King James Bible Study – [Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Chapters: ZECHARIAH 1-4
Study: The Alpha and Omega
Hello My Brother/Sister/Friend,
We do not read much about the three persons of God, which we call the Trinity of God. One Almighty and the only living God, distinguished in the three different persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While we do not need an explanation of why God chose to make Himself into three individual persons, the same faith that we have in God sending His only begotten Son is the same faith that we need for everything else concerning God. Jesus, describes it this way, [John 3:5-6,16 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.]
While we, with our own reasoning, cannot fathom the idea that God is omnipotent and can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time, we must understand that He is God and it was necessary for Him to be in the form of these three different persons. Why? Well, He is the Alpha and Omega, [Revelation 1:7-8,18 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.]
The Book of Zechariah contains fourteen chapters and was written by Zechariah, it was written to the new generation of Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. The timeline for these events took place around 520BC. The purpose of the book was to renew a spiritual commitment with God, and to warn them of the coming second judgment when Christ returns. What we are to learn from the book is that God is in control of all affairs, His infinite love and care are in all who receive Christ, who is His BRANCH, [Zechariah 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.]
Two months after Haggai began to encourage the Jews to get back to rebuilding the temple, God, sent Zechariah with a message. He reminded them that their parents were the reason why Jerusalem was a shambles and they were in Babylon in the first place.
[Zechariah 1:1-6 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, 2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 3 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. 4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. 5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? 6 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.]
[the LORD of hosts;] Did you notice how many times this was said in this paragraph? I highlighted it to show you that it was five times. [Hosts; a mass of persons (angles or man), regularly organized for war, awaiting an appointed time.] The reason why this was repeated so much was to point out that God is not just referring to Himself here, but His hosts. It is in fact, it is written two hundred and thirty-five times in the Old Testament. Yes, God, speaks in third person and He let it be known by all that He is the LORD and always has been in the form of three persons, [1 John 5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.]
[according to our ways, and according to our doings,] God, has always dealt with creation the same way, from the very beginning, He warned that sin of any kind brings death, and it truly does. We can ask God all we want why evil exists in the first place, but the truth of the matter is this we are the ones who bring evil. God, does not want to force us to love Him, He wants us to love Him willingly, which is why He gave us freewill, but if we choose Him, then He does expect some respect and some loyalty, and if we are going to go the way of Satan, then that is all on us, [2 Timothy 2:11-13 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.]
One can deny Christ or try to turn Him into an image that they want Him to be, but that does not change who He is, and the fact that He is God, who came here in the flesh to save those who truly believe, not only in the Gospel, but every word written in His Word. God’s Word, is eternal, and each and every thing written in it has and will come to pass as it is written. Jew or Gentile, we will all stand before Jesus. Now, we who are saved will not face the same judgment, but that does not mean that we will not face any judgment while we are here. There were many believing Jews in Jerusalem who wondered what would happen to the Jews in Babylon and if God would ever restore the kingdom in Jerusalem. Well, to answer them God, sends Zechariah some visions.
[Zechariah 1:8-12 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. 12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?]
[and behold a man riding upon a red horse,] The man, the Captain of this great army, sat on a red horse, in the midst of this shady myrtle tree grove. This is an illustration of Christ, the red horse representing His vengeance on those who either contributed to or consented to His death. Behind Him were angels ready to be employed by Him. Though the church was in a low condition, Christ was present in the midst, ready to appear for the relief of His people, [Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.]
[thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?] The nations near Judea enjoyed peace at that time, but the state of the Jews was unsettled. So, Jesus is asking God, the Father, when He will get over His anger toward the Jews, and then God gives Him the answer, [Zechariah 1:13-16 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. 14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. 16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.]
[talked with me with good words and comfortable words.] All the good and comfortable words of the Gospel we receive came from Christ as He received them from the Father, [Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.]
[I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion] Why do you think God is jealous for Jerusalem? God, gave them everything they ever dreamed us, and yet it was never enough, they still lusted after the worlds treasures. God, judged them and showed them His great mercy over and over again, and yet it was never enough, they still lusted after the worlds gods. Of course, He is going to be jealous, look how jealous we get when we are neglected or picked over, and He is jealous over us as well, [Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:]
Now, as much as God wants all of mankind to be saved, He also gives each and every one of us the freewill to make that choice ourselves. God, did not choose the Jews to be His people based on their obedience to Him, He chose them because on one man’s faith, and that was Abraham. It displeases Him more to see just how at ease they are with all the evil going on in the world, and in fact, are a part of it. God, goes on to show Zechariah another vision, one in which He will judge those who lead His people astray.
[Zechariah 1:18-21 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. 20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. 21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.]
[These are the horns which have scattered Judah,] The four horns are the powers, states, and kingdoms from the four corners of the earth that caused Israel to go astray and be scattered from their inheritance. The carpenters are the instruments of God, who would destroy the horns, driving them out of God’s inheritance. In other words, Jesus, is going to separate the true believers from the unbelievers, and when He does, they will be given either eternal life or eternal death,
[Matthew 25:31-34,41 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:]
God, will use any means necessary to get us out of danger from being corrupted by the world any further, which is why He does send judgment, but that does not mean that He will not protect us from the world’s judgment. As God continues showing Zechariah these visions, He sees a man with a measuring tape in his hand, and he begins measuring Jerusalem, and anyone within the walls will be protected.
[Zechariah 2:1-5 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3 And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, 4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: 5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.]
[Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls] Those walls will be extended freely as if there were no walls at all, yet be as safe as if they were like a fortress. Jesus, is the one with the measuring tape, after all, He is the Master builder of His Church, so, you better believe that He will straighten us out so that every brick that He places on top of us will be fortified, [1 Peter 2:5-6 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.]
[and will be the glory in the midst of her.] Who will be in the midst of Jerusalem when Jesus is walking the earth, gathering all those whom have not yet received Him yet before the total destruction of the earth? The glory of the LORD Himself, who is none other than the Holy Spirit. You see, He has always been Himself, in fact, He is the one who inspired the men who wrote the words that God wanted in the Bible. Back then, the Holy Spirit did not remain inside of the person that God was using, but now, He indwells each and every saved soul until they leave the earth, [1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.]
The day will come when Jesus returns and the Holy Spirit will not indwell souls, each and every soul that gets saved at that point would have to be done under their own personal conviction and willingness to accept Christ as their Saviour. God, goes on to explain the day when both Jew and Gentile, will unite as one while the rest of the world in judged, [Zechariah 2:8-12 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. 9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. 11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.]
[for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.] What Christ will do for His Church will be clear proof of God’s care, protection, and love toward His children. Who are the apple of God’s eye? The second that we even believe that Jesus saves us from judgment He receives us before we even say the prayer. Then we become one of God’s children and the apple of His eye. Not only that, He cleans us up, changes our clothes, and even gives us the power to fight off Satan, [2 Corinthians 5:17-19 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.]
We must understand that we are not in a physical war, this is a spiritual war, one in which Jesus and the Satan are at odds with each other, although Satan is only allowed to go so far. While Jesus promises eternal life, Satan, sets out to destroy every soul that God creates. Through Zachariah, God shows us the opposition that Jesus faces with the devil, and while he is in his glory right now, there will come a time when He will overthrow Satan.
[Zechariah 3:1-5 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. 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? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 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. 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.]
[is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?] [Joshua, Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua] is another name for Jesus, and Satan even tempted Jesus, and for a little while as Jesus hung on the cross, Satan, thought that he had defeated Jesus, and for three days he was in his glory. That was until the day of His resurrection and knocked him right off his feet. We do not know why God allows Satan to walk to and fro between heaven and earth, but we do know that every soul that Jesus redeems has been plucked out of the fire by the hand of Jesus and Satan will never be able to pluck it from His hand, [John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.]
God makes it simple for us to have eternal life, believe in the sinless death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as our redemption and atonement for sin, and accept Him as our Saviour. It is that simple, He started with the Jews, then went to the Gentiles, even though He never denied anyone at anytime. The LORD of hosts is His name, and He will save all who come to Him willingly.
[Zechariah 3:8-10 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. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.]
[upon one stone shall be seven eyes:] On that stone are seven eyes, that they may look many ways, just as Christ looks over us, [1 Peter 3:12-13 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?]
[I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.] Of course, we know that Jesus is the BRANCH, He is also the VINE, and we who are saved are His branches, we Gentiles are graphed into the VINE through our faith in Him, [John 15:3-5 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.]
[shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.] This reminds me of that Jesus said, [Mark 13:28-31 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.]
Perhaps the most important aspect of being a Christian is having faith not only in God, but Christ as well. It is not enough just to have faith in God, we must believe in Christ and all that He is, including that He is God in the flesh. We all live by faith in something, whether we would like to admit it or not, even the worst skeptic has to have some kind of faith that they will succeed in what they are doing. Zechariah, also gives an account to God sending Zerubbabel to Jerusalem to help rebuild the temple.
[Zechariah 4:1-6 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of 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: 3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 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. 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.]
[waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,] If you have ever been woken up out of your sleep, then you know what this feels like. You are not quite alert, still kind of sleepy, and do not want anyone to bother you just yet. Zechariah, did not have the option as he was being shown something rather strange. In fact, the angel was rather surprised that he did not know what this candelabra represented. You can be sure that if God wants you to know something He will reveal it to you in due time, some things though we are just going to have to trust God on. Well, the angel did explain what this dream what all about.
[Zechariah 4:9-11,14 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. 10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. 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? 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.]
[These are the two anointed ones,] The candlestick represents the Word of God, it is the lamp of the feet and the light of the path of all who walk with Christ. The two anointed ones are none other than Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Son was sent by the Father, and the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus, [John 14:26-28 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.]
Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for making me one of Your children, not by my own works or even obedience to Your commands, but solely by my faith and trust in the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, You know the intentions of our hearts, as You allow the devil to bring circumstances and affliction into our lives. Let Your Spirit, lead us, guide us, and keep us in Your Word so it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Remind us that we are not doing this for our salvation, simply to honor You, thank You, and to bring others to You through Him as well so they do not have to end up in the fire. In Your power and might I know that I can do all things, fill me with your grace, lead me with Your power, and let me keep my heart always trusting You. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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