“In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah (Yahweh Remembers), the son of Berechiah (Yahweh Blesses), the son of Iddo (The Appropriate Time) . . .” (Zechariah 1:1). Isn’t God amazing? In the first verse of the book, in the meaning of the names, God is telling Israel that He remembers and blesses at the right time.
Zechariah and Haggai wrote after Babylon and before Rome and, once again, we find that God is not finished with Israel. Here we see God’s justice, judgment, mercy and integrity—always true to His Word – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (KJV)
One passage is particularly interesting if you have ever questioned your salvation. You may have made a confession for Christ, answered an altar call, been “immersed” in baptism, joined a church, but sometimes maybe that nagging question arises in the shadows of your mind, “Am I really saved?” There is an answer right here in Zechariah 12:10-14 – a broken, contrite heart. All doubt of salvation is removed if you can recall a time when you thoughtfully considered all God has done for us, how undeserving we are, and yet, “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8), He unselfishly poured out His blood in propitiation for our sins. Then He poured out His Holy Spirit filling us to overflowing. Emotion is unavoidable. At some point we can’t help but to breakout in tears of both sadness and joy. Each of us have shared with Christ a personal, private time of tears and mourning that bursts forth in overwhelming joy and gladness—just like will happen in Israel when the nation finally recognizes their Messiah and King and boldly proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.”
o “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. “The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.” (Zechariah 12:10-14)
Zechariah 12, 13, 14—Paradigm Shifting Isn’t Easy:
There is much to say about these last three chapters of Zechariah. They are primarily about the purging and redemption of Israel and restoration of the Kingdom and the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.” These particular chapters, along with Joel and Matthew 24, have intrigued me for decades. These chapters fit snugly with Revelation 6:12-17 and the entire chapter of Revelation 14. How do you reconcile God’s many promises to personally protect Israel from her enemies once back in the land with the apparent devastation, pillaging, ravishing, and return “into captivity” as expressed in like Zechariah 13:8-14:2 and in the prophecy of Joel? How do we reconcile this with Ezekiel 37-39 and many other scriptures? How does God say in Isaiah 66:8, “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons,” and then He all but totally devastate them? What are we missing?
An Prophetic Outline of these chapters of Zacharias:
- Deliverance of Jerusalem in the “Last Days”
o “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” Zechariah 12:1-7 (KJV)
- Jesus Christ seen and recognized, fighting against the nations and for Jerusalem
o “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:8-9 (KJV)
- Israel/Judah in deep mourning over Messiah as their hearts are broken over as they realize what they have missed and what they have done
o “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Zechariah 12:10-14 (KJV)
o “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him . . .” (Revelation 1:7); (the nations of the earth shall also wail because of him-see Rev 6:14-17)
- Cleansing of the Remnant Chapter 13:1
o “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1 (KJV)
- Verses 2-6 are false prophets, NOT Jesus. Cleansing of Jerusalem and the hearts of the people. It is the false prophets who have the wounds in their hands
- “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?”
See 2Kings 9:24; 1Kings 18:28; Jeremiah 48:37
Now is where it gets really fuzzy and weird for the Western mind. Prophecy is NOT linear. In the Jewish mindset it is pattern. At verse 7 the text jumps back to the Crucifixion and then to 70 A.D. (Prophetically speaking, there is no Church age and thus the text actually fits nicely together.
- Messiah Crucified – Israel scattered
o “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Zechariah 13:7 (KJV)
- Both the Shepherd and the “fellow” or companion are Christ, expressing Divine closeness and unity. The sheep in this verse are the remnant, the true Israel
o “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Matthew 26:31 (KJV)
In 70 A.D. Israel is punished for rejecting Messiah, but not forgotten. They are purged and cleansed over the following 2000 years (Jacob’s Trouble-Jeremiah 30:7) until Christ’s second advent. The following verses are “historic.” Chapter 13:7 through 14:2 is all about the destruction of Jerusalem and devastation of Israel.
o “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 13:8-14:2 (KJV)
Historically, the nations which came against Israel under Roman leadership in 70 A.D. are the same people living in the same places today. Josephus says in The Wars of the Jews that the whole army which came against Jerusalem was 60,000 men strong. A Roman Legion consisted of 5,000 men and 4 legions. The 5th, 10th, 12th, and the 15th along with part of the 3rd and 18th. These legions were composed of 25,000 men. The remainder consisted of soldiers from other kingdoms, Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Mosea, Arabia, etc. Additionally, history tells us that the 10th Legion is the one which occupied Jerusalem and that it consisted of Roman officers over conscripts from many subordinated nations—All ancestors of the Muslim nations who surround Israel today.
In the TaNaKh (the Jewish Bible), there is no reference to our Church age. Not one. Scripture can and does leap across time, from the Crucifixion to the destruction of Jerusalem. It jumps across centuries to the end-time where nations come to take a spoil and wipe Israel from the face of the earth. They are the 1/3 who turned to Messiah. God’s hand of mercy and grace is turned to His righteous sheep, “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” Revelation 12:17—Jewish believers, the remnant, who are brought through fiery trials.
- The Remnant – True Israel
o “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Zechariah 13:8-9 (KJV)
At chapter 14:3 the story takes one great giant-steps across 2000 years to the day of the Lord—Israel’s estrangement is ended, they recognize Messiah (12:8-13:6), and all things are being set right as the Millennial reign of Christ (and the Saints) begins. In the flow of prophecy there is no gap. There is no 2000 years. One event concerning Israel follows another.
- The Day of the Lord, the Millennial Kingdom, Worldwide Worship of the Holy One!The Return of Jesus Christ – Second Advent
o 3 “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”
- River of the Sanctuary
8 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”
- Millennial – Davidic Kingdom
o 9 “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.”
- Worship in the Kingdom
o 16 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”
Because the Western mind thinks in linear terms, prophecy seems muddy and unclear. Jewish thought sees prophecy as patterns, nonlinear. An example is Jeremiah. If read chronologically it would be something like: Chapters 1, 2, 12, 15, 16, 17, 11, 3, 4, 5, 6, 26, and so on (Prophecy and the Prophets, El Shaddai Ministries). Patterns is something like when family gathers around the Thanksgiving table telling stories of old. Uncle Joe tells a tale and grandma butts in and backtrack, adding details that happened in a before time related to the same story. Then cousin Ted adds some details that happened at a later time. It all connects to establish a cohesive storyline which is not linear. And so, it is with prophecy.
If we push the destruction of Jerusalem across the calendar and right up against the “Last Days,” it all falls nicely right into place. In prophecy, time shifts forward and back depending upon what God is focusing on—here, a people to whom He says, “. . . I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; (Isaiah 65:2). Jesus says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34).
o God promises Israel in, “Acts 3:19-20 (KJV) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” Zechariah 13:9 (KJV) “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
Does God intend to bring His people back from the diaspora, establish a nation (1948), make them victorious by His hand against their enemies, 1948, 1956,1967 (Psalm 83; Zechariah 12:2,3), and then devastate them once more? Absolutely not! For sure, there will be a reckoning, a final purging of the nation. However, Israel will never again be taken captive and scattered throughout the Earth, never again. The “remnant,” true Israel, will be protected for those last 3½ just before Christ establishes the millennial Kingdom. So then, where is the disconnect? How do we put this together?
The answer is quite simple. As hard as it is for us to accept, prophecy isn’t about us in the Western world. Prophecy is to Israel and focuses on the Middle East. The Old Testament (including the Synoptic Gospels, which are fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy) is totally blind to the Church age. Daniel’s 70 weeks do not in any way see this “Age of Grace.” Had Israel after His Crucifixion and resurrection acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, their Messiah and King, Daniel’s 70th week would have commenced. Judgment would have come upon the nations and the Davidic Kingdom would have been restored (Acts 1:6). But they didn’t, and God’s plan for Israel was placed into abeyance and the Dispensation of Grace began, administered by Paul (Acts 22:21; Galatians 2:8). When you tear the Church age off the calendar, Daniel’s week 69 is immediately followed by week 70. God fulfilled prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27), sent Messiah (Who rode into Jerusalem on the exact day prophesized, (The Coming Prince, by Sir Robert Anderson). The Christ was rejected, Crucified, buried, resurrected (hallelujah!), and then rejected again (at both Peter’s and Stephen’s testimonies in Acts 14-39; Acts 9:7:2-53). As punishment, God has taken away from Israel the Kingdom and the Scepter, the Temple and the priesthood, the land and the people – as promised, all to be restored in the very near future. Today there is no Biblical, no Mosaic Judaism. The Jews no longer have any atoning sacrifice available to them outside of turning to Christ whom they reject. Chapter 14:1-2 describes God’s wrath on Israel in 70 A.D. for rejecting their King—the Jews have been under tremendous tribulation for the past 2000 years — “Jacob’s Trouble,” Jeremiah 30 and 31 with emphasis on 30:7; Deuteronomy 28; Amos 9:9; Leviticus 26).
NOTE: We tend to confuse “Jacob’s Trouble” with the Great Tribulation. Scripture is clear. Jacob’s trouble is upon Jacob (apostate Israel). The Great Tribulation is end time and falls upon all Earth dwellers (Luke 21:35; Revelation 3:10).
Luke 21:35 (KJV) For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Revelation 3:10 (KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Like visiting the Holocaust Museum, it is difficult to read descriptions of the hatred, violence, ravishing, plundering, murdering, cruelty, and complete devastation that happened when Israel’s many enemies (the nations), came against them under the Roman Standard—The very same peoples who trouble her today. The point is, what goes around comes around:
Isaiah 13:6 (KJV) Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:11 (KJV) And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Gog Magog – Ezekiel Battle:
Where does Ezekiel 38 & 39, Gog and Magog, fit into the Day of the Lord scenario? Simply, it doesn’t. Gog Magog in Ezekiel is a foretaste, a forewarning if you will, of Revelation 20:8 (KJV) “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” These are two different incidences with the same intent and outcome; to take what belongs to God—and out of nowhere God destroys them both. By His hand the people of God are protected and saved.
The Ezekiel battle sets in motion the final events of this age. As I write these words, the forces of Ezekiel are in the process of gathering. Iran is in Lebanon supplying troops and weapons. Russia and Turkey are occupying Syria and building their forces. Russia, the king from the north (Ezekiel 38:15), is patrolling Israel’s northern border on the Golan Heights. God says that He will destroy them on the mountains of Israel. Probably on the Golan Heights. This isn’t much of a battle. Who can fight against God? But it isn’t a lesson well learned. Satan repeats such foolishness once again at the end of the Millennium and receives the same fate. Except this time he is cast into the “Lake of Fire,” (Revelation 20:10) to join the “goat nations” who did not follow Christ (Matthew 25:41).
- The Timing of Ezekiel
A careful study of history and prophecy indicates that Israel has been brought back into their land. After the Gog Magog incident their land will be greatly enlarged. Psalm 83 was fulfilled in the battles of 1948, 1956, and 1957. With the single exception of the so-called Palestinians, the Psalm 83 nations have been defeated and are generally friendly to or in league with Israel today. Included are Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others.
As I write, the economies of Russia, Turkey, Iran are in freefall. Israel is rich in resources, especially gas and oil. Plunder those nations require. They say in verse 12, that they come, “to take a spoil, to take a prey.” Fooling themselves into believing this is easy plunder, they will make the fatal mistake of advancing into Israeli territory only to gain the wrath of God Himself, not the spoils they anticipated.
- The players
Gog: Russia; Magog: Rosh, Meshech; Tubal: Ukraine, Southern Russia; Persia: Iran; Cush: Sudan, Somalia; Put: Lybia; Gomer: Southern Russia; Beth-Togarmah: Turkey, Armenia.
- The Outcome
Most likely, the Rapture has already taken place or takes place at this same time. This may be why the United States does not come to the aid of Israel. God is her protector! The Rapture and the miraculous defeat of Russia, Iran, and Turkey plunges the world into chaos. The nations will eagerly follow the rising “antichrist” promising to restore peace and order. Israel expands her territory and for 7 months will occupy bury the dead and for 7 years be burn the weapons of war of her invaders (Ezekiel 39:9, 12, 14).
The chaos naturally leads to the rise of the “beast out of the sea” and the “beast out of the earth,” (Revelation 13).
FEASTS OBSERVED DUIRIG THE MILLENNIAL REIGN:
The only “feast” in the Millennium will is the joyous feast of ingathering, Tabernacles. “In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 14:20-21).
The offerings and feasts of the new worship are prescribed in Ezekiel 45:13–46:24. Only Passover and Unleavened Bread, combined as one feast, and the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed. Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement are not observed, presumably because the initiation of God’s new program rendered those feasts obsolete.
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT PROPHECY:
- Prophecy is written to Israel. All scripture is absolutely inspired and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, etc. But the focus of Prophecy is Israel.
- Terms like “all the earth”, “the whole world” and “every nation” and the such refer to the context. It is “all the earth” under Rome domination (Jeremiah 51:7), the whole “Roman” world (Romans 8:1), or to every “nation” ruled by Babylon (Daniel 3:29).
- In prophecy there is no Church age. The 70 weeks of Daniel (prophetically speaking) are sequential. The entire past 2000 years are NOT included or even hinted at in prophecy.
- The Church exists in the Dispensation of Grace, a MYSTERY Kept secret in God till He revealed it to Paul:
o Romans 16:25 (KJV) “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began”
o 1 Corinthians 2:7 (KJV) “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory”
o Ephesians 3:9 (KJV) “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ”
o Colossians 1:25-26 (KJV) “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints”
- God exists outside of time, in eternity. He sees past, present, and future in one grand view.
- Western mindset sees Prophecy in linear terms, straight lines. The Jewish mind understands Prophecy as patterns.
- Always be a Berean. Don’t automatically accept everything you hear or read. Pick it up; tear it apart; dissect it; examine it closely. God went to lengths to give us the Scriptures and desires us to examine them closely.
~because it matters – it really does
March 25, 2017 – December 11, 2018