Christians welcome God’s presence by forsaking sin, receiving spiritual cleansing, and walking in the Spirit.
Golden Text: Zechariah 4:6 This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Both Zechariah and Haggai minister to the post-captivity Jews in Judah and Jerusalem during the same time. (Ezra 5:1). Both encouraged the Jews to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem after the Captivity (Ezra 6:14). Bible scholars think Haggai was an older man, while Zechariah was a young man. Apparently, Zechariah’s ministry to the Jews in Judah continued for some years after Haggai’s ministry had ended. Zechariah’s book is significantly longer than that of Haggai, employees much symbolic language, and is concerned mainly with the spiritual well-being of the post-captivity Jews in relation to God. This lesson explores Zechariah’s prophesying with a focus on being prepared to experience God‘s presence.
A. Joshua Cleansed
Zec 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him……..The name Satan means “accuser” or “adversary .” In the vision, Satan was standing by Joshua ready to accuse him for all the imperfections in his life. It seems that anyone who is stepping toward a work for the Lord or walking in salvation will suffer accusations from the enemy at some point, and at many times in our walk. The whisper of the enemy is the most destructive means of his warfare. How many people have become destroyed by a simple thought?….
Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? …….The soul purpose of a brand is to leave a forever mark. God had promised to use this chosen people in such a way and to cause them to go through the fire so they could leave a mark that cannot be forgotten.
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel……..It was totally unacceptable for the high priest to stand before the Lord in any other attire but the best. This is symbolic for God’s people today to appear their best before the Lord. The outward man will never change the inward, but the inward will always change the outward!
Zec 3:4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Zec 3:5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by……..Joshua could not stand before the Lord until the method was performed! Although grace has given all men the opportunity to receive salvation, when the Spirit speaks change, we must change. In order to stand before the Lord in worship and continuous obedience, our life must line up to God’s standard.
God’s people had to be chastened in order to line up with His word and standards. If we want Holiness in our lives, we must know that chastisement is a source of Love! Reflect on this passage in Hebrews chapter 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?…….I explained this to my son the other day shortly after a spanking. I asked him, “what is the meaning of spoil?” reflecting on the scripture of spoiling the child (Proverbs 13:24). He shrugged his shoulders. I told him to reflect on a piece of meat, or any portion of food that has gone bad. It’s called spoiled. Why?Because it is ruined and no longer fit for its purpose (what do you do with spoiled food?). Just like children, if we too continue in our rebellion and wickedness without chastening, we will be spoiled and our purpose in ruins!
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness……Holiness in a man is the very reflection of God!
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth (grows, produces) the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby…….We have to learn to endure the pains in the exercise of chastisement! Just like exercising this body, it hurts during and for a short time after, but the reward is so evident!
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:…….God’s holiness must be present in our life if we ever want to see the Lord!
B. Israel Called to be Clean
Zec 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by…….The cleansing Joshua received, and the command he received to faithfully live for God, but implication was God’s call to Israelites be clean, and to follow Him faithfully. You may never know the impact your walk with the Lord will have on other people’s life. What an honor it is for our life’s to be an example for others that God may in reference point to.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH…….What an amazing attribute of prophecy here. This (Branch) meant the Messiah would be a descendant of King David, as Isaiah had prophesied: “there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1).
A. By the Spirit if the Lord
Zec 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
Zec 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl (reservoir) upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:…….”keep the reservoir in mind”!
Zec 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts…….The interpretation is saying there is nothing we can do to empower the work but to simply be the vessel. Often times when we get a revelation from the Lord we tend to go into hyper gear, as if we can do something extra to perform it. But the angel of the Lord shows us that even when we are chosen it is still going to take the power of the Lord!
Zec 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it…….All of Judah and Jerusalem would see their greatest obstacles become flattened by the hands of the Lord! What a state of a man to truly know, see and experience the Devine grace of the Lord! When we are empowered by the Spirit, there is nothing in the way that can stop us!
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you…….Before during and after the work, all of Israel would see the power of God on display. There would be no other rhyme or reason!
Zec 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet (masonry tool for squaring lines) in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth…….It would be Zerubbabel who holds the plummet with the eyes of the Lord surrounding and guiding every single step!
B. Anointed to Serve
Zec 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
Zec 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
Zec 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth…….These men, Zerubbabel and Joshua, would be so close to the Lord that the Spirit of God would pour directly through them to empower the work (as in Rev. 11:4)! This shows once again that God desires to fulfill His work through His people.
A. Restored to God’s Favor
Zec 8:1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,
Zec 8:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
Zec 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.
Zec 8:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
Zec 8:5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
Zec 8:6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
Zec 8:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
Zec 8:8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
Zec 8:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.
Zec 8:10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.
Zec 8:11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zec 8:12 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.
Zec 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
Zec 8:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
Zec 8:15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
Zec 8:16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
Zec 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
B. Many Will Come
Zec 8:18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,
Zec 8:19 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.
Zec 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
Zec 8:21 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.
Zec 8:22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
Zec 8:23 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.