The Two Witnesses…Zechariah pt 5

And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 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: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

 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. 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. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  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.

 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.  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?  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?

 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.(Zechariah 4) 

In the last 4 visions, the prophet Zechariah saw the future Glory of Jerusalem. The city of the great King had been razed, the walls shattered, the temple violated, and the people of Israel had come under the harsh roe of Gentile “horns”, powers, which would humble, scatter and degrade them.

There is no indifference in the Most High, to the deep humiliation, loss and suffering of Judah, Jerusalem and Israel. As Isaiah revealed, “In all of their affliction He is most definitely afflicted”, even in their furthest captivity,  the Angel of the LORD stood among the people typified in the vision as a lowly Haddasah bush, partially submerged in a flooded ravine.

But God gave the prophet “good and comfortable Words” to proclaim over Jerusalem. The “Horns” which had scattered and humbled them would be overthrown by “Craftsmen” who would “fray them”.

God himself was and is jealous for Jerusalem and would once gain dwell in the midst  of her, being a fiery defensive wall to her, and a sanctifying fire in the midst of the city. As a result of God taking residence again in Jerusalem, would be that many among the nations would be “joined to the LORD”, for Jerusalem and the people which she represents, would be re-instated to her Priestly role.

How could the deeply sinful backslidden people be restored again, in the sight of a Holy God?   The answer to this question comes in the third vision, in which Zechariah saw a High Priest named Jehoshua bearing the sins of the Nation before God, and also bearing the reproach of Satan as a substitute representative , until the wrath of God was satisfied. Then the  the Prodigal nation would be re-clothed in the garment of holiness, and re-crowned with the Priestly turban.

In this vision Zechariah sees in a vision,  a representative again of Israel’s two “Anointed Ones”, the high Priest Joshua, and King, Zerubbabel.

I must make a correction,  Zerubbabel, a direct descendent of King David, was  actually the Governor, in the days of the return from the captivity. He should have been the King, but his role was reduced, as a consequence of the curse of Jeconiah His ancestor, a son of David and one time King of Judah,

 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man [Jeconiah] childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.(Jeremiah 22:30)

Thus after the captivity, and the return from the exile,  Zerubabbel, the son of David, was now reduced, as a vassal governor answerable to a Gentile Power, for the curse of Jeconiah was in operation. The very name Zerubabbel is a sign of Jewish humiliation, it is not a dignified Hebrew name as in the rest of the line of David, rather His is a foreign name, it means “seed of Babel”, or perhaps “Sown in Babel”.

 “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 unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah,”(Haggai 1:1)

But this diminished Governor/King, as well as Joshua the High Priest, were given the task by God of of restoring the destroyed Temple, and restoring the true worship in the Holy Land. Together they serve as types of Christ; Joshua as the High Priest bearing the sins o the people, and to Zerubabbel,  the Governor/King, are made definite Messianic promises,

“Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah , saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2:21 -23)

Everything seemed diminished in the ruined Jerusalem that the exiles returned to, the city was reduced, the rebuilt temple was less in stature then the temple destroyed by the Babylonians, the Kingship was reduced to a mere vassal governorship, and the nation greatly reduced, and vulnerable on every side.But God was standing with them.

The vision is of a Candlestick,  or a candelabra as in the Holy Place of the Temple, and the two Olive trees, with lines which feed into the Candleabra, supplying unending oil for Worship and Revelation.

The Candlestick, is the symbol of the role of Israel as the Witness to the Gentiles, to the glory of the only true God.Israel was the original “city on a hill” in the Sermon on the Mount. In the same sermon, Jesus warned  Israel of the danger of “putting a lamp under a bushel basket”. God would not allow the Nation to obscure the Light he had committed unto them by their sin and unbelief.

Thus  The Lamp was taken away from them in 70 Ad and has been and that stripping of position as a witness was memorialized for all of the world to see on the arch of Titus in base relief for all of the world to see.

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In the  church age, aka the time of the Gentiles, the Candlestick has become decentralized, for we see Christ stand among the 7 Lampstands, and the Light of God is diffused through a people who were not a people.

But Zechariah sees the Lampstand again restored, and the Light will again shine out of Jerusalem, Zion shall be restored again, and the Light shall shine once again out of Jerusalem, thus fulfilling the witness of all of the Prophets,

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.(Isaiah 60:1-4)

There are two Olive Trees, the “anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole earth” continually feeding that Divine lamp, the oil by which the heavenly light shines.

I know of multiple possibilities to the identities of these two anointed, for I believe that some apocalyptic prophecies have multiple layers of fulfillment,

  • Zerubabel the Governor and Joshua the high Priest, were “anointed” as representative King and Priest.
  • These two offices would be joined in one in the Messiah, the anointed One, the ultimate and final witness to God.
  • Israel and the Church have both been designated to be witnesses to Jahweh, For Isaiah told Israel, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10 –  and so also did Jeshua tell the church in Acts 1, “You shall be my witnesses…” .
  • There are two individuals who will emerge in the last of the last days, who answer to Zechariah 4,  in Revelation 11. They will duplicate the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, and confront AntiChrist openly,  until God allows them to be killed in public, and to lay on display to the joy of the godless earth. But the earth and those who dwell on it shall be dismayed, when God calls them back to life and raptures them shortly before the final judgment. This also shall be witnessed to by the whole world.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.  And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.(Revelation 11:3-12)

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The Vision of the High Priest…Zechariah 4

The first three visions of Zechariah must have comforted the remnant of the nation of Israel, as they picked through the ruined walls of Jerusalem, once known as, “the city of the Great King”. Jerusalem was in ruins, in appearance she was far from being “the Joy of the Whole earth” , “the city of our God”, rather she was like a shattered and ruined widow, sitting in the ashes of her mourning.

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.(Lamentations 1:1-2)

But the “good and comfortable” words of Zechariah’s visions promised better things for the ruined city.  The Prophet saw that all of the Gentile powers which have scattered her will be thrown down, those who have humbled and persecuted her to the point where a Jew could hardly lift his head, will be humbled themselves, frayed,i.e. terrorized, by craftsmen sent from God.

Furthermore, the city will not only survive, Jerusalem will expand, swelling with life and wealth, and she will live in security such as never before. God himself will be her protection, a wall of fire without, and an indwelling Sanctifying presence within. She will yet be the Holy city, the destination of pilgrims from among many peoples who will come to Jerusalem to “join themselves to the Lord”.

This fourth vision addresses the question, what shall be done about Jerusalem’s sin?  How could a Holy God chose such a sinful city, as the place where “His own name dwells”? BY what means can the deep stains of Jerusalem be removed? This is the city privileged above all others, who has denied the LORD more than any other.*

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.  Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord God, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.  Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.(Ezekiel 22:1-5)

Jerusalem, the “city of our God” and “The joy of the Whole Earth”,  is also called by various prophets of Jahweh,  “The Harlot” the “city of blood”, the “Seething cauldron”, “Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified”, and  many other dreadful names of shame.

But “The LORD has chosen her”, and will dwell in her again, according to the prophet,  therefore He shows us a vision of her cleansing and restoration.

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. 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?

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

 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.  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.  And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,

 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. 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. 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. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.(Zechariah 3)

IN the vision, Joshua the High Priest, (This was a real person, the High Priest who presided in the time of the return from Babylon) stood before the Angel of the LORD.  This expression is a technical, liturgical expression, “Standing before” as in his High Priestly service before the LORD.

Now as High Priest, Joshua literally represented the entire nation of Israel, as he stood before the LORD, for the High Priest is the substitute, representative of the people, bearing the twelve tribes on his very chest(Breastplate) and going in and out before the LORD on their behalf.

Thus in him, the God appointed Mediator, the Nation itself stands before Jahweh, in all of it’s filthiness, sin and reproach.

Satan also stood there, in the capacity as the legal adversary, the prosecuting witness arguing against him before the Divine Judge. He stands at the right hand  of Joshua, something David Baron suggested indicates the place of the prosecutor in a trial, making arguments against the accused.  He cited Psalm 109 as a probable reason for this, which states,

Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.(Psalm 109:6-7)

But the LORD, the Angel of God’s presence, before who Joshua stood, acts as an advocate in the defense, when he rebukes Satan, (in the name of the LORD).That is, in the name of the LORD that has chosen Jerusalem, to put his name there forever,  he is the one who rebuked Satan.

It is on the basis of God’s eternal election of Israel, that the Angel of the LORD argues for Israel in the presence of God and of ” ha Satan”, the inveterate adversary of God’s people.It is ironic that to this day, even within the church, there are many who bring the very same charge against Israel, as the Satan did!

The LORD then declared, that Joshua was a brand plucked from the fire.

The fire with it’s coals, refers to the Altar of God. When the prophet Isaiah “saw the LORD, High and Lifted UP”, and reproached himself, feeling and seeing the full enormity of his own personal sin and guilt, the Seraphim took a coal from off the fire and touched his lips with it, purging him of his sins.

The Altar is the Cross, and with the lips, confession is made unto salvation… . By the Judgment of God upon the substitute, we are cleansed forever.

IS not this a coal from the fire? Had God not caused his sinful people to go through many, many fires of affliction and suffering? Egypt was a furnace, so also Babylon, but so too the Roman and Islamic and Russian and German fires . Ever since the commencement of the “Times of the Gentiles” tis Holy people have endured furnace after furnace, it is a miracle there still is an Israel!

Joshua’s clothes were filthy.As High Priest he embodies the people of Israel. He bears their sin and shame , and the taunt and malice of the Enemy, until the wrath of God is satisfied. In that day a new garment is presented to Him and the priestly dignity is restored, the Mitre put on his head and a solemn charge is given him. What happens to him, as High Priest (Ha Cohen Migdal) and Divine representative, is what happens to the nation as a whole.

The vision looks ahead to the appearance of a far greater high Priest named Joshua, or Jeshua,(Jesus) , Who would in truth bare in his body on an accursed tree, all of the sins of Israel and even of the whole world, until the very wrath of the Holy God is satisfied. He will take upon himself the sins of the whole world and of Israel, and carry our sorrows and sins before Jahweh, unto Judgment and death.

But on the third day, God raised him from the dead and clothed him anew with the garments of Righteousness!

He would be known as the man whose name is ‘the Branch”, (the netzer), (Jeshua of Natzereth), through Him, God will remove the iniquity of the Holy People in One day!

Thus will Israel be made holy, and the stain removed once and for all, not through the filthy garments of works, but through the ministration of the man whose name is the Branch!

Dear God hasten the day of the restoration of your people!

 

*(By the city, we mean, all that the city stands for, i.e. the people of God, the worshippers of Jahweh, etc.)

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The Apple Of God’s Eye…Zechariah pt 3

I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.  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.  And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,  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:  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.

 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 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.

 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. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.  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. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.(Zechariah 2)

The next vision Zechariah the prophet received, involved a heavenly surveyor, sent to measure the city of Jerusalem for expansion. At the time of the prophecy, Jerusalem was in a ruin, she had been destroyed by enemies,abandoned by God, her temple razed and the walls broken down leaving her totally vulnerable to any and every wandering brigand.

As we learned in the last vision, God had been “a little displeased” with His people, allowing the only city on earth on which He had placed his Holy name, to be desecrated and emptied.

But Jerusalem will not perish forever, instead she will expand and shall teem with Jewish life. The City of our God, shall again dwell in such security, she will not even need to be walled.

God himself would be Jerusalem’s outer defense, as a wall of Fire, and He would indwell her, animating her as in olden times, as the indwelling Glorious One.

This vision expands upon the gospel of the Last vision,

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…. 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…  and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.(Zechariah 1)

This is a message the so called “Kings of the earth and their rulers”had best familiarize themselves with, as they pronounce a new “divided Jerusalem” , and deny the connection of the “city of the great King” to the Jewish people, and adamantly deny that Israel, the nation brought back from captivity has the right to call Jerusalem her capitol.

Jahweh, the infinite personal,Holy God of the Bible, and the Sovereign Judge of all of the earth, is passionately  concerned with Jerusalem, He has a Divine purpose for it, and in spite of her many harlotries and sins, Jahweh will soon return to this very city with great mercies and with salvation.

The Supreme Court of the United States last year denied a young US passport applicant, the right to answer the question of origin, as being from “Jerusalem,Israel”. The United Nations security council recently judged unanimously(Saving abstentions) that Jerusalem, including the Temple mountain, and the wailing wall, as being “unlawfully occupied” territory belonging to the Palestinians.

The Gentile nations have their own claims upon the holy city, which run counter to the Divine intention, thus precipitating a  conflict, the “Controversy of Zion” which will embroil the whole earth and bring about the events of the day of the LORD.

For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.  And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.  It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.(Isaiah 34:8-10)

Zechariah hears from the Angel a cry, going out from the LORD to the exiled house of Israel, for though the LORD had spread them to the four quarters of the earth,  the time had come t come home.

This is obviously a reference to a later exile than the one Zechariah had just returned from,  for Zechariah and the captives had been sent to Babylon for their exile, but the exiles the Man in the vision call out to had been scattered to the “four winds of heaven”. This was the scattering predicted by Moses, and carried out in the years between 70 ad and 120 ad, by the Romans who again razed the temple, destroyed Jerusalem and glutted the world’s slave markets with Jews, which went from one end of the earth to the other, and which lasted until 1948 ad!

Nearly all of the nations of the earth have proven complicit in the scattering of Israel, the desecration of Jerusalem, and the  abuse and persecution of the chosen people, over the long two thousand year ‘time of the gentiles’ . With impunity have they “carried the affliction ” God had laid upon his people, further than God had intended.

Those who have touched her, have literally touched the apple in God’s eye, and in the time of the return of the LORD with mercies unto Jerusalem, will also be a day of vengeance upon those nations which have spoiled her in her affliction.

There will be a division of the nations over this very issue, many will repent and be joined to the LORD, others will be inspired by Satan to try and wipe the name of Israel off of the face of the earth.

The Angel of God’s presence assures shattered and lowly Jerusalem, “I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the Lord ofHosts hath sent me unto thee”.

This is the final and prophetic sequel to the final words of Jesus to Jerusalem in the temple of the LORD and in his capacity as the Messiah of Israel,

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.(Matthew 23:37-39)

 

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The Man Among The Myrtle Trees…Zechariah pt 2

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.  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. 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.  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.  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? (Zechariah 1:8-12)

In Zechariah’s first vision he saw horsemen.  The most prominent one, stood among the Myrtle trees which were situated in a low, wet place. This man standing among those low trees, is none less than the Angel of the LORD, the Messiah, who is also called “The Messenger of the Covenant”.

The Myrtle trees, (lit.) Haddasah trees,  are lowly, yet fragrant, and in this vision are partially submerged in a watery ditch. In prophetic language, trees represent nations, such as the Cedar of Lebanon, the Oaks of Bashan, and in Israel’s case, at times the fig or olive Tree.

In the day of the return from Captivity, the tree which best symbolized Israel, was the lowly Haddaseh, partially submerged in a watery ditch , in the Hebrew, Metsulah, sinking in water, the  same word is found in the 88th Psalm,

Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps(metsulah) .

.The nation was at a low point, for she had just returned after being ‘cast into the sea”, the world of the Gentiles. For Israel, there was no capitol city, only a ruin. There were no walls around Jerusalem, the Temple had been destroyed, and only a trickle of Jews returned to the Land after her captivity.

But even in this depressed condition, The Angel of the LORD is seen, standing with her in her degraded and weakened state.He sits on a Red Horse and speaks to a small band of Angelic horsemen.They have just returned from a patrol across the earth and have now brought their report.

“All of the earth sits still and is at rest…”.

So the Nations of the World are unconcerned about the ruined state of the Covenant people, they are fine, whilst Jerusalem is a wreck, ruined, and humiliated.

There is also a very modern application to this vision so far.

I can remember a time in my own lifetime, when Islamic terrorism was Israel’s problem to solve, not the rest of the modern world. Europe, the USA, The UN and Russia didn’t have to deal with it, just the Jews. Everyone had a lot of council for the Jews, as to how best to solve this problem, such as “the two State Solution”, “Land for Peace” and endless negotiations were urged as if the only Democratic and free state in the Middle East was morally equivalent to the people who slaughtered the Israeli Olympic team in 1972.

The nations were at ease, they didn’t care as long as the oil kept flowing.

So the Angel of the LORD who stands with the lowly Haddasah tree,  intercedes for Jerusalem and for all of Zion, asking God, How long will it be before the LORD shows mercy to Jerusalem?

And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.  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.  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. 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.  Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.(Zechariah 1:13-17)

The comforting words? The LORD is jealous for Jerusalem,He will not leave it in such a ruined state forever, He has a purpose to fulfill in Zion, regardless of what the indifferent Gentile world thinks!

In fact the LORD who was displeased with Israel, is now sore displeased at the Nations of the world, for their indifference to the plight of his own people. God had used the nations at one rime, to chasten his people, but the nations have taken God’s chastening further than he intended! “They helped forward the affliction”.

Yes Israel has endured a long night of exile, suffering, shame and debasement for centuries, exactly as Moses predicted she would, as punishment for her sins.

But evidently the Babylonians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and yes the Germans, British, French and Americans, all have been used to chastise the Holy people, at various times, but all of the nations stand guilty of taking the assigned affliction too far by varying degrees. God is angry at the nations!

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.  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.  And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.  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.(Zechariah 12:18-21)

Horns symbolize worldly powers, governments and Empires. The Gentiles are depicted as four horns which were used to “scatter” the Holy people. Why four? Four is a universal number, for example, North,South, East , and West. The center if the world is Israel, the center of Israel is Jerusalem and the center of Jerusalem is the temple mount. All around are the Gentiles, to the North, South,sat and West.

Nebuchadnezzar the King had a vision of the four major gentile Powers Israel would be subservient to, (until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled), two eastern powers and two western, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, powers which would rule until Jesus comes back.

Currently there is a olitical entity of Gentile powers called “the Quartet” which was organized to solve and implement the “two state” solution in Israel. The Quartet consists of The U.N., the European Union, the USA and Russia.

All of the major gentile powers are guilty of scattering Judah,Israel and Jerusalem. We know of course the ways that the Babylonians, the Seleucid Greeks and the Romans literally scattered Israel from one end of the earth to the other.

But didn’t the Germans also scatter the Jews, and has not the British Empire, and  Modern America scattered Israel also? Who turned away the ship the ST Louis, full of Holocaust survivors, desperately seeking refuge, but being turned away at every port, in Europe, America and in South America, until the Ship was resigned to returning to German held Europe, and most of the escapees perished anyway?

Which Nation, after World War 2 rammed another ship of literal holocaust survivors on their way to Israel to make Aliyah? The British Navy rammed the Exodus, boarded the ship and arrested the captains, towed the ship back to Europe and confined the would be escapees to internment camps in Europe!

Which US President conspired with Ariel Sharon to force Jews out of the Gaza, land God gave to Abraham and his seed forever, only to cede it over to savages who have been rocketing Israel ever since?

The horns are so powerful, they are musclebound nations compared to the little Haddasah tree in the wet Ravine, but the LORD has an answer to the “Four Horns”, four carpenters.The ‘carpenters’ are raised up by God to deal with the mighty horns. For every horn there is a carpenter, to “Fray” the horn.

What does the word “Fray”mean in the text? David Baron, whose commentary on Zechariah is invaluable, says that the Hebrew word translated “Fray” means “Terrorize”.

Have not the musclebound, most powerful nations on earth, any of which in a classic “set piece” battle could crush any other armies, proven to be ineffective in the current style of guerrilla terror war of the Muslims, Hezbullah, Abu Sayef, Isis and Alqueda?

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After Seventy Years…Zechariah pt 1

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? Zechariah 1:12

Zechariah was a prophet in the time of the restoration of Israel, being one of the meager company of Jews who came back into the land after the seventy year Babylonian Captivity had ended.He began prophesying about the year 520 BC.

It is interesting to note that currently we are approaching another 70 anniversary for Israel, for in our day, the nation which was reborn in May 1948, in fulfillment of so many prophecies, is very near 70 years old.

The Prophet gives a preliminary address to the nation, before he reveals the eight visions which were given him, in one night,concerning Israel and Jerusalem.

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, The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.  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.

 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.  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.(Zechariah 1:1-6)

Israel is to consider her fathers, the ones whose unbelief and disobedience to the covenant made the Babylonian exile inevitable. It was their adamant refusal to turn, in the face of countless warnings, sent through broken hearted prophets, that was what brought about the devastating judgment, the destruction of the Temple, and the exile.

Would the generation which lived to see the return, ever repent? Or would they be as their hard hearted and condemned Fathers?

The Apostle James quotes Zechariah’s admonition, when he says,“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”.

Where are their Fathers Now?

For that matter, where also are the Prophets sent to warn them, and who were eventually vindicated?

As it happened, about the time Isaiah’s Word was coming to pass, the Fathers were ignoring and reviling Jeremiah, and by the time Jeremiah’s Word was proven true in spite of official rejection and opposition, the “fathers’ were reviling and rejecting Ezekiel…and so on.

Eventually, after the fact, those Fathers were forced to admit that the Prophets were right, but wouldn’t it had been better to take God’s Word for it, rather than to have to experience Judgment first hand?

Here we are today in a similar situation; The unthinkable has happened, Israel became a nation again in accordance to the Words of the Prophets!

Has this evident miracle provoked repentance and turning unto God among the children of Israel, after all of these seventy years?

The same goes for the “Christian world”, which professes to believe in those prophets and the seal of those Prophets, the Messiah. Have we deeply repented and considered our own times, in these seventy years since the restoration of the nation of Israel? Does anyone realize the significance of this event?

What happened seventy years ago is a bill-board sized miracle proclaiming to the entire world that God is real, everything He has said is true, and that the restoration of Israel, portends   the commencement of the very last days, the coming of Judgment and the dawn of the Long awaited Kingdom of the Messiah!

But who, if any has turned to God because of it?

Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.  For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.(Jeremiah 31:10-12)

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A Note To My Anonymous Editor…

Dear reader, I am not trying to be dramatic or publishing this for any other effect than for the sake of outreach. I have been experiencing anonymous “edits” of some of my blogposts, posted back to me , with no return address other than “the Editor”.   The ‘edits’ come also with quite a bit of spiteful commentary. This has gone a step further, because now  this “editor”has resorted to contacting church members by mail, and even  leafletting our car park on a Wednesday Evening service. Pray for whoever this is, that we can talk and work this out- Pas Bill

 

Dear Editor, I would love to be able to discuss a few issues with you in person or at least by mail, but you can’t seem to bring yourself to put a return address on any of your missives, and when one of our elders saw you in the Car Park, you were in such a hurry to get away you dropped your copies of my blog.

I want first of all to thank you. It is obvious that you must have a love for proper grammer and punctuation,  both of which I have often been guilty of falling short of. Your edits are actually helpful to me, so in that manner you have been a kind of a friend, dispensing tough love to me. I need it. I have not been formally educated, therefore I consider myself a continual undergraduate.

Another thing you help me with is, to see myself through someone else’s eyes. I even consider your charges that I am hateful, biased and unloving, as worthy of consideration. I don’t want to so much as come across as any of that. I don’t think you really understand where I am coming from, but I certainly have been considering your charges, so thanks for that also.

I have one complaint. I like to do things in the light, I do not prefer darkness. Why don’t you come out of the shadows Editor, and lets talk as men, in the light?  I have found that those who hide in the dark, and who leave no return address or any way to communicate after they say hard things, come across as ‘creepy”, dark and even deceitful.

Come on out in the open Editor, communicate with me. I don’t pretend to be “All knowing, or infallible”. I have benefitted much by criticism over the years, lets do this as men, in the light! The Bible tells us to “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them….”   Your grateful but baffled friend, Pas Bill

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Is Trump A Savior? Thoughts on My Most Recent Post…

Due to the fact that I have been very wrongly and unfairly accused by a few of “puffing Trump”, and believing that “Trump is a Savior”, I think a brief clarification is in order.

I do not, nor have I ever thought Donald Trump to be some kind of a Savior. The only Savior of the USA and of all mankind is the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Lord, who died on the cross to free us from our sins, their power, penalty and corruptive influence.

Having said that,(again) , I have to say that I like many others, have been immensely relieved and gratified to not have to live out the “Hillary Clinton Presidency”. Whew!!!! The Harm done to our nation by Bush, Clinton and then Obama, would only have been compounded by the election of Hillary. I do not feel in the least bit sorry for rejoicing in the downfall of those career criminals.

It could turn out that Trump proves worse, more destructive and who knows, He  could  be the Anti-Christ? We just don’t know yet. He could also be a Cyrus, who knows?

My last post merely made the point that after the first week of office, I have marveled at the speed, efficiency and workmanlike attack on our nation’s manifold problems, most notably the Islamic Refugee calamity, inflicted on us by our previous leaders.

Trump, being a businessman, and having had to meet payrolls, knows that the best way to solve the problem would be to locate the refugees of Syria closer to Syria, and that we could save billions of dollars, and very much destabilization of the nation, just by creating safe places in the Middle East.

Trump merely picked up a phone and called the Saudis, and lo and behold, made deal with King Salmon, who pledged to help in the endeavor and even contribute money towards it. This is the same Saudi King who shares the murderous religion of those refugees but who wouldn’t lift a finger to help them, not admitting one of them into his own vast and wealthy nation.

This is the first full week of work for Trump. It makes me wonder, what were the other presidents doing all of the time? Or perhaps, how beholden were they to the Saudis? Thats all I said.

I have no idea what will happen with Trump,  he is obviously a sinner,(Like me), and yes I know he has a notorious false teacher attached to his administration. That would be Paula White, a Word Faith heretic and opportunist, deeply embedded in the Trump administration. I am well aware of this, and of the danger of this. It is consistent with Trump’s earliest spirituality, which is Norman Vincent Peale’s positive thinking heresy.

The fact that I marveled at Trump’s efficiency on one single problem in no ways means that I , (who have long stood against the NAR, Manifested Sons heretics) am now oblivious to the spiritual dangers of Paula White.

We have to quit playing ‘gotcha’ , in the name of discernment! If we bite and devour one another,we will one day be consumed one of another.

My other cause for criticism was that I attached a Stefan Molyneaux video , which was entitled,”Did Trump Just Save Western Civilization?”. I gave a disclaimer, that the man doesn’t take the prophecies into account and that I don’t agree with all that he says.

Molyneaux is a Philosopher, actually an Atheist, who has been slowly realizing,(I think since 9-11) that Western Civilization is now imperiled, due to the insanity of unchecked immigration from the Muslim World.  He has actually admitted that his earlier harsh criticisms against Christianity have been wrong, and is beginning to see, that much of the beauty and freedom which is heritage of the West is due to Christianity.

Obviously I don’t agree with ll of his viewpoints, but  as I have tried to get across to one of my critics, ‘even a broken clock is right twice a day’.  I merely shared a little Molyneaux clip, in which he excitedly made similar observations to my own, about Trump’s “immigration ban”.

Though he is at present an atheist, Molyneaux is also a person made in the very image of God and capable of some reasonable thought, right? I have been praying for Stefan Molyneaux, I actually like him and empathize with many of his concerns. (Don’t worry, I haven’t defected, I think Jesus would want us to pray for any Atheist!).

He made more of it than I, hoping that we had reached a turning point to the insanity, should Trump succeed in cutting off the flow of Islamic immigration, it could one day be seen as the moment when the tide was turned and the West saved itself.

As I said in my previous article, He doesn’t know what we know by revelation, that is the prophecies and the nearness of the Lord’s return, and the inevitable judgments coming upon the West. Therefore, though some of what he says is sane and reasonable, I do not believe Trump’s actions will save anything.

It is therefore unfair for anyone to infer from this that I am a false teacher, and am defecting or “worshipping Trump” or any of the other ridiculous and unfair accusations which have been publicly leveled at me. God knows everything.

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