MAY 1, 2009
Zechariah, the prophetic book, is filled with graphics, symbolism, and a steady stream of reference which runs between the days of the prophet all the way to the current hour. Separating this collage into a concise word to the Shepherds is not difficult. The admonitions center around the verses in Chapters 10-13.
Therefore, this study will be in two parts: the first will be more or less a background or overview of the entire book; the second will zero in on the "art of being a 'worthless' leader."
Part One: Background
Zechariah is a not a "one theme" book. Yes, there are dark forecasts within its pages, but they are surrounded with words of encouragement and hope. If there is a theme that stands out, it is "God's appraisal is different than man's."
Within its chapters are many action graphics some of them rather exotic: horses and horsemen, surveyor's lines, craftsmen with tools, measuring lines, plumb lines, chariots, flying scrolls and flying baskets. Each graphic is entwined with the other.
Symbolic objects and persons parade between the graphics to lend depth to the prophet's message of hope and correction. Golden candlesticks, the person of Zerubbabel and the person of Joshua, as well as various other characters, are amply displayed.
Scenes with spiritual significance grace Zechariah's vision, such as sheep (representing the flock of God) and Shepherds emblemizing religious leadership.
Each grouping has both place and time considerations for their time lines run through all history, often changing from Zechariah's time to those at the end of the ages. Because of the time variants, the prophet's applications become universal through spiritual generations-applicable to all who journey in the Word.
Method of Discovery: Pointing to the paintings:
This will be the method employed in the following study. It will be like walking through a huge gallery of artworks and me pointing randomly to interesting items. The author wishes only to afford the reader a glimpse into the complexity of Zechariah's labors.
1. The action graphics:
Zechariah applies technique to his work. His is an appraisal approach: A-D constitute various approaches to appraising the situation of his day. Just as there are appraisal techniques in real estate, these too "show the lay of the land."
A=the overall view (community) B=comparable view C=cost review D=General summary
A. Zechariah 1:8ff The horsemen. Their responsibility is to purvey the land for the Lord and report its spiritual status. They give a summary report.
Parallel appraisals: E= reviewing the cost of doing nothing F=things that must be removed G=assistance available
E. Zechariah 5:1ff The flying Scroll. This is a huge book. The measurements are given to show the extent of the writing of the curse upon those who are thieves and perjurers. (The Shepherds of deception and graft.)
Beginning with 2:11, there starts an "in that day" sequence which is used extensively for the Day of the Lord and is frequently injected into and throughout the book.
2. The symbolisms:
Part Two: The Shepherds:A. Zechariah 3:1ff Joshua, the High Priest. Note Joshua represents spiritual authority, just like Zerubbabel stands for civil authority. Joshua, after being cleaned up (the Lord knows that religious leadership needs cleansing up and they are unable and unwilling to do the clean up themselves), is crowned. *
Spiritual Correction for the Shepherds:
I personally think it is past time to quit protecting the office and the office holder, whether pastor, evangelist, teacher, apostle or prophet! Somehow, the levity by which we have given proprietary privilege has resulted in the sheep being led astray. The flocks of God today have no shepherd, though they pay for pastors, ministry leaders and worship crews. They have been robbed, and the answer given them is: "Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich, Zechariah 11:5."A. Zechariah 7:5 The Big Issue: Is all religious activity really for God? The Lord asked, "Did you really fast for Me---for Me?" Most Christian activity is self-centered and for self-aggrandizement! No, I exclude nothing from this statement!
Not only does this include the evangelist who announced, "I am the richest man in New Orleans (After announcing, "I got mine, you get yours," to a group of ministers)," it includes many others of the ministry trade professionals. It includes the authors of popularist materials such as, Left Behind (a book with no Biblical foundation) along with other LeHayisms. It includes the diatribes of taste-pleasing enthusiasts with their success manuals, best life hype. It includes the Lucadoian sweets rolled in devotional passivism. It includes the worship singers and their ever cascading musical thrills designed for "golden awards." It includes the tantalizing prophetic morass that joins hands to invade every crevice of mindless spiritism. It includes the majority of pulpit sermonic panoramic tidbits, surrounded by a display designed to please the insatiable lust of a media driven 5-minute attention span. It includes most of what is written and sung in today's straw-grasping dualism that occupies the places of authority and leadership in the modern church. What it does not include are the invectives from the original John, the mikvahite, whose only message was, "You generation of vipers, Who has warned you of the wrath to come?" This was his and God's message to the church of his day.
Notice in this verse that the message is clear. The flock is "owned" by the shepherds. The owners are heartless and have no regard at all that the flock is to be annihilated. How does this differ from today? It differs only in expanse and intensity! What does one feed a flock to prepare them for slaughter? The fare of the average pulpit or convention speaker is the answer. Give them what they want and plenty of it, healthy or not. Give them something that fills their bellies and offers a quick fix while they are penned up for the kill.Zechariah 11:4, 5 (These words are directed to the prophet) Thus says the Lord my God, "feed the flock for slaughter, whose owners slaughter them and feel no guilt; those who sell them say, 'Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich'; and their shepherds do not pity them.
(Recently, I attended a Cowboy Church. They are a part of the Assemblies of God. As I sat thinking about this flock, I thought, "My God, look at what is being fed these folks." I listened as the Word was twisted to fit an agenda. I wrestled with standing up and saying, "Listen, step down pastor---not only do you not know the meaning of this passage, but you absolutely have lied to this congregation about the meaning." Not one of his sheep acted like they could discern the error pouring out on them. Their response was placid and when the service ended, the summation should have been this… "I have said all this to cause you to cough up enough to pay for the new building we are building to use in indoctrinating young people with the same drivel I have preached today!" Yes, an invitation was given. Yes, some responded. Yes, every sign of success was evident…but success in what?Zechariah 11:15-17
At a recent Seminar, I gave the assignment to a mixed audience of shepherds and sheep to read overnight the passages in Zechariah 10 and 11. The following morning, I asked them, "What did you get from this reading?" One sheep after another spoke up through amazement and said, "I learned that worthless shepherds are to be dealt with." Not one shepherd uttered a word! Enough said!
The five fold ministry is to EDIFY the sheep, not shear them, sell the wool and brag about doing it. Many of the worthless shepherds have administered their form of deliverance and left the sheep in a worse condition than before. Many a pulpiteer flails on schedule during punctuated days of the week, offering advice and platitudes to a people who are lost and bound for hell (yes, I mean those good members who think they are converted and ought to read, the Memoirs of Chas. G. Finney.) In reviewing Finney they would find his opinion of the clergy (early 1800's). He thought them to be mostly unconverted. Finney considered his mission was to convert those within these sundry audiences. (A greater mission is needed today.) No wonder the great clergymen of his day, like Dr. Beecher, fought him tooth and nail and went to their graves declaring him to be "out of order.") It is time to be "out of order" in order for God's Ministry to replace the worthless shepherds of this day! Notice that the "goatherds" were to be punished with the worthless shepherds. These are the support teams, the associative ministries that bolster the worthless ones. Look out church, the slate needs to be wiped clean. Those who sit in pews and contribute to deception are not off the hook either. They are being fed for the slaughter and God is aware of it and calling for it!
O, it is time to say that the soon coming judgment will cause the cry of Zechariah 11:3 to be heard once again,
There is the sound of wailing shepherds! For their glory is in ruins.
Zechariah's Staff: broken in two. Read these verses!
Zechariah's Message:Throughout Zechariah, there is a phrase used: "In that day." Count the many times it is used in these chapters and note what happens after each exclamation. That study will beat anything you will hear on any of the Saturday or Sunday services!
Until Next Month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
FROM THE MAILBAG
Commenting on the Lake Hamilton Meetings:
From JLW, Hot Springs, Ark.
Dearest Brother Oliver,
I wanted to take this time to thank you for this weekend at Lake Hamilton BC. What a wonderful opportunity to hear you speak and meet you in person! You have truly opened a new realm of worship to me and given me the challenge of not just yielding to the Holy Spirit but immediately responding to His call.
We sometimes feel as if we are in some kind of exile here in Hot Springs. Oh to have a Spirit filled speaker such as yourself available here in town! I realize I cannot know or comprehend our Father's plan and take comfort in knowing He has a purpose in all things. Any suggestions you have toward furthering my "maturity" would be greatly appreciated…Thank you for giving so much of yourself and please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily! In the love of God our Father and assurance that He will keep His promise to you I remain, yours sincerely, JLW
General Newsletter Comment:
From BG, San Leon, Tx
Dear Dr. Oliver,
I was given your book Sons of Zadok about 3 years ago. It sat on a shelf for about a year and one day I picked it up and started reading it. At first it was almost more than I could handle at one time. I would put it down and go back to it in 2 or three weeks. After about 5 months of doing this I finally picked it up and read it completely in just a few days. Oh my Dear Lord what revelation and anointing in this book. I found you on line and signed up for your newsletters. At times I would not have time to read them and would just print them to read later. Well, I live in Texas and recently survived Hurricane Ike, our home took 5 feet of water. So when your newsletters came I just printed them and put them away to read when time permitted. I have been teaching a home Bible study since 2001 and at times have taught angels, but after hurricane Ike we had to move the study to a friend's church on Mon. nights.
Well, several weeks ago I came across all the Newsletters I had been storing up and started to read them. The first one I read was Consumed by His Fire, and as I went along there were several that spoke about the "Fire". So I begin to research "Fire" and could not believe how often fire was talked about in God's Word.
Well about 5 weeks ago I did a lesson called "fire" and listed some ways God used fire in His Word. Then after that I began teaching from your Newsletters and we have made it through Consumed......, The Baptism and the Burning and last night we did, Speaking through the Fire. Oh my Word, Dr. Oliver, the Spirit of the Lord has been falling so strong in these Bible studies and all are being touched. We started out with 3 or 4 and now we have grown to 10 in just 5 weeks. I believe God will continue to add but it certainly is a different anointing than before. I thank God for you and your faithfulness to His Word and the "Truth" of his Word.
I do hope you don't mind if we are studying from the Newsletters, of course when we study the Holy Spirit reveals even more than what is there. It has been and awesome experience and I wanted to thank you sooooooooo much for sending out the monthly Newsletters that preach and teach the Word of God. God bless you in all you put your hand to. Becky G.
In response to the Barnabus Mam newsletter, April 1, 2009:
From PD, Topeka, Ks.
Dr. Oliver - I have been seeking the Lord as to where he wants me to invest kingdom money and I believe he wants me to invest in this ministry.
(Editor's Note: Many of you have invested in the work in Cambodia and we appreciate each gift, we are stewards and will see that the work receives the total given to them as quickly as we can negotiate it.)
Commenting on Sons of Zadok Syllabus:
From KF, England:
Dear Dr. Oliver and Ms Betty,
Warmest Greetings to you both!
Over the weekend we received your two precious Syllabus's (or is it syllabi?) Sons of Zadok. Brilliant. Thank you so much. I will spend many hours enjoying the comments and questions, squeezing even more out this wonderful book.
I think the exam questions for the Bible College students at the end of June may just contain a few from this publication!
(Editor's Note: We hope all who have read or plan to read Sons of Zadok will take advantage of the offer of the syllabus for intense study. It is worth the extra cost of $7.95. We hope you will think it "brilliant" too.)
FROM THE CAMP MEETING AT HOT SPRINGS:
Dr. Oliver was one of the speakers at Lake Hamilton Bible Camp, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Thursday, April 9 through Sunday, April 12, for their Spring (Passover) Camp. These services are available on both CD and DVD. Anyone wishing to order copies may do so by contacting the camp for availability and pricing. You may contact the camp by telephone at (501) 525-8204, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, on their web site, http://www.lakehamiltonbiblecamp.com/index.html, or by mail at 6191 Central Ave., Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913.
Here are some pictures from these meetings:
Bro. Don Davis, playing and leading worship. Don and his wife, Beverly, are in charge of the distribution of our Spanish volumes.
Dr. C.R. Oliver, Main Guest Speaker for the camp. Focus: Called to be Saints.
Jim and Brenda McCants alongside Betty and Dr. Oliver before service as the crowd gathers. Jim heads up the audio and video portions of the ministry. He creates the CD's and DVD's that are used as adjuncts. He also contributes to the tech side of the work by supplying programs and much needed advice. They reside in Walterboro, S.C.
Dr. Glenn Miller and Bro. Davis in a pre-service photo. Bro. Miller is the "boss" over the camp and although in his upper 80's supervises, labors alongside, engineers the camp plant and is project superintendent for a newly discovered artesian water supply.
Service Leaders during the Camp Meeting. Dr. Oliver and Betty, Beverly and Don Davis. Beverly sang and preached as did Don. They reside in Kerrville, Texas and have Doulos Ministries. email@example.com
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