The dry bones represented the Israelites themselves. As a people they had lost heart, lost hope, and said, “Our strength is dried, and our hope is lost, we are cut off from our parts”—from all tribal and national union. If they looked at their present condition, they were strangers in a strange land, foreigners, without opportunity for patriotic feelings; if they looked backward, and remembered divine intervention on their beha
Posts Tagged ‘ Zechariah ’
Zechariah asked again, “What are the two olive branches [trees] through which the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” The angel answered that the two olive trees were “the two anointed ones” (the Old and New Testaments), for one golden pipe led from the tree on the right side to the bowl over the main stem of the candlestick, and the other golden pipe led from the tree on the left side to the bowl. The top of each of the seven branches of the candlestick, or lamp stand, was a flat “table” on which the seven lamps sat. The branches themselves were solid gold.
Back there the priesthood was defiled, the prophets gave false messages, and the court (the judges) accepted bribes. When Jesus came as the Messiah, the scribes and Pharisees regarded him as a youngster. Their attitude was, “He is only 30 years old, yet he talks to us as if he is somebody.” Because Jesus lacked formal education, they detested him and considered him a pretender with ulterior motives. Moreover, the people were convinced he was a pretender when he was crucified and hanging naked on the Cross. “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13; Deut. 21:23). Although the people marveled when Jesus raised Lazarus shortly before the Crucifixion, they soon forgot the miracle when he was put to death as a criminal. Thus he was tainted as a false prophet and priest—until his resurrection.
Jesus is the true High Priest—he is the Christian’s High Priest now, and he will be the world’s High Priest in the next age—and he performed that function even during his earthly ministry.
In the Book of Zechariah, Joshua and Zerubbabel were both types of Christ, and what was done with Zerubbabel’s Temple back there will be done with Ezekiel’s Temple in the Kingdom Age. The Zadok priesthood, the Ancient Worthies, and civil authorities will all be part of the Kingdom arrangement. These types were not perceived at the First Advent, and Satan was an adversary of Jesus, doing everything he could to demean and defile the antitypical Joshua, especially at the beginning and the close of his ministry. The First Advent is contrasted with the next age, when Jesus will be reclothed.
“The bay [horses] went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he [the angel] said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they [the bay horses] walked to and fro through the earth.” The Hebrew word amutstsim, translated “bay,” means “strong.” From the standpoint of color, “bay” is a deep red, indicating that this class is deeply stained with sin. Hence those of this class reap a destiny of Second Death, and there are various reasons for such a conclusion. A disquieted class that walks to and fro, these individuals are strong-willed, proud, haughty, and high-minded. The Apostle Jude called the Second Death class “wandering stars” (Jude 13). In fact, Satan himself had the spirit of disquietude, and it worked harm. Although he did not actually, or outwardly, sin until he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, he previously entertained wrong thoughts and ambitions.
The new dimension of faith in verse 6 is that not only do we have to believe God exists, but the next step is to believe that He is the “rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” James was talking about this subject when he said that a living faith does works (James 2:17-22). However, he was not saying that we are justified by works—works are merely a proof of our faith. But even that is not the faith which most pleases God. Works are an evidence of belief, so many sincere Christians do a lot of good things and work hard in trying to obey the royal law of God—they help the poor and the homeless, etc.—but that is not what God is looking for.
Paul’s saying that God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” gives a new slant on the faith of Abel and Enoch. Their faith acted on their belief and brought obedience. Thus sandwiched in between Abel and Enoch, the first two examples, and other Ancient Worthies who are subsequently singled out is the statement of verse 6 that “without faith,” it is impossible to please God because we are to believe not only “that he is” but also “that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”—as Abel, Enoch, and the others did. There is a big difference between just believing there is a God (or believing that Jesus died on the Cross) and faith. To please God, we must consecrate, which is believing into God and believing into Jesus Christ; this diligent seeking is spiritual faith.
Chapter 11 is perhaps the most difficult chapter to explain in the Book of Zechariah. We are not in a position to know all the details, but we will suggest clues that lead in the proper direction.
Now comes a strange picture about two “staves,” or staffs. “And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.” Zechariah had two staffs in his hand. The name of one staff was Beauty; the name of the other was Bands. The NIV calls them, respectively, Favor and Union.
If the stones could talk…..they would certainly chew our ears off in the Old City of Jerusalem! The recently revealed ‘Broad Wall” is one spot at the very center of all the action in the Jewish Quarter, one of four in the area.
It is impossible to know for sure whether it was planned that way, but there is a playground just next to the broad wall — and guess who plays there as the stones watch? Zachariah’s prophecy is true today as the quote is quite properly carved into the Jerusalem stone. The stones don’t even have to talk.
This discourse was given at a convention and touches on the “Eyes of the Lord.” God knows things about us and our lives and what is going on in the whole world. The scriptures says that His eyes are on the righteous and His ears open to their cry and that they are on those that fear Him and hope in His mercy. God is watching out for us.
The discourse also follows 4 examples in Jesus’ life where he knew those that were coming to him. The Lord revealed to Jesus circumstances of their lives so that when he mentioned it, they knew it was of God. Take for example: Nathaniel, Zacchaeus, Samaritan woman, and Nicodemus. It only took a word, or in Nicodemus’ instance the seeing of Jesus lifted up like the serpent as he predicted to convince them Jesus was the Messiah. We are told in Zechariah about another miraculous conversion of the Nation of Israel after Jacob’s Trouble.
This statement in Genesis 3:15 came from God immediately following the sin of Adam and Eve. Probably they remembered it long and often, as a hope that someday God would reverse the curse of sin and death that came through disobedience, induced by Satan.
But this hope was expressed cryptically. Now we know that the “seed of the woman” was Jesus, born of a woman, 3956 years later. And from the text in Romans 16:20, cited above, we understand that the Church class which is being called and developed during the present Gospel Age to reign with him from heaven, are counted as part of that seed. If we are Christ’s, then we are counted together with him. The “seed of the woman” which will crush Satan includes the “Bride” class of consecrated, overcoming Christians.
Zechariah 9 is a very exciting chapter. It starts out with more detail about Psalm 83 which is the Arab-Israeli war that is coming very soon (see Newsletters for more details), also gives more details about the Gog and Magog invasion that follows the Psalm 83 incident and then discusses Israel’s coming back into favor with God with the rescue of the Holy Remnant. Here we connect the scriptures that pertain to the subject (Valley of Dry Bones, and Parable of Rich man and Lazarus) when the prisoners (who have hope) are released out of the pit where there is no water. What beautiful harmony there is in the Word of God.