by Bill Burns
P. O. Box 1148
Kremmling, Colorado 80459
The craftsmen (Zechariah 1:20-21) are the sent ones who will shape the living stones through the preaching of the word of truth.
Proverbs 20: 15 ¶ There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
The craftsmen are those who receive the key of knowledge (Luke 11:52 and Matthew 16:19). They are those who will be anointed to build the House of the Lord, and will be like those that God used to build the tabernacle in Moses' day.
Exodus 28: 3 "So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aarons garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest."
The Hebrew word that translates artisan is chakam, which means "wise and gifted." The artisan was the one that cut, polished and set the stones in the breastplate and ephod. (Exodus 23:9-21) The artisan (craftsman) also engraved the names of the tribes of Israel on the stones.
The Hebrew word that translates craftsman (NKJV) in Zechariah 1:21 is charash, which means artisan and engraver.
In Moses' day, the word of God was written on stone tablets, and the names of the tribes were written on the precious stones that the high priest wore over his heart.
Today, the word of God is engraved or written on our hearts by the anointed word of God (Hebrews 10:15-16). The anointed artisans of this day are the four craftsmen who will preach the truth of God's word in power, and it will cast out the false doctrine of the four horns. (Zechariah 1:18-21)
The craftsmen will establish the foundation of truth that the first-century apostles taught.
Ephesians 2: 19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
This foundation of truth will be that which Zion is built on in the last days.
Hebrews 12: 22-23 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.
The foundation of New Jerusalem is built on precious stones. God's people are the living stones (1 Peter 2:4) that are being polished to reflect the light of Christ in this, the end of the age. (Revelation 21:19-23)
The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus will be our crown and jewel (diadem) in that day, which is this day, the third day of Christ.
Isaiah 28: 5-6 In that day the LORD of hosts will be For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty To the remnant of His people, for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
And he also speaks of the gentile church as a royal diadem as well.
Isaiah 62: 1-3 For Zions sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalems sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.
At one time Satan's covering was the precious stones of God's creation (Ezekiel 28:13-14). Satan fell from God's grace because of his rebellion, and he lost his covering and his horn was filled with darkness. Then, the Righteous One, Jesus, took the stones of Eden to make the foundation of His city. The Master has shaped and polished us as His living stones, and He holds us in His heart.
The craftsmen will build on the foundation of truth with gold (divine instruction and God's purpose), silver (the message of the power of the cross of redemption), and precious stones (the word of truth that polishes and perfects).
1 Corinthians 3: 9-13 For we are Gods fellow workers; you are Gods field, you are Gods building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each ones work, of what sort it is.
The Work of the Craftsman (Artisan):
A modern-day term for one who cuts, shapes and polishes stone is lapidary. The work of the lapidary is very easily compared to God's work in us. There are basically four steps to the lapidary process. They are:
1. Remember we are seeing ourselves in this process. We are the stones being perfected. The lapidary takes the stone that has been taken out of the earth and examines it. In the same way, God takes us out of the earth and examines us to see what work needs to be done. The lapidary then uses a saw with a diamond blade to cut off a part of the rock that he wants to make into a precious stone. At this point we are separated (cut out) for God's purposes for us.
2. The lapidary then holds the stone in his hand and begins to shape the stone on his grindstone. (You get the picture.) The stone is ground until it has the shape or image that the artisan desires.
3. The lapidary then sands the stone to make it very smooth. All of the rough edges are removed. Steps two and three remind us of the work of sanctification that takes place in the Master's hands, and these two steps take a lot of time and effort. We must be shaped by God into the image of Christ, and then we must be perfected (sanded) until we have no rough parts (sin) or scratches (wounds of rejection).
4. The fourth step is the polishing. While steps two and three can take a long time, the polishing is accomplished very quickly. This process enables us to reflect the light of Jesus Christ. The stones are not used in the royal diadem and put on display until they are polished and become precious gemstones. A gem is a stone that has been cut and polished.
Matthew 13: 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
The whole lapidary process from beginning to end takes place with the use of oil or water. The saw blade runs in oil. Water is applied to the grindstone, sandpaper and buffing pad. Water and oil are symbols of the Holy Spirit, and we know that it is the Holy Spirit who is doing the work of the lapidary with us.
The artisans (lapidaries) of this day will use the anointed word of God to cut, shape, perfect, and polish God's living stones. And, they will become God's diadems, His special treasure.
Exodus 19: 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.