Let Your Light So Shine Before Men
Whenever an individual will fulfil in his very soul the antitype of the typical “whole” burnt-offering, that is, wholly surrender himself to God, place himself and all he has upon the altar, to be consumed in God’s service as He directs, that individual, whether he be rich or poor, learned or ignorant, will be covered with the fragrant incense of Christ’s righteousness, and his name will be enrolled with the church of the first-born in heaven; and here in this sin-cursed earth, as he goes to and fro, he will be a part of the great candlestick, and from his life will shine out the bright rays of the Spirit of God.
The question may arise in many hearts, how may I become a light-bearer in the earth? When Zerubbabel was trying under very adverse circumstances to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, he came to a time when the difficulties appeared like mountains before him. Then the Lord sent His prophet with a message to help and encourage him. Zechariah was given a view of the golden candlesticks, and was also shown whence the oil came that supplied the lamps. He saw two olive-trees, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on the left side, which through golden pipes kept the lamps supplied with oil, that they might burn brightly. Zechariah 4:1-14 The prophet asked the angel the meaning of what he saw. In reply the angel said: “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Then he gave a message to Zerubbabel to go forward, and said that the mountain of difficulties would become a plain before him, and that as surely as his hands had laid the foundations of the house of the Lord, so surely would he finish it.
Zerubbabel was walking by faith in the words of the prophets who had foretold how and when, Jerusalem would be rebuilt; 2 Chronicles 36:20-23Jeremiah 25:12Hosea 1:7. but those prophets were dead, and he now faced difficulties that he might be tempted to think the prophets never expected would arise. Then God sent a living prophet with a message of encouragement, to keep the light burning, and enable Zerubbabel to press forward and complete the work prophesied of by the dead prophets.
We can not comprehend the word of the Lord without the Spirit to enlighten our minds. The light shines to the degree in which we take the word and risk our all upon it: and as we come into difficulties in following out the instruction given through the dead prophets, the Lord sends messages of strength and encouragement through the living prophet, to enable us to press forward to victory.
“These are the two sons of oil (light-givers), that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” It is the Spirit of God accompanying the word which has been committed to the people, that will give light. Whatever the prophets of God have revealed to man in the past, is light; and those who have adhered strictly to the testimony of God by His prophets, although it may be hundreds of years after the testimony was given, are spoken of favorably by the living prophet, as Zechariah spoke to Zerubbabel. CIS 52.3-CIS 54.1