27. The Plumbline
To claim that these "two witnesses," these two olive trees and lamp stands through whom the anointing from the throne of God moves, are separate and external from ourselves is to deny the life and the power of the Holy One who sits enthroned upon our hearts. My God, do we not see Him? He is exalted above all the heavens and He is the only life we have.
27. The Plumbline
Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. Revelation 11:1-4
For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel… Zechariah 4:10
Read Zechariah 4 in the context of Revelation 11:1-4. Read it in the context of the great story of God – that God is determined to magnify His Word before all creation and before all time. God is determined to prove that His Word brings forth all the life that is in it inside of vessels of weakness – you and me – in this age and on this earth.
We do not look outside of ourselves for the fulfillment of anything God speaks. Yes, there is an external outworking, there is an impact on people and nations and history. But all of that flows out of Christ, and Christ is our life. To see the two witnesses as something external from you is the spirit of anti-Christ, it is denying that Christ is come in the flesh.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name. Philippians 2.
You can’t get any higher than Jesus, and Jesus fills our hearts.
Jesus said of John the Baptist that he was the greatest prophet of the Old Covenant, but that the least little one in the kingdom of God is far greater than John the Baptist. Why? Because Christ is our life; we have no other life.
The two witnesses are the normal Christian life – as God intends.
Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. 1 John 5
Read First John. It is impossible to understand Revelation without taking into ourselves all that John wrote. To interpret John’s vision on Patmos without drawing everything out of what John writes in his gospel and epistles leads nowhere.
To be born of God is to defeat the world. The two go hand in hand. We are not in the world to win the world. We are in the world to defeat the world by revealing all that Christ is – the antithesis of all that the world is. Christ and the world are diametrically opposed. Jesus said, “I do not pray for the world.” He said, “I have defeated the world.”
The world is that system of relationships by which selfs living for self manipulate and control one another. There are only two kinds of relationships on this planet. Love, on the one hand, versus manipulating and controlling others for gain on the other. The first is God, the second is the world.
The world in the church has nothing to do with smoking or drinking or watching movies. The world in the church is the system of relationships by which Christians manipulate and control one another for gain. Christ in the church lays down His life for one another.
We love people; we hate the world.
The problem is that many people, whom we love, love the world. Because they love the world, they will fight against those who expose the darkness of the world and who cast it down. The love of this world so fills the hearts of our brethren that they cannot see or think straight.
The love of God for them through us will carry us through.
Zerubbabel, the forefather of Joseph, heir to the throne of David, never sat in that throne. But he was given the commission by both God and Cyrus, king of Persia, to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. We know little about Zerubbabel’s temple. It was long gone by Jesus’ day. It was not Solomon’s temple, nor Ezekiel’s, nor Herod’s. It was probably the smallest of them all.
Zerubbabel returned to rebuild the temple before Ezra got there, long before Nehemiah came along to rebuild the walls of the city for defense. Two prophets were with him, Haggai and Zechariah. Haggai said, (I paraphrase) “You old folks who remember the temple of Solomon before it was destroyed, you’re crying now because of how puny this temple looks. But don’t. For the glory upon this house will be far greater than anything that was upon Solomon’s.” He was speaking of our day; no one remembers Zerubbabel’s temple.
Zerubbabel’s job was not an easy job, and the people got discouraged. It was Haggai and Zechariah who put strength into their hearts. Both of these prophets, along with Malachi who came after Nehemiah’s return, speak directly to us and to the world we find ourselves in today.
We have an anointing, and we know all things. 1 John
To claim that these “two witnesses,” these two olive trees and lamp stands through whom the anointing from the throne of God moves, are separate and external from ourselves, is to deny the life and the power of the Holy One who sits enthroned upon our hearts. My God, do we not see Him? He is exalted above all the heavens, and He is our only life.
Zechariah’s purpose in sharing the words of his fourth chapter is to impart strength and purpose into Zerubbabel’s heart. Zechariah was giving Zerubbabel that which every one of us needs – courage.
Never before in the history of man upon this earth have we needed the courage to stand in the word God speaks. We always wanted to be strong, we never realized that to be like Jesus is to walk in all weakness, with no ability of a “Christ-human” strength as we once imagined. Yet we walk with all joy of confidence, just as Jesus walked, in the certainty that as we speak what God speaks, we are just like God; God is revealed through us.
That which is a whisper through us is all the power of God. There is an attitude that wants to despise the small things, the whisper, the weak, those who don’t fit the expectations of this world. Reason, which can be a useful servant, cries against us when we imagine that we, being nothing more than a whisper crying, “Grace,” can bring down the darkness that sweeps in power across the earth.
There is a plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. There is a measurement in the church of Christ.
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13
All the fullness of Christ is my measurement; I am measured by nothing else. This is no “maybe, maybe, I’d like to be, hopefully someday,” measurement. God accepts only boldness and supreme confidence. The only way He ever leads us is to rejoice boastfully in the victory of Christ in us, a victory that we do not yet see with our eyes. We call those things that “be not” as though they are.
This measurement applies to the Holy Place and to the altar. This is not the brazen altar of the outer court, the outer court is not measured by Christ, not now. This is the altar of incense before the Holy of Holies.
Those Christians, though born again, who chose to see by the natural light of reason and who do not enter the Holy Place to see all things by the light of the Spirit of Christ are not measured at this time. This is not a condemnation, though they must go through things they cannot understand. It is for their sakes that God works through us. Though He sets many aside in this hour, it is always for their sakes that He does so.
Yet even in the Holy Place, even in the light the Holy Spirit brings to us, there is a separation. This is not a separation of elitism in any way. My God, my God, our joy is to see the many rushing past us into all of Jesus. For this joy we give ourselves to all that God speaks.
Here is the plumb line; here is the measurement.
In the light of truth and grace, in the Holy Place, there are three things. First, there is the light of the lamp stand – the illumination of the Holy Ghost, the river of life, the outpouring of power and joy. Second, there is the bread of profound teaching that gives strength and heart and sustenance – a knowledge of the word and the revelation of Christ as our life that cannot come from natural Bible study. And third there is war.
Gideon and his 300 is a story that God put in the Bible so we could understand Revelation 11:1-4, so that we could understand the final witness of Christ. Gideon’s 300 did not drive the enemy out of Israel, all Israel did that. Gideon’s 300 did not defeat the enemy, all Israel did that. All the ones that never came in the first place, those who were timid and afraid, those who were not chosen – all of them, came and entered into all the victory of God.
Gideon’s 300 opened the door; they got the enemy fleeing so that everyone could now believe that the world is defeated, that death is overcome, and that Satan and all of his demons can actually be banished from off this earth.
But how were they chosen? The plumb line.
God told Gideon to take his men down to the water to drink. This is the same as the Holy Place. Most of his men got into the water. They drank to their heart’s content with all joy. They slaked their thirst, drinking of that water, all of them.
But only 300 of those men understood reality. Only 300 of those men remembered that just a few hundred yards away were a hundred thousand savages armed to the teeth and intent on turning all Israel into their personal slaves – those they let live. Those 300 drank, yes, along with the others. But they never let their eyes go to the river, they kept their eyes on the battle ahead.
This is what we see in much grace word, in the river of life experience, in so many of those who seem to be partaking of the same drinking of Christ that we are partaking. They have forgotten the battle. They no longer see that to the same measure that we are entering into Christ, so the world is entering into anti-Christ. To the same measure that we are becoming the Lamb – Christ our life, so the world is becoming the Beast.
That’s fine! God knows all about it, and He already told us this would be the way it is. They will get their chance; they will strike their blow in its time.
Let me show you the plumb line.
“God is in control.”
This word is the way it is. God orders all things; He sets boundaries; He appoints kings; He brings down one and sets up another. He has created vessels of destruction for the final showdown. He is determined to conform us to the image of Jesus. He, working together with us, makes all things good.
“God is in control.”
This word is straight from the pit. It is Satan speaking his delusion into the church, causing them to go to sleep as he prepares their destruction. It means “Everything is just fine, no problem here, hunky dory, the world is a wonderful place, everything is just getting better and better.”
What is the difference between “God is in control” and “God is in control?” One from the throne of God, the other from the abyss? The difference is the plumb line; and that plumb line is found in our hearts.
John’s first epistle is very likely the closest book of the Bible to the throne room, to the heart of God, to the Holy of Holies. Read through it with a heart to see the whole picture in light of Christ our life. Look at how John weaves together abiding in God and defeating the world as two sides to the same thing. They are.
Speaking what God says about us, dancing in celebration as if we have already won before we have won, calling those things that be not as though they are, seeing God in all things, is really positive thinking on steroids. It is positive thinking large enough to excite God. The more I acknowledge the good things of Christ that fill me, the more I see how twisted and dark my old way of thinking was and the more I am astonished when I hear or read Christians saying things about themselves that God does not say.
On the other hand, “positive thinking” is a strategy of mind control devised by British intelligence – the Tavistock Institute – that is one of the most powerful military weapons to subjugate humanity that the Beast enjoys. It’s effect on the peoples of this world and upon the church in the world is demonic.
What is the difference? The plumb line.
The entrance into all that God is through us in this earth is the altar of incense. It is the smoke of the incense that rises into the presence of God. We live now in the Holy of Holies, but God has placed these patterns and symbols in His Word to give us a full of understanding of all of His ways towards us.
Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Revelation 8:3-6
Remember, God does not speak in visions so that we can mentally figure out the future. He speaks in visions to give us an understanding of what is – through the revelation of Christ our life.
The revelation of God is not a walk in the park; it is not a merry dance through a field of flowers. The revelation of God is a cataclysm; it is battle. It is ruin, and it is triumph. In other words, it is real to life as it is in this world.
The revelation of God is the greatest story every written; the greatest tale ever told. You and I are the heroes of God’s story – Christ in us. He has chosen us.