“Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees], is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6 AMP).
“…he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and LIBERALITY; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does act of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness” (Romans 12:8 AMP).
This past Sunday in church, we were blessed by Andrew Damazio as our quest speaker. The title of his message was, “10 Signs of a Supernatural Church.” [Acts 2]
As I was having my quiet time this morning, Holy Spirit laid on my heart the above two Bible verses. As I began to study and uncover the evidences of Sign #7 given in the morning message, I quickly discovered that more liberals are needed in today’s churches. As Andrew stated, to be a ‘supernatural church’, there are obvious signs.
SIGN #7: Fruit of the Spirit and Giving.
The Golden Lampstand in Zechariah 4:2 is a symbol of divine testimony; the out-shining of God’s glory.
An angel was speaking to Zechariah and said to him, “What do you see? I said, I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl [for oil] on the top of it and its seven lamps on it, and [there are] seven pipes to each of the seven lamps which are upon the top of it.”
Lying behind all God’s activities with men is the reason for man’s creation; His desire to display His glory. The human race failed as a whole to realize this grand design. But the testimony of the glory was taken up by individual witnesses (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others). The enormous responsibility rested on their shoulders.
Then the testimony passed from individuals to a nation–Israel. Ultimately, Israel failed. So the testimony was transferred and passed to the Church, consisting of Israelites to whom Gentiles were later added.
The Glory of God certainly blazed up anew in the Church in the beginning (Acts 2). In the course of time, speaking in general terms, the Church has also failed. One of the seven churches of Asia, recorded in The Book of revelation was threatened with the entire removal of its Lampstand (Rev.2:5).
The article, as beautiful in itself, has no significance by its mere form (shown in the photo). But only the light of God blazes out from it. This is what God is always seeking, the display of His glory in and through His people–His church.
The Temple’s Menorah and Zachariah’s Menorah are made from solid gold, symbolizing the light of God’s truth to the world. Gold symbolizes holiness and purity.
The bowl is filled with Olive oil which is the source for the oil which in turn feeds the lamp. In the Temple, the job of the priest was to maintain the oil. Here in the bowl, it is over the lamp feeding the lamp oil directly from the Olive trees.
From the center pipe, six pipes branched out, ending with lamps. Exodus 25:37 gives a description of the seven lamps on the Menorah. Jesus, when He appeared to John in Revelation, chapter 1 was in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. The lamps represented the seven churches; Christ light to the nations through the church.
They stood near the lampstand, to the left and right of the bowl. Beaten olive oil was fuel for the Menorah of the Tabernacle and the Temple. Olive oil was also the chief ingredient of anointing oil used in anointing kings and priests (Exodus 30:24).
The question before us in Zechariah 4:11; if the vision essentially shows a solution of continual beating, storing and dispensing of oil, then what does the interpretation in verses 6 thru 10 mean?
The interpreting angel gives us the answer: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts” (verse 6).
The lamp of Exodus was maintained by human endeavor in obedience to a God-given plan. The lamp of Zechariah omits the need of human endeavor. The vision is all about the oil and the interpretation is all about the Holy Spirit.
The puzzle of verses 6-10 is, while God clearly asserts it was going to be done through His Spirit and then emphasized, the Spirit will be the working agency of the human hand. How does this all relate to the signs of a “Supernatural Church”?
Anointing oil’s significance is to be “anointed”; to be made sacred (consecrated); to be set apart and dedicated to serve God; to be endowed with enabling gifts and grace; to be divinely designated, inaugurated, chosen for some purpose in this life of ours. We know this subject is important to God because the words anoint, anointed, and anointing appear more than 150 Spirit-inspired verses including 22 New Testament Scriptures. If you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus, you are “anointed.” You are priests; prince and princes; heirs to the throne of God. Say to yourself out loud, “I am anointed” [I will bring this out againin Romans 12:8].
The English word anoint is derived from ancient Latin; inunctus, “smear with oil.” Anointing was appropriated to equip us for the task of giving. When God calls, He qualifies, He equips and He has already prepared us to be givers through the Holy spirit.
GLORY IN THE HEART–Romans 12:6-8:
“Blessed [are you–happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you” (1 Peter 4:14 AMP).
Can you feel the GLORY resting on your shoulders right now? A quick observation on the gifts and ministries of the Spirit. There is a reason for gifts of the Spirit; something of the nature and attributes of God shown through God’s people; the Church. Not the church building, for we are the church; we have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on our shoulders.
The gift of exhortation is a glimpse into how God exhorts, urges, presses, spurs, warns us (Romans 12:8).
The gift of giving is a glimpse into how God desires to lavish upon us things for our good. The giving of the gifts given is for our edification; it enables us to get a glimpse of the nature of God as He personally works in the lives of His people. The more you exercise your giving, the better others are able to see how the particular area of life in the Body works itself out in their own lives. I might not have the gift of evangelism but…if I want to know how to evangelize, then I should seek someone in the Body (the church) who God has gifted in that area. Someone might not have the gift of teaching but…if that person wanted to get a handle on how to instruct, let’s say his children, you may want to observe how that gift is being used by a teacher, who wants to give then glean from him or her. So we shouldn’t think we’re not given a particular gift by the Spirit. At the same time, we’re not responsible for seeking to please God in areas outside our particular giving or gifts. The gift of giving goes beyond what we think or even imagine God expects from us.
OUR CAUTION–Romans 12:8:
The last part of verse 8 deals with our attitudes; our heart condition as we do the giving. Most people think that when we talk about “giving”, we are talking about money; tithes and offerings. That is true, but giving is much more.
Picture for just a minute a curtain rod attached above your bedroom window. Hanging from the rod are curtains from top to bottom. If one end of the curtain rod falls down on the carpet, then everything else slip off the rod into a pile. Do you have a clear picture of that pile on the floor?
Now suppose that curtain rod that’s holding everything up, is called the LOVE ROD. Hanging on the rod is your giving, your faith, prophecy, teaching, encouraging, giving aid, practical service… Everything hangs on the LOVE ROD! If the ‘love rod’ slips and falls, then everything hanging on it will land on the floor of despair in a heap.
Verses 9 of Romans 12 adds, “[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing)”; without hypocrisy or selfishness. What’s LOVE got to do with your giving? EVERYTHING!
Paul mentions three gifts:
3. SHOWING MERCY.
He tells us how our giving is to be administered in the exercising of all spiritual gifts. Paul says the giving is to be used with, SIMPLICITY, DILIGENCE and CHEERFULNESS.
Simplicity–means “with sincerity; free from mental pretense and hypocrisy.” Whether it is giving or any other exercise of spiritual gifts. Our giving must be from a pure heart as ministers of Jesus. Without thoughts of self; serving Him for His glory and not for our own personal gain.
Diligence–the word means “with haste” (Our word “speed” comes from this word); earnestness striving after something. It refers to seeing the urgency of the moment, of some need around us, then reaching out to make a difference in the lives of others while still time.
Cheerfulness–This word means “with excited joy and readiness of mind.” We get the English word “hilarious” from the Greek word. Giving in the service of God should fill our hearts with unbridled joy, excitement. Can you just imagine what it would be like in church during the “tithes and offerings” segment of the service and people gave “with excited joy and readiness of mind”? Not faking it until you make it but from the heart. It might even be called a “Supernatural Church”!
A “SUPERNATURAL CHURCH” IN THE COMMUNITY:
Romans 12:8 says, than when we do the giving, “let him do it in simplicity and liberality..” That is where I got the idea for the title of this blog post: WANTED: More Liberals in the Church. You probably were a bit confused at first but hopefully you get the idea; people who are giving liberally will become a supernatural church!
The idea in a “supernatural church” is the giving as we serve and an excited heart; giving glory to your church because you want to! Witnessing, tithing because you want to! Being in a supernatural church is all about what the Lord wants you and I to be!