Let’s turn to Zechariah, chapter four. Zechariah had a series of ten visions in the night. Whether or not they all came in the same night, or over a period of time is immaterial. In chapter four, he declares…
And the angel that came and talked with me (4:1),
There was angel that was more or less, interpreting these visions to Daniel. In the book of Revelation, as John was beholding the various events, he also had an angel that would interpret, as well as the elders who would interpret for John. Here is an angel who helps Zechariah to understand the visions, helps to interpret them.
and he woke me up, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, [Out of a deep sleep, is the intimation.] And he said unto me, What do you see? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick of all gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: [So he describes this vision.] There are two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side (4:1-3).
We find the lamp stand with the seven, the menorah with the seven lamp stands coming out of the one base, with the cups filled with oil, that were to be placed in the tabernacle that Moses constructed, as a place for the people to meet with God. The seven lamp stands represented the purpose of God that Israel should be a light to the world. God wanted them to be a light unto the Gentiles, unto the world, that the world could see the blessings and the benefits that would come to a nation that worshiped and served Jehovah, and had Jehovah at the heart of the nation. So this candle stick that he saw was probably similar to the one that was in the tabernacle.
Later on, when Solomon built the temple, they had ten lamp stands of gold in the holy place, there before the altar of incense, and there were five on the right side, and five on the left side, according to II Kings. These lamp stands that were in Solomon’s temple were taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, when he conquered over Jerusalem.
In the book of Revelation, chapter one, again there are seven lamp stands in John’s vision, and he sees Jesus walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. When the Lord interprets to John his vision, He declares that the candle sticks are the seven churches. Thus you find the beautiful symbolism of Jesus walking in the midst of His churches. He said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst”. But again, the number seven appears.
There in the book of Revelation, it is the symbol that the church now, is to be the light of Jesus, to the world. Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world”. It is the intent of God that His church be a light to the world.
Now with Zerubbabel’s vision, he sees an interesting kind of contraption with this lamp stand, in that he sees a golden bowl above it, and he sees pipes going from these golden bowls, into the cups. From the tree, and from the branches of the tree, there are pipes that lead to the golden bowl, that keep the golden bowl filled with oil, directly out of the trees. So that, the priests whose duty it was daily, to fill the cups with oil, of these lamp stands there in the temple. A job that would become tedious, and sort of routine after a period of time, that was now taken care of because there was a constant supply of oil flowing from the tree into the bowl, and into the cups, whereby the light was, was kept burning continually by a source of life, from the tree directly.
So I answered [Zechariah said] to the angel, and I asked him, What are these my Lord (4:4)?
Now if you had seen a vision like that, would you have understood it? Ha, ha! I mean you see this interesting kind of a set up. Oil pouring through the pipes into the bowl, and into the candle sticks, and he was naturally sort of curious as to what this meant. It is interesting that many times visions are sort of cryptic, in that the obvious meaning isn’t necessarily there. Visions often had to be interpreted. With this vision, it was necessary that there be an interpretation.
The angel said to him, Don’t you know what this is? And he said, No. So he answered and said unto me, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (4:5-6).
Now there was a lot of work that went into the daily keeping the oil filled, in the, in the cups, to keep the light burning. Here is a light that just burns continually, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.” God is able to accomplish His purposes through the Holy Spirit, and will accomplish them through the Holy Spirit within the church.
With Zerubbabel, they had started the rebuilding of the temple. They had laid the foundation, he had led the people in the laying of the foundation. But opposition soon appeared from the inhabitants that were nearby. The Samaritans came and offered their help, but it was rejected. Being rejected, they became inveterate enemies, and they sought then to hinder, and to keep them from building the temple.
The people soon became discouraged, and they left off the building of the temple. Years went by and no work was done on the temple. The people had turned to their own homes, and they were remodeling their own homes. They were fixing up their own places, they were plastering them, and getting them all fixed up, but they had left the temple of the Lord just lying desolate. Until the Lord, in the second year of Darius the king, sent Haggai, the prophet, to encourage the people to get back to the job of rebuilding the temple. “Is it time for you O Israel for you to dwell in your sealed houses, and the temple of the Lord lies desolate?”
He points out that a part of the problems that they were experiencing, the hardships, living at near poverty level, not really drawing from the abundance of the land, but their crops were failing, and he said, “It’s because you have put yourself first, and you’ve put God second”.
God doesn’t want second place in your life. God wants first place in your heart. He wants the first fruits of your life, He wants the first love. So the Lord wants you to put Him first. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things will be added.” God is not satisfied with the leftovers, or second place in your life. So he was rebuking the people for allowing God to take a secondary place, the house of God a secondary place, and he said, “As the result you’re going through all of these hardships”.
So through the encouragement of Haggai, they took up the work again. But in taking it up again, the same problems were there. The rubble of the first temple built by Solomon was so great, it was like a huge mountain, there on the mount, temple mount area. It’s one of those things that you work, and you work, and you work for weeks, and then you look and the pile is still there. It doesn’t look like you’ve touched it. I get that feeling sometimes down at the baptismals, after I’ve baptized people for an hour or so, and I look up, and there’s still a huge crowd! It looks like I haven’t even touched the number who are waiting for baptism. It’s one of those kind of things, where you’ve given a lot to it, but you can’t really, when you look at what is yet to be done, it just looks like it’s an endless task. Sometimes can get discouraging when you’re sort of overwhelmed by the immensity of the job that is to be done.
So as they took up the task again of the rebuilding, here was this mountain of rubble. So, “The word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord”.
But who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain (4:7):
By the Spirit of God the job will be done, and this mountain will be leveled. It’ll become a plain, as God anoints the work of the people through His Holy Spirit.
and he shall bring forth the headstone (4:7),
Top stone, or perhaps cornerstone. The buildings with arches had the top stones in them, or headstones to complete the arch and hold the arch together. But that wasn’t a common way of building in those days, and it is thought that it was the cornerstone that it was being referred to, and Solomon’s temple, the chief cornerstone. You remember that the builders had rejected was cast aside. But God, actually it was intended to be the chief cornerstone of the building. So Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of this house. Well actually, he’ll complete it.
with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it (4:7).
“It’s been done, but not by our work, but by the power of the Spirit of God. The Lord has moved the mountain! The Lord has guided the wok! The Lord has blessed the work, to God be the glory!!”
You know many times there are mountains in our lives, difficulties. There are things that we have sought to overcome, and we have become discouraged. We have tried, we have done our best, but it seems like our labor is almost in vain, it’s almost futile. We are prone to give up, and to feel a helplessness, and a hopelessness. But, “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord that the mountains can be moved in your life! God can give you victory in those areas where you have experienced the weakness of your own flesh! You’ve experienced the inability, and the helplessness of your own efforts. But in those very areas, you can experience the wonderful power of God’s Holy Spirit, doing for you what you can’t do for yourself. And, when it happens, the cry is always, “Grace! Grace! It was grace that rescued me! It was grace that set me free!” We realize that it was just God’s grace, and God’s power, and thus to God goes the glory. We, we can’t take credit for what’s been done. We look at what God has done here, the work of God’s Spirit, and we marvel at it.
There last night, Raul’s message wasn’t really profound. He’s not really a profound preacher. But I’m amazed at the power of the Holy Spirit that works in the hearts of the people, and as he brings forth the truth of God, which he is faithful in doing, God touches the hearts of the people. The hundreds who responded last night! It was just, I just stand there amazed! I say, “Well God had to do it!”, You know, the interesting thing, Raul can get a bible story all messed up. He can come out with stuff that the scripture didn’t mean at all! Then he can give the invitation, and scores of people come forward! How do you explain it? It’s like the angel, “Do you understand what you’ve seen?” “No.” Well, “it’s not by might, it’s not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts”.
Now we look at the mountain of doubt in the world today, the mountain of unbelief, and our task is to build the temple of God in the hearts of the people. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The church is the temple made of living stones. We look at the mountain, and many times we’re discouraged, and many times we’re discouraged, because we tried by might, we’ve tried by power, we’ve tried by committees, we’ve tried by boards, and it is just discouraging. But oh how glorious to be able to see the work of the Holy Spirit, and realize, “Grace, grace! God’s wonderful grace!”
Moreover [he said] the word of the Lord came unto me, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; and his hands shall also finish it (4:8-9);
This was a prophecy. Now remember, this was the eleventh month of the second year of Darius the king. In Ezra, we read that in the sixth year of Darius the king, the temple was finished. The prophecy came to pass in less than four years, they completed the job, and the temple was rebuilt, and dedicated again, as a place for the people to come worship the Lord, and meet with the Lord. “His hands shall finish it.”
It’s good to know that the work that God has begun in your life, He’s going to finish. “The Lord is going to perfect that which concerns you.” Really, the sooner we get out of the way, and let Him, by His Spirit do the work, the quicker the work will be done. Many times I think that we only get in the way of what God is seeking to do, by our endeavor to help. “Lord, I’ll help you.” That was more or less what Sarah said to Abraham, “Let’s help the Lord, we know He wants to give you a son. Let’s help Him. You take my handmaid, we’ll help God out”. It has created problems ever since. Our endeavors many times, to help God out, only sort of mess things up. “Not by might, nor by power”, it’ll be done.
For who hath despised the day of small things (4:10)?
Now there is a tendency of despising the days of small things. The days of the beginnings. I think that in our own lives, we are often very anxious to get on with the program. We want to get out, and serve the Lord. We don’t like really the days of preparation. But God is preparing your life, for the work that He wants you to do. He’s working in you, as Paul said, “You are His workmanship, created together in Christ Jesus, unto the good works that God has foreordained that you should walk in them”. God has His plan, but in the meantime, He’s working in you to prepare you to accomplish that plan, and that work that He has in His heart for you to accomplish. But as we are being prepared we, many times, find ourselves just itchy. We sort of despise the days of small things. I
know I did, when I was sitting there in Bible college, I thought, “My! I, I need to be out in the ministry! I don’t know why I’m sitting here in these classes every day”. I didn’t know until I got out in the ministry, and had to prepare sermons every week. Then I wished that I’d spent more time. But to those who were despising the days of small things…
they shall rejoice, and they will see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; which are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth (4:10).
In the book of Revelation, it speaks of the Holy Spirit, and the seven eyes. Here it speaks of the eyes of the Lord. “The seven which are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” No doubt, there is a tie between this, and that in Revelation. But, there’s also a tie here back to Chronicles, where the Lord sent the prophet to king Asa, to rebuke him for trusting in man, rather than trusting in the Lord. At the beginning of his career, when he was weak, he knew he was weak, he knew he couldn’t do it, when he was faced with a problem, he went to prayer, and he sought the help of God, and God helped him, and gave him victory over the Ethiopians, and the Nubians.
When he became strong, wealthy, powerful, and again they were faced with an enemy, this time he sought the aid of another nation. He sought the help of Benhadad, and, and the Assyrian forces, and the strategy was successful. The northern kingdom of Israel ceased their building of the fortified cities. They had to go and defend their northern borders. He was no doubt sort of proud of, of his statesmanship, his strategy. How that he was able to buy off the victory. But the Lord sent the prophet to, to just tell him that God was displeased with what he did. He said, “Don’t you know that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth?” As we see here. But to show Himself strong, on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards Him.”
God is watching you. God is looking for people whose hearts are perfect towards Him. God is looking for people whose hearts are aligned with the purposes of God. Your heart in harmony, with what God wants to do. When God finds that person who is in harmony with what He is wanting to do, then God uses that person as the channel, through which He flows His Spirit, and His power for the needy world around us. The most important thing for us is to get our hearts in harmony with God. Get our lives in tuned with what God is desiring. For God is just looking for such people!
So many times we hear God is watching us in sort of a threatening way. “Don’t you know God’s watching you!” It’s sort of a threatening way, to bring His judgment down on your head. Waiting for you to make a mistake. Like my little grandson, well, he’s not so little anymore, William, he’s sort of grown up now. But when he was smaller, came home from Sunday school, said, “Dad, God watching me?”, Chuck said, “Why do you ask William?” He said, “My Sunday school teacher told me God was watching me”. Chuck said, “Well why did your Sunday school teacher tell you God was watching you?” He said, “Oh I pulled the hair of the girl in front of me, and made her yelp”. “That, that isn’t, I want to know Dad, is it true? Is it true God is really watching me? Is that really true?” Chuck said, “Yes William, it is true. God is watching you because He loves you so much, He just can’t take His eyes off of you”.
That’s the way you need to think of God watching you. Not as a judge ready to put you in the slammer, the minute you do something wrong. But, He loves you so much, and He’s just looking for people whose hearts are in tune with His heart, that He might show Himself strong on their behalf. Get your heart in tune, and you’ll be amazed what God will do! Absolutely amazed at what God will do through your life, when you get your heart in tune with His. So then Zechariah said…
I answered, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees on the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What are these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out by themselves? And he answered me and he said, Don’t you know what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. [He keeps saying, “Don’t you know?”, “No, I don’t”.] Then he said, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (4:11-14).
Now these two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth, we find again in the book of Revelation, chapter eleven, and there they are called the two witnesses. Who are they? Well, like Zechariah we don’t know. But, it has been suggested that it was Elijah, and Moses, representing the law and the prophets. It’s been suggested that it’s Elijah, and Enoch, the two who were translated directly to heaven without seeing death. They haven’t had their appointment yet, it’s appointed unto man once to die, these fellows didn’t have their appointment yet. But, they will be killed by the Antichrist, and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three days, until they are resurrected and caught up into heaven. So some see it as Enoch, and Elijah finally meeting their appointment. Others who see it as John the Baptist, and Elijah, representing the old covenant and the new covenant. As the Lord said to John, “You will testify again”. They use that scripture to make John a candidate. There are others who see it as Zerubbabel as one of the witnesses, and one of these branches that stand before the Lord of the whole earth. I’ll tell you what. We’ll find out.
So then I turned [And now we have the eighth of the ten visions.] and I lifted up my eyes, and I looked, and I saw this flying roll (5:1).
Now they usually use these rolls, parchment, or out of leather and, and they would do the writing on these scrolls, the scriptures were written on these scrolls. He saw this one that was flying, but it was good size.
He said unto me, What do you see? And I said, I see a flying roll; and it’s about thirty feet long, and fifteen feet wide. [So it’s a pretty good size!] And he said unto me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth (5:2-3):
Now the torah, the law, was usually placed in a scroll. It was kept in a special place, brought out for the reading of the scriptures in the synagogues, and then placed back in this place of keeping. But within the Torah, you have the law of God. The law of God gives the blessings to those that will be obedient to the law of God, but it also pronounces the consequences of disobeying the law of God. The curses that come upon an individual who rejects the law of God. So here, in this scroll, that was flying through the air, “He said to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth”.
for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; [According to the, the scroll, they’ll be cut off, “Thou shalt not steal”.] and every one that sweareth [Takes the name of the Lord in vain, takes an oath by the name of the Lord, and doesn’t keep it.] shall be cut off as on that side according to it (5:3).
So it seems that there was writing on both sides. Perhaps equivalent to the two tables of stone. The one representing the relationship to God, and the other representing the relationship to fellow man. Stealing, or then taking the name of the Lord in vain.
I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof (4:4).
The judgment of God that is going to come against all unrighteousness, and the ungodliness of men who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness, as Paul tells us in Romans, one. In Psalm, fifty, beginning about verse eighteen, he said, “When you saw a thief, then you consented with him, and you’ve been a partaker with the adulterers. And you’ve given your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother, and you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and God said, I kept silent. You thought that I was altogether such an one as yourself”. You thought, “Well, God doesn’t care. God hasn’t done anything, I’ve gotten by with it. “But the Lord said, I will reprove thee and set them in order before thine eyes. Now, consider this you that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise, glorifies me, and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, I will show the salvation of God.”
But the warning of the judgment of God that was going to come. That God had been merciful, God had been longsuffering, God had been patient, God put up with it, but it didn’t mean that God agreed with it, or that God was happy with it. The day of judgment is going to come, and he sees this day of judgment, this flying scroll. Where the world will be judged by the laws of God. Going into the house of the thief, destroying, consuming.
Now the next vision…
The angel talked with me, and he went forth, and he said, Lift up now your eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth (4:5-6).
Now the ephah was the largest dry measure that the Hebrews had. It was a basket of about six or seven gallons. It was a dry measure for their wheat, or various grains and all, their flour.
And he said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah (4:6-7).
So the basket was bigger than an ephah. Because a woman couldn’t sit in an ephah basket! So it’s a measurement basket.
And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. [Or made a covering over the top of it with the lead.] Then I lifted up my eyes, and I looked, and behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and heaven. And then I said to the angel that talked with me, Where are they taking that ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: [Or Babylon] and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base (5:8-11).
Now the ephah actually is representative, representative and symbolic of commercialism. Prior to the captivity, the Jews were pretty much an agrarian society. But when they were taken captives to Babylon, Babylon was very commercial. So these farmers became bankers. They started the Farmer’s National Bank. They became extremely successful in commercialism. They loved it. They just sort of picked up on it naturally. But commercialism, profiting on people, is not something that God really smiles upon, and taking advantage of people, crooked dealings, false balances, are something that God detests. They brought the commercialism back to Israel with them, and they have been pretty much involved in commerce ever since their Babylonian captivity.
In the book of Revelation, chapter eighteen, “God is going to bring towards the end of the great tribulation period, His judgment against the commercial interest of the world. It is interesting that it is represented as Babylon. The judgment of God will come upon commercial Babylon, and the merchants of the earth which have been made rich by her merchandise, will wail and weep when they see the destruction of the city.” And God speaks of the destruction of the commercial system.
When we come into the kingdom age, we’ll not have commercialism. “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye, buy and eat. Buy bread without money.” I mean, it’s just gonna be the sharing together. We are you know, of, of the abundance of the earth that will bring forth, it’ll just be a sharing by all of us alike, in the kingdom of God. No taking advantage over another person. But just a beautiful sharing of the, of the abundance that God gives to us. So here, the commercialism, God wants to take it back to Babylon, that’s where it belongs. Not among God’s people.
Now, well, I’ll let that one go. There are commentators though that have pointed out that in symbolic sense, a woman is often a symbol of something out of order, or out of place. You get the church that suffered that woman, “Jezebel”, to teach, and usurp authority, and so forth. You can read some commentators on this if you want, but I wouldn’t bring it up. Because, chapter six. I have to live with my wife here.
And I turned, and I lifted up my eyes, and I looked, and behold, there came four chariots out from between the two mountains; they were mountains of brass (6:1).
Identified by some commentators as mount Moriah, or the temple mount, and the mount of Olives. Others, by mount Zion, and the mount of Olives. But it doesn’t tell us which two it was.
In the first chariot were red of horses; [Or it was drawn by red horses.] the second chariot by black horses; The third chariot by white horses; and the fourth chariot by the grisled and bay horses (6:2-3).
Now we again remember in the book of Revelation, chapter six, when the Lord opens the first seal, that we had the four horses of the apocalypse. Here again, four horses, only these are drawing chariots, and he sees them. The red, which is usually symbolic of war, bloodshed. Black, which is symbolic of famine, and the white of course is, is usually symbolic of, of power. The bay horses are of strength.
Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my Lord (6:4)?
Poor Zechariah! Seeing all these things and he was as confused as we are, when we first look at these things without the interpretation.
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. The black horses are those which go forth to the north country; the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get thee hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country (6:5-8).
These spirits that go forth, we’re not really given much information about their purpose in going forth. All we know is that as they went forth to the north country, they quieted the Spirit of God there in the north country. There are angels that are dispatched by God, through the world, to accomplish the purposes of God. In the book of Revelation again, we find that there are four spirits that will be released from the river Euphrates, that go together to gather the kings to the great battle of Armageddon.
We are not fully aware of the influence that the Spirit forces have in the earth today. There are powerful spirit forces, both for good, and for evil, and our lives are often times influenced by these spirit forces, much to our own ignorance. We’re not aware of the spiritual nature of the battles that we are often in. But Paul tells us, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and these spirit entities that are in high places”. Thus, there is an indication that there are certain angels of, of Satan. Powerful spirit beings that are controlling certain nations. The prince of Persia was a reference to the powers of darkness, that held sway in the kingdom of Persia.
There are also God’s angels that are at work. “And He shall give His angels charge over thee, He will charge them to take care of you, to keep you in all your ways, to bear you up, lest at any time, you would dash your foot against a stone.” They are the ministering spirits that God has sent forth to minister to them who are heirs of salvation. Many times they have helped you and you didn’t even realize it. They were watching over you, and you weren’t aware of it. But God has put them, and charged them to watch over you and to keep you. So here is that interesting world of spirit beings that Zechariah has a chance to look into. It still remains much of a mystery, just what is their full purposes and tasks.
Now the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Take of them of the captivity, even Heldai, and Tobijah, and Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah; Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest (6:9-11);
Now we know that the name Joshua means, “Jehovah is salvation”. Translated into Greek, the name is, “Jesus”. He’s to take this crown and he’s to put it on Joshua’s head, the high priest.
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, [So now we’re gonna have a prophetic utterance as Joshua, the high priest is crowned with these crowns of gold and silver.] 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: And he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne (6:12-13);
We don’t need anybody to interpret that for us. We know that Jesus is that branch, the righteous Branch out of the stem of Jesse that is going to come, and rule on the throne of David.
Now the Jews understand this scripture to be a reference to the Messiah. So that, in talking to a Jew today who is looking for the Messiah to come, and you ask him, “How will you identify the Messiah? If He is a man, like Moses, how are you going to identify Him? How will you know that He is the Messiah?”, and they will answer you, “He will lead us in the building of our temple”.
Now there are certain orthodox Jews today who believe that Israel does not, and should not exist as a nation. They have asked actually the king of Jordan to annex Miasherim into Jordan because they feel that without the temple, they really do not have a legitimate right to exist as a nation. But they are waiting, eagerly waiting, and anticipating their Messiah to come very soon, and help them to rebuild their temple. Here’s the scripture that they use. “The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne;” Thus, that’s how they will identify their Messiah. The man who comes, and leads them into the rebuilding of the temple.
One dangerous flaw. In the book of Daniel, chapter nine, as it speaks about the prince of the people that shall come, who is the Antichrist. It tells us that he will make a covenant with the nation of Israel. But in the midst of the seven year period, or after three and a half years, he will break the covenant, and he will set up the abomination, which will cause the desolation. He will cause the daily sacrifices and prayers to cease. It would seem that this prince of the people that shall come, the Antichrist, who makes the covenant with the nation of Israel, that a part of that covenant in creating peace in the Middle East, will be an agreement whereby they will be able to rebuild the temple. Those Jews that are looking for that man to come with a solution whereby they can rebuild their temple, they are ready to acclaim as their Messiah.
It is significant, and interesting that today in the Middle East, they are talking about peace accords. They’re talking about land for peace. Their talking about how that by turning the Gaza Strip, and Jericho over to the Palestinians, that the PLO and Israel can work out now self-rule for the Palestinians, and establishing peace. King Hussein of, of Jordan has been brought in and made a part of this peace process. Today, Rabin was down with Mubaric in Egypt, thanking him for the part that Egypt played in putting together this peace pact. Now they are working on a pact with Hassad in Syria, and there is talk about the returning of a part of the Golan Heights, in order to have the same kind of a peace with Syria, the recognition of Israel as a nation, the establishing of peaceful borders with Syria, much as been established in Egypt. A lot of talk about peace today in the Middle East.
It’ll be interesting that as these talks proceed, and as the peace process is carried on, it’ll be interesting to observe whether or not in some of these negotiations, arrangements are made to give a portion of the temple mount to the Jews, to rebuild their temple. Will they that, include that in some of the negotiations? And, will that settle the issue with some of the radical Jews which are so upset with what their government is doing? Possibly so. If so, look up! “Lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh!” There will come a man on the scene, making a covenant with the nation of Israel, and no doubt, it is involved with the rebuilding of the temple.
In the book of Revelation, chapter thirteen, we are told concerning the Antichrist, that, “He makes an image of himself, and he sets it in the holy of holies of the temple. At that time, God’s judgment and wrath is poured out. This is the final blasphemy of man against God. This is the abomination that will cause the desolation, or the great tribulation period. So, it would appear that things are lining up for this to happen, perhaps in our lifetime. It certainly bears careful watching, and a study of the word, as we see these events proceeding.
But, we know that this “Branch”, that is going to build the true temple of God, is none other than Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and He is going to come again, and establish God’s kingdom upon the earth, and shall sit upon the throne of David, and order the earth in righteousness, in justice, from henceforth, even for ever. Now notice, Joshua is the high priest, but he is being crowned. Here, concerning the Branch that is coming to build the temple, He is going to rule upon His throne.
and he shall be a priest upon his throne (6:13).
So you have both the priestly ministry of Jesus, and the kingly ministry. Priest, and King. There you have it combined together, here in Zechariah, Christ as our Great High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, and sitting now upon the throne of David to rule and to reign.
And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen and to the sons of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord. [It’s a reminder.] And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God (6:14-15).
When you see these things happen, you’ll know that Zechariah was a true prophet. You’ll have to say, “Yep! Man he saw some weird things, but true prophet!” The Bible does use prophecy as a strong apologetic for God being the author of the scriptures. “These things I have told you before they come to pass, so that when they come to pass”, Jesus said, “you might believe.” It’s a, it’s a proof that His word is of God, the fact that he speaks in advance of things that shall be, before they ever are. So that when they do come to fulfillment, you’re aware, that it was indeed God who was speaking.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7368