.
Click here to read more about the “healing of the Deadly Wound of Revelation 13.