Even he shall build the temple - Joshua, not Zerubbabel.
He shall bear the glory - Have all the honor of it; for none can do this but himself. The Messiah is still intended.
And shall sit and rule upon his throne - For the government of the Church shall be upon his shoulder.
And he shall be a priest upon his throne - He shall, as the great high priest, offer the only available offering and atonement; and so he shall be both king and priest, a royal king and a royal priest; for even the priest is here stated to sit upon his throne.
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both - Whom? Zerubbabel and Joshua? Certainly not Zerubbabel, for he is not mentioned in all this prediction; but, as the Messiah is intended, the counsel of peace - the purpose to establish peace between heaven and earth, must be between the Father and the Son.
Even He - Literally, “He Himself.” The repetition shows that it is a great thing, which he affirms; “and He,” again emphatic, “He,” the same who shall build the temple of the Lord, “He shall bear the glory.” Great must be the glory, since it is affirmed of Him as of none beside, “He shall bear glory,” “He should build the temple of the Lord,” as none beside ever built it; He should bear glory, as none beside ever bare it, “the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:14. This word glory is almost always used of the special glory of God, and then, although seldom, of the Majesty of those, on whom God confers majesty as His representatives, as Moses, or Joshua Numbers 27:20, or “the glory of the kingdom” given to Solomon 1 Chronicles 29:25. It is used also of Him, a likeness of whom these vicegerents of God bare, in a Psalm whose language belongs (as Jews too have seen,) to One more than man, although also of glory given by God, either of grace or nature.
So in our Lord‘s great High Priest‘s prayer lie says, “Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine ownself with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” John 17:5; and prays, “that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me, where I am; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me” John 17:24. So Paul, applying the words of the eighth Psalm, says of our Lord, “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and horror” Hebrews 2:9; and the angels and saints round the Throne say, “Worthy is the Lamb which was slain to receive power and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing, and those on earth answer, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever” Revelation 5:12-13. That glory Isaiah saw; in His miracles He “manifested forth His glory” John 12:41, “which resided in Him” John 2:11; in His Transfiguration, the three Apostles “saw His glory” Luke 9:32, shining out from within Him; “into this His glory” (Luke 24:26; add 1 Peter 1:11-12), He told the disciples at Emmaus, the prophets said, that He was to enter, having first suffered what He suffered; in this His glory He is to sit, when He judges. “And He shall sit and rule on His Throne” Matthew 19:28; Luke 9:26. His rule shall be, not passing but abiding, not by human might, but in peaceful majesty, as God says, “Yet have I set My king upon My holy bill of Zion” Psalm 2:6, and again, Sit Thou on My Right Hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” Psalm 110:1; and the angel said to Mary, “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end” Luke 1:32-33.
And He shall be a priest upon His Throne - He shall be at once king and priest, as it is said, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedec.” When the Christ should reign, He should not cease to be our Priest. He, having all power given to Him in heaven and earth, reigneth over His Church and His elect by His grace, and over the world by His power, yet ever liveth to make intercession for us. Rup.: “Not dwellings now on what is chiefest, that “by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invincible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” Colossians 1:16-17, how many crowns of glory belong to Him, One and the Same, God and man, Christ Jesus! He then “will bear glory and will sit upon His throne and shall be a priest on His throne.”
How just this is, it is easier to think than to express, that “He should sit and rule all things, by whom all things were wade, and He should be a Priest forever,” by whose Blood all things are reconciled. “He shall rule then upon His throne, and He shall be a priest upon His throne,” which cannot be said of any of the saints, because it is the right of none of them, to call the throne of his rule or of his priesthood his own, but of this Only Lord and Priest, whose majesty and throne are one and the same with the Majesty of God, as He saith, “When the Son of Man shall come in His Majesty (Glory), then shall He sit upon the throne of His Majesty (Glory)” Matthew 25:31. And what meaneth that re-duplication, and He shall rule on His Throne, but that One and the Same, of whom all this is said, should be and is King and Priest. He who is King shall rule on His Throne, because kingdom and priesthood shall meet in One Person, and One shall occupy the double throne of kingdom and priesthood.” He alone should be our King; He alone our Saviour: He alone the Object of our love, obedience and adoration.
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both - “The counsel of peace” is not merely peace, as Jerome seems to interpret: “He is both king and priest, and shall sit both on the royal and sacerdotal throne, and there shall be peaceful counsel between both, so that neither should the royal eminence depress the dignity of the priesthood, nor the dignity of the priesthood, the royal eminency, but both should be consistent in the glory of the One Lord Jesus.” For had this been all, the simple idiom, “there shall be peace between them,” would have been used here, as elsewhere (Judges 4:17; 1 Samuel 7:14; 1 Kings 5:16 (12English)). But “counsel of peace,” must, according to the like idioms, signify “a counsel devising or procuring peace” for some other than those who counsel thereon. We have the idiom itself, “counsellors of peace” Proverbs 12:20.
They twain - Might be said of things: but things are naturally not said to counsel, so that the meaning should be, that the thrones of the priests and of the Branch should counsel. For the throne is in each case merely subordinate. It is not as we might say, “the See of Rome,” or “of Constantinople,” or “of Canterbury,” meaning the successive Bishops. It is simply the material throne, on which He sits. Nor is anything said of any throne of a priest, nor had a priest any throne. His office was to stand “before the Lord,” his intercessorial office to “offer gifts and sacrifices for sin” Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 9:9. To “offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins and then for the people‘s” Hebrews 7:27, was his special office and honor.
There are then not two thrones. One sits on His Throne, as King and Priest. It seems only to remain, that the counsel of peace should be between Jesus and the Father; as Jerome says, “I read in the book of some, that this, “there shall be a peaceful counsel between the two,” is referred to the Father and the Son, because He “came to do not His own will, but the Will of the Father” John 5:30; John 6:38, and “the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father” John 14:10. In Christ all is perfect harmony. There is a counsel of peace between Him and the Father whose temple He builds. The Will of the Father and the Son is one. Both had one Will of love toward us, the salvation of the world, bringing forth peace through our redemption. God the Father “so loved the world, that He gave His Only-Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16; and God the Son “is our peace, who hath made both one, that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross, and came and preached peace to them which were afar off and to them that were nigh” Ephesians 2:14, Ephesians 2:16-17.
Others seem to me less naturally to interpret it of Christ in His two offices. Rup.: “There shall be the counsel of peace between them, the ruler and the priest, not that Christ is divided, but that those two princedoms, which were hitherto divided, (the priest and the king being different persons) should be united in the One Christ. Between these two princedoms, being inseparably joined in one, shall be the counsel of peace, because through that union we have peace; and through Him “it pleased the Father to reconcile all things unto Himself, and that all things should be brought to peace through the Blood of His cross, whether things in earth or things in heaven” Colossians 1:19-20.
Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God. Their work was not easy. The opening labors of the Christian church were attended by hardship and bitter grief. In their work the disciples constantly encountered privation, calumny, and persecution; but they counted not their lives dear unto themselves and rejoiced that they were called to suffer for Christ. Irresolution, indecision, weakness of purpose, found no place in their efforts. They were willing to spend and be spent. The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience, and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ. With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant. AA 595.1
Upon the foundation that Christ Himself had laid, the apostles built the church of God. In the Scriptures the figure of the erection of a temple is frequently used to illustrate the building of the church. Zechariah refers to Christ as the Branch that should build the temple of the Lord. He speaks of the Gentiles as helping in the work: “They that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord;” and Isaiah declares, “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.” Zechariah 6:12, 15; Isaiah 60:10. AA 595.2
Writing of the building of this temple, Peter says, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5. AA 595.3Read in context »
The sacrificial service that had pointed to Christ passed away; but the eyes of men were turned to the true sacrifice for the sins of the world. The earthly priesthood ceased; but we look to Jesus, the minister of the new covenant, and “to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” “The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: ... but Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, ... by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 12:24; 9:8-12. DA 166.1
“Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Though the ministration was to be removed from the earthly to the heavenly temple; though the sanctuary and our great high priest would be invisible to human sight, yet the disciples were to suffer no loss thereby. They would realize no break in their communion, and no diminution of power because of the Saviour's absence. While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church. DA 166.2
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, ... Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16. DA 166.3Read in context »
Thus those who were studying the subject found indisputable proof of the existence of a sanctuary in heaven. Moses made the earthly sanctuary after a pattern which was shown him. Paul teaches that that pattern was the true sanctuary which is in heaven. And John testifies that he saw it in heaven. GC 415.1
In the temple in heaven, the dwelling place of God, His throne is established in righteousness and judgment. In the most holy place is His law, the great rule of right by which all mankind are tested. The ark that enshrines the tables of the law is covered with the mercy seat, before which Christ pleads His blood in the sinner's behalf. Thus is represented the union of justice and mercy in the plan of human redemption. This union infinite wisdom alone could devise and infinite power accomplish; it is a union that fills all heaven with wonder and adoration. The cherubim of the earthly sanctuary, looking reverently down upon the mercy seat, represent the interest with which the heavenly host contemplate the work of redemption. This is the mystery of mercy into which angels desire to look—that God can be just while He justifies the repenting sinner and renews His intercourse with the fallen race; that Christ could stoop to raise unnumbered multitudes from the abyss of ruin and clothe them with the spotless garments of His own righteousness to unite with angels who have never fallen and to dwell forever in the presence of God. GC 415.2
The work of Christ as man's intercessor is presented in that beautiful prophecy of Zechariah concerning Him “whose name is the Branch.” Says the prophet: “He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His [the Father's] throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. GC 415.3Read in context »
Through the promised Seed, the God of Israel was to bring deliverance to Zion. “There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Isaiah 11:1; 7:14, 15. PK 695.1
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:2-5, 10. PK 695.2
“Behold the Man whose name is the Branch; ... He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. PK 695.3Read in context »