The Book of Zechariah Survey

The Book of Zechariah Survey

The Book of Zechariah Survey

Pr Edi Giudetti

17-12-2017

 

 

Enquiry To Enlightenment

Fasts To Feasts

Assurance to Accomplishment

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Zech 1:1

 

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

 

One of the most incredible things I find about the Bible is its miraculous structure. Everything fits, everything comes together to create the most magnificent whole, should any part be missing, we lose more than we can ever hope to understand.

 

As I come to the consideration of Zechariah, and to my utmost amazement, is its placement, not only in our Bible’s but in history. Not only in the practical living history of Israel, but again also in the living spiritual history of those born again in Christ.

 

Its this placement I would like to explain the significance of;

 

 

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah

 

Historically the book of Zechariah comes after Haggai, turn back with me just a page or so to Haggai 1:1.

 

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet.

 

Immediately we see that it is the same King and we also see that it is the same year of the reign of that King, yet a different month and a different Prophet.

 

Haggai’s prophecy came in the sixth month while Zechariahs came in the Eight.

 

We also note a difference in the length of their respective ministries;

 

Haggai’s Bible ministry lasted until  “…the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius,…” (Hag 2:10)

 

Compared to Zechariah who was yet prophesying after “the fourth year of king Darius…” (Zech 7:1).

 

But who’s death we also have recorded by Jesus in Matthew 23:35 as he chastised the Pharisees

 

35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

 

It is clear that throughout history those who preach the word of the Lord have been harshly dealt with by those convicted of that word.

 

Nevertheless, what is wonderful to behold is also its relationship to the next and last book of the Old testament, that of the prophet Malachi.

 

Only three chapters long, it was given Historically after that of both Haggai and Zechariah (I will speak more to this in the next survey), but it also addresses spiritually the next stage of faith that began in Haggai.

 

Zechariah provides for us the full scope of history that is yet to come, from the time of Christ to the time of the Temple Built by Christ from which he will reign.

 

Zechariah provides to us a knowledge of that which is to come that our faith may have something to live for.

 

Zechariah provides to us an understanding that our faith WILL MEET WITH REALITY.

 

Zechariahs prophecy is the body of the book to which Haggai and Malachi are book ends.

 

Haggai and Malachi both speak of faith, while Zechariah gives to us the basis for our faith and the assurance of its accomplishment in Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus truly is front and centre in Zechariah; from the promise of his presentation as King, to the promise of his reigning in the midst of Zion, Jerusalem!

 

 

Zechariah has three main sections to from which my outline will follow as best I can.

 

Enquiry To Enlightenment

 

From the seventh verse of the first chapter to the eighth verse of the sixth chapter there is a series of eight visions.

 

Each of which are given explanation by the Angel of the Lord.

 

Let’s consider first verse five as it gives to us the condition of the forthcoming prophetic visions.

 

Zec 1:5-6

 

Your fathers, where are they?

And the prophets, do they live for ever?

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.

 

This verse concludes what came to Zechariah in the eighth month, the next verse begins what came to him in the eleventh month, so the first five verses set the exhortation of the people of God in its proper setting.

 

The first five verses is The word of the Lord unto Zechariah, nothing more needed to be added until the Lord spoke to him again, Zechariah is clearly faithful in the regard, he spoke and wrote only that which the Lord had given him to do, he did not add unto the word of God nor did he take away, but only that which the lord had given him did he pen down.

 

And he begins with verse 2 The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

 

Concluding with verse 5

 

Your fathers, where are they?

And the prophets, do they live for ever?

 

No, they did not live forever, Zechariah is building up the authoritative base for the people. The authority is not from man, the Law of God is from God, if it were from men the laws could only hope to survive up to the days of a man.

 

Our political scene is such that the laws change after each administration, so no, not men nor his laws can abide but die.

 

Zechariah continues;

 

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.

 

Brethren the simple point here is that, regardless of whether or not the people of God believed or accepted the words and statutes of God, those very same words will take hold of us and do to us according to our ways, just like it did with the fathers.

 

Seventy years were determined upon the people, seventy years were accomplished.

 

The Sabbath of the land was determined by law as a year of rest each seven, the people disobeyed but the land enjoyed its rest seventy years while the people were taken.

 

Recall the patience of the Lord! 490 years they disobeyed the commandment until the Lord had enough. Don’t think that just because consequences are not immediate today that there will not be any!

 

Therefore not only will the word of God outlive the fathers and the Prophets, but his words are eternally valid in the universe he spoke into existence.

 

Therefore the eight visions that follow from the seventh verse have within them a message and a reference.

 

The rider of the red horse among the myrtle trees, together with those whose purpose is to go to and fro on the earth, reporting the state of the people, is significant (1:11);

 

The horns, or the leaders referred to, that the angel explains have scattered Judah, is significant (1:21);

 

The man that measures the breadth and length of Jerusalem with a line, who is told that it will not be walls of stone that will protect the people, but God will be a wall of fire for them, is incredibly significant, not only in the days here when the walls have been thrown down and lay in ruin seventy years;

 

but also today, as she is attacked both physically and verbally each day in these days by those who hate God. (2:5). A beautiful verse found in Zechariah 2:8, a phrase we use even today when we think of the love a father has for a child;

 

Zec 2:8

 

For thus saith the Lord of hosts;

After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you:

For he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

 

The value and importance of the filthy clad garments of the High priest, who has Satan standing at his right hand resisting him, but when those same garments are removed God promises another servant to come forth, introduced to us here as the BRANCH; is not without significance (3:8);

 

What we are seeing are visions given to Zechariah in these first six chapters, each of them having in company the explanation by the angel of the Lord, setting up for him a sequence of events yet to come.

 

Chapter 3 verse 8 speaks of a servant of God identified as the BRANCH;

 

Turn back with me to Isaiah 4:2 as we look for an identity;

 

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious,

And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely

For them that are escaped of Israel.

We don’t have much more that a timing recorded here, but turn forward to Jeremiah 23:5

 

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

 

We see he comes from the loins of David the King, but the very next verse tells us  “… this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

As if confirming the link between the two, we move forward ten chapters to Jeremiah 33:15 to see;

15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

 

 

None other than Christ Jesus is introduced to us in Zechariah, his coming promised to comfort Joshua the high priest, but who we find again at the end.

 

NOW; just like in Daniels prophecy we see that there is no break historically in the scriptures that makes a way for the next two thousand years of the Church. Zechariah moves quickly from the coming of the BRANCH in 3:8 to another time we see somewhat repeated in Revelation in Zech 4.

 

The candlestick and two olive branches who the angel says are the “two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (4:14). These are perhaps the two men introduced to us when they stood by the Lord Jesus in Mathew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9, as Moses and Elias.

 

A somewhat significant event.

 

But also perhaps the two who’s historical placement in Zechariah links with the two witnesses of Revelation 11. I’ll leave you to consider it.

 

Then the flying roll of chapter 5, explained as a curse that goes through the whole earth, judging sin;

 

The difficult to understand passage of the woman in the Epha of 5:7-11 certainly also is not without significance. Considered it to be an idol of lead to which a house, or a temple is built in none other than the land of Shinar, the land of Babel and the pagan kings of Erech, Accad and Calneh, some of the same kings who fought against Abraham, the land where Daniel and the captives of Judah where taken, also known as Babylon.

 

Finally the last vision of the four chariots of Chapter six, whose horses perfectly resemble the Four Horses of Revelation 6 in verses 2 to 5 of Zechariah, whom the Angel enlightens the understanding of Zechariah saying;

 

Zec 6:5

 

And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.

 

And again the timing is significant, immediately after the four horsemen appear that drive the horses, we have the return of The BRANCH.

 

Zech 6:12-13

 

12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying,

Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH;

And he shall grow up out of his place,

And he shall build the temple of the Lord:

13 Even 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:

And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

 

The visions of Zechariah are all significant and they are set showing a timeframe of events from the Coming of Christ the first time, to his sitting upon his throne in the temple built by him, with counsel and peace.

 

The are the words that, unlike the prophets and unlike our fathers, these words WILL LIVE FOREVER and they also will TAKE HOLD UPON EACH AND EVERY MAN.

 

Fasts To Feasts

 

Zech 7:1-6

 

And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu; When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to pray before the Lord, And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

 

Brethren, this is the Lord who is weeping, this is the word of the Lord that came unto Zechariah at that time.

 

This is the Lord weeping at the beginning of the times of fasting, the fifth month. But why does he weep?

 

Then came the word of the Lord of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

 

The people did not fast unto the Lord, not in the fifth nor the seventh month and even  when they did eat and drink, they did even that for themselves. Both their fasting and the break of that effort was for themselves and not to the Lord.

 

But lest we think this is fast is about food alone, let’s read on to get the context.

 

Verse 8

 

And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying,

Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying,

Execute true judgment,

And shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor;

And let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder,

And stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law,

And the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets:

Therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.

 

Whatever they thought they were doing respecting their “Fast”, it is certain not to have included that which should FOLLOW a heart desiring God.

 

True judgement, Mercy, Compassions, kindness and love.

 

Turn to Isaiah for confirmation of this;

 

Isa

 

Is it such a fast that I have chosen?

A day for a man to afflict his soul?

Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush,

And to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Wilt thou call this a fast,

And an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen?

To loose the bands of wickedness,

To undo the heavy burdens,

And to let the oppressed go free,

And that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry,

And that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?

When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him;

And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning,

And thine health shall spring forth speedily:

And thy righteousness shall go before thee;

The glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.

 

 

We tick boxes even today. We think that doing that which is right on the surface is doing that which is right.

 

Last week I addressed faith with that applying to money. My example demonstrated that church attendance did not equate to faithfulness of the heart.

 

Jesus spoke of those who fast hypocritically;

 

Matt 6:16

 

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 

Zechariah records for us that God weeps in the times his people fast in such a way, yet live in opposition to their outward appearance.

 

He goes on to speak of that which is expected, and when they would not he says;

 

Zech 7:12b-14

 

Therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.

13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear;

So they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:

14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not.

Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned:

For they laid the pleasant land desolate.

 

For us the application continues, Haggai told us that a “drought will come upon our mountain” and that “heaven will not give of its dew”, Zechariah tells us that our cries would not be heard, our prayers hindered and our spiritual walk stunted because we “say and do not” like the disobedient son of Matthew 21:30 who; answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

 

I mentioned that when we live this way that land will not give its fruit, the heavens will not give its dew because we return to live our lives in light of the curse from which we are freed.

 

But there are times each of us return to this way, not one of us are exempt.

 

Chapter seven shows us our own frailty, our desire is to do good but there is so often another law in our members, waring against the law of our minds, for that which we would, we do not; but that which we would not, that we do!

 

Can you recall who spoke this way referring to himself?

 

Yes; it was Paul in Romans 7, one of the most Godly men in the Bible who would no doubt say, ‘much was given me, therefore much was required’.

 

Zechariah will show us that what will come upon Israel is ours now, and when we allow the Lord to do his work in us each day, the fruit of the land will come up, heaven will give its dew and the witness that our lives witness today can encourage many.

 

FASTING HAS ALREADY TURNED TO FEASTING FOR US.

 

 

Chapter 8 confirms that “Fasting” of chapter 7 are turned to feasting for Israel.

 

The context looks to be the millennium, where the Lord dwells in Jerusalem;

 

Zech 8:3

 

Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion,

And will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:

And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth;

And the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.

 

And there are wonderful pictures that follow;

But then in verse 11 he says

 

11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

 

There remains the expectation of Godliness in Israel in the following verses but her hands are strong because the Lord is with her and he will be a blessing even though she still has enemies of the Heathen (v13).

 

Zec 8:19-23

 

19 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

20 Thus saith the Lord of hosts;

It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people,

And the inhabitants of many cities:

21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,

Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord,

And to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.

22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come

To seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,

And to pray before the Lord.

23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts;

In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations,

Even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying,

We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

 

Zechariah clearly speaks of a time we recognise in the Millennium, and yet how much does this also speak of the blessings that have come upon those who have the spirit of God and live by faith?

 

FASTS to FEASTS

 

Assurance to Accomplishment

 

From chapters 9 to 14 contains some of the most fascinating passages of prophetic scripture.

 

I refer to is as Assurance to Accomplishment as my final point because of chapter 9:9

 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;

Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:

Behold, thy King cometh unto thee:

He is just, and having salvation;

Lowly, and riding upon an ass,

And upon a colt the foal of an ass.

 

 

 

Betrayel

 

Zech 11:12

 

12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

 

Israel before the day of the Lord

 

Zech 12:2-3

 

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.

 

Israel before the return of the Lord

 

Zech 12:10

 

10 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.

 

The Crucifixion of Christ

 

Zech 13:6-7

 

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?

Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

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.

 

 

The Tribulation Saints

 

Zech 13:8-9

 

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.

The Day of the Lord and the Coming of Christ

 

Zech 14:1-4

 

14Behold, 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.

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.

 

 

Details of the Day of Jacobs Trouble

 

Zech 14:12-13

 

12 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.

13 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.

 

The Millenium

 

Zech 14:16-18

 

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.

17 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.

18 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.

 

Brethren, when all that is going on today is considered with all that scripture teaches, how is it that we can continue to disregard the scriptures through such a lack of faith?

 

So close is that time that of the day of the Lord, so many are the signs and so great are the evidences, it just seems that our faithlessness to live completely to the Lord has been given a spirit of sleep and of slumber.

 

Zechariah gives to us the substance of what our faith is based on while both Haggai and Malachi will provide both the introduction and the closing arguments of why we are to live by faith.

 

My sermon last Sunday night given at the Way Baptist Church, provides an attempt to answer the question of how close we are to the Tribulation event. It was only evidence given as to the financial state of the world and how it is setting up the basis for the crisis that will usher in the Global Economic Order, Currency and Government evident in that day.

 

But think, if that is close, how much closer is the Catching up of the Church to the Lord when he comes for his own?

 

The time we have left is to be lived by faith and sharing the good news of the Gospel to all people, and to live holy, set apart lives, trusting in God and not man to provide for our peace and joy.

 

Matt 24:44-46

 

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

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