Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Two Sons of the Oil - Righteousness and Justice Kiss

 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4:14 Literally the reference is to Zerubbabel (prince, governor) and Joshua (priest) who were chosen and commissioned by God to build the Second Temple. 

The two anointed ones; literally, the two sons of oil. By them are intended the two powers, the regal (king) and the sacerdotal (priest), through which God's help and protection are dispensed to the theocracy (kingdom). Pulpit Commentary

The two olive trees are the two authorities, viz. the civil (king) and sacerdotal (priest), through which God communicates his grace to the Church; these stand by the Lord Because, instituted by him, they carry out his will in the ordering, guiding, extending, and purifying his kingdom among men. The two olive branches remit their oil into one receptacle, because the two authorities, the regal and priestly, are intimately connected and united, and their action tends to one end, the promotion of God's glory in the salvation of men. In Messiah these offices are united; he is the channel of Divine grace, the source of light to the whole world. Pulpit Commentary

The Two Pillars

The priest represents right standing before God (righteousness) and the king equitable standing before man (justice). These two pillars are the very foundation of the Kingdom of God. 

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before You. Psalm 89:14 

Without these two functioning as one there will be no lasting revival. Unless society is impacted what we may call a revival is no revival at all.

While being fully cognizant of the sovereignty of God - Christianity hangs on the nexus of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. It is here that the testimony of our Risen Lord escaped the bounds of becoming just another Jewish sect as His witness was thrust on the world stage. Yet it was not a member of that august council that precipitated the decision, but a Gentile.  And not only a Gentile but a Roman centurion: ‘And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a lasting memorial before God.”’ Acts 10:4 For Cornelius was a doer of righteousness (prayers) and justice (alms). 

The church is to represent the fulness of righteousness and justice in the earth - a kingly priesthood.  “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 

Justice - Not Judgement

The evangelical church in our day is woefully inadequate where the foundational principle of justice is concerned. And please do not associate justice with judgement. Judgement may very well result where justice is lacking; for justice means fair and equal treatment. This is described well by the words of the Baptist: "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise." 

This is stated so succinctly by our referenced prophet: “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’” Zechariah 7:9-10 

The resulting vacuum has largely been filled by a godless philosophy that is antithetical to the true gospel message.

When Sodom comes to mind we immediately think of sexual immorality but another stench also arises to the nostrils of God in the smoke of her destruction: "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.”  Ezekiel 16:49 

Reconciliation

I was once asked, “Do you mean that righteousness and justice are divorced.”  My reply was, “No, they are not divorced, just estranged in need of reconciliation.”

Matthew Henry has some wonderful insights to Zechariah 4:14: Zechariah desires to know what are the two olive trees. Zerubbabel and Joshua, this prince and this priest, were endued with the gifts and graces of God's Spirit. They lived at the same time, and both were instruments in the work and service of God. Christ's offices of King and Priest were shadowed forth by them. From the union of these two offices in his person, both God and man, the fullness of grace is received and imparted. They built the temple, the church of God. So does Christ spiritually. Christ is not only the Messiah, the Anointed One himself, but he is the Good Olive to his church; and from his fulness we receive.

As Jesus Christ embodied both of these foundational pillars they are occasionally found in one person as in Cornelius above and also in Solomon for the Queen of Sheba said to him: "Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness." 2 Chronicles 9:8 (Please note that the throne belongs to God, not to Solomon.) These two principles also operated in his father David, but they would be disjoined in his son Rehoboam. Subsequently the kingdom would only prosper when the king and the priest worked in concert.

Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3 

The Cross

The ultimate symbol of the oneness of righteousness and justice is the Cross of Christ. The vertical member reaches up toward God while the horizontal member reaches out to mankind. The two inseparable commandments - you shall love the Lord you God; and your neighbor as yourself - are joined together in the Person of Jesus Christ. They are found in two different books in the Old Testament - only in The Gospel are they joined together. 

In our day the kings have been relegated to the arena of secular. Nothing could be further from the truth. The kings must arise to their full stature if we are to see societal transformation which is true revival. They cannot be seen as adjunct - but intrinsic. 

Consummation 

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10 KJV  

Whether a king or a priest we are called to reign on the earth - representing a Kingdom that now is and is yet to come in its fullness. 

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