Zechariah the Prophet

February 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Zechariah | Leave a comment
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The first Biblical words of Zechariah the prophet were plain-spoken words and they were a call to repentance. Later he began to pronounce his dreams and visions and prophecies of mercy. We need this kind of preaching in the Church today. People are enamored of the supernatural and of the idea that God would charm people with special words of prophecy about the future – especially if these prophecies foretell the mercy of God. But God’s mercy means little to its recipients without a realistic understanding of how God is “sore displeased” (Zechariah 1:2) with our sin.

Here are the previous lessons on the Book of Zechariah:

Where Are They Now?
Night Visions Part 1
Night Visions Part 2
Beware the Feminine Force
Night Visions Part 3 (*)
The Possessiveness of God
Listening with One Ear (Zechariah 7)
Order in the Church
Jesus the Great
The True Shepherd Vs. The Evil Shepherd
The Cleansing Fountain

* most popular post in category

Order in the Church

April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am | Posted in I Corinthians, Zechariah | 13 Comments
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One day Jesus Christ will rule and reign over this earth in a very visible way. He will be physically present in Jerusalem as King. This reign will last for 1000 years, and is sometimes called the “millennial kingdom.” People from all the nations of the earth will travel to Jerusalem to worship the King.

Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

Zechariah 8:22

This will be a fulfillment of the one of the Lord’s great purposes for the Jewish people: to be a witness of God’s glory to the gentiles. This does not mean that today the Jewish people hold a privileged position over everyone else. Under the New Covenant everyone becomes a child of God the same way: by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. There is “no difference” between Jews and gentiles when it comes to salvation (Romans 10:12).

When Jesus Christ went to the temple in ancient Israel, He was angry about what the Jews had done to the “Court of the Gentiles.” This was supposed to be a place where gentiles learned to worship the One True God, but instead it had become a way for the temple priests and leaders to make a profit (Matthew 21:12-13).

It is clear from the Bible that those who know God are to share that knowledge with those who do not know God. Under the Old Covenant, the Jews were supposed to be good examples to gentiles, and to share their faith with unbelievers. Under the New Covenant, Christians are supposed to do likewise toward those who are without Christ. This is a sharp rebuke to those who would gear their church services toward either profit or entertainment. Certainly people who trust in Christ have every reason to be joyful – especially when we congregate together. But we must be very careful of the external appearance of our worship.

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

I Corinthians 14:23

The proclamation of the Word of God and prayer – not exuberant confusion – should be given the most time, the most attention, and the most emphasis whenever there is the possibility of an unbeliever coming in among an assembly of believers.

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

I Corinthians 14:24-25

Where Are They Now?

March 3, 2010 at 10:21 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, Zechariah | 4 Comments
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The name Zechariah meant “the Lord remembers.” This is not just referring to the omniscience of God. It also refers to His faithfulness. He never forgets His promises or His people in their times of trouble. Zechariah was a prophet and a priest. Other notable Bible heroes who held both offices include Ezekiel, John the Baptist, and Habakkuk. Zechariah’s prophecies are alluded to at least 41 times in the New Testament. His book emphasizes the need for repentance in drawing near to God – so that God will draw near to us.

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zechariah 1:3

This idea of drawing near to God, and Him drawing near to us in return is found several times in the Bible.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 4:8, emphasis added

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:19, emphasis added

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22, emphasis added

Our drawing near to God must contain the element of repentance. Zechariah asks the people two very pointed questions:

Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

Zechariah 1:5

The answer to the first question – “Where are your fathers?” – was that their fathers were dead or in exile as a result of chastening for their disobedience. The answer to the second question – “What about the prophets?” – was that they had slain the prophets. The words of the prophets were the Words of God. His prophets can be slain, but His Word cannot be slain.

But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Zechariah 1:6, emphasis added

“Take hold of” in this verse means to overtake after a chase. God’s Word (especially the Old Covenant commandments) was accepted by the people because they wanted God’s blessings. However, they also agreed to be bound by God’s curses if they disobeyed.

Lord, help us to turn away from our idols, and to turn toward You. Help us to turn our face and our feet and our minds, and most of all our hearts, to You. Lord, turn Your face toward us. Draw near to us, Lord. We dare to make such a request only because of the precious blood of Jesus, for Your presence will destroy the unholy and the vain – the empty – the foolish things which stand in places where only Your glory should stand. Lord, You are holy, so we ask You to draw near to us with great trust in Your mercy. In the precious Name of Christ the Lord we pray. Amen.


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