Read the word.
Teach the word.
Preach the word.
- 1 Timothy 4:13
A day is coming when God will say, “Enough is enough!” and a well-defined seven-year period will begin. This might sound like science fiction if the world hadn’t gone through what it has in the last generation.
Jesus gave us signs to look for—signposts that tell us we are getting closer to His return. He told us that these signs would be like labor pain—increasing with frequency and intensity.
This past Sunday, we considered these labor pains as we finished our study in Zechariah. Watch our study of Zechariah 14 as we considered why and how God allows temporary difficulty to get us to see eternity.
“In that day…” This phrase is repeated 17 times in the last three chapters of Zechariah. The day it refers to is The Day of The Lord—otherwise known as the time of Jacob’s trouble, the seventieth week of Daniel, the day of wrath (just to name a few).
It’s a distinct, specific, and well-defined seven year period in the future where God will pour out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting world in a final, merciful effort to provide incentive and opportunity for repentance, dealing specifically with the nation of Israel.
“In that day,” a number of things are going to happen, many of which are outlined for us in the last three chapters of the book of Zechariah. Watch our study from Sunday as we begin to consider the events of that time as described in Zechariah 13.
What do you think of when you hear the word Armageddon? Perhaps ideas about the end of the world come to mind? Or maybe thoughts of a great battle? Or possibly the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Armageddon has to do with all of those, but the word “Armageddon” is an English transliteration of the Hebrew “Har Megiddo” which literally means “Mount Megiddo.” At the base of this mountain in Israel is a famous valley where more battles have been fought than just about any other valley on earth.
It is in this vast plain—in the shadow of Mount Megiddo—where the battle of Armageddon will one day take place. At that battle, Satan, The Anti-Christ, and The False Prophet will somehow convince the armies of the whole earth to gather for the wholesale slaughter of the remaining Jewish people on the planet.
In the remaining chapters of Zechariah, we get glimpses of this future battle. Watch our study of Zechariah 12 as we begin to look ahead to what this final battle will look like.
Jesus had access to more power and military might than any leader ever—and yet, His choice of transportation when He triumphantly entered Jerusalem was…a baby donkey.
We knew He would, for we saw this prediction in prophecy when we studied Zechariah 9. But we read of the fulfillment of this prophecy in Zechariah 11.
All four gospels record the events of the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, but there is something recorded in Luke’s gospel that will help us as we work through Zechariah 11.
Watch our study of Zechariah 11 as we also turn to Luke 19 to understand what was going on the day Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a baby donkey.
Zechariah 10 contains some very unique promises concerning the Promised Land. Even after the Jewish remnant returned following the Babylonian captivity, God would scatter, then regather His people to the Promised Land a second time in anticipation of the second coming of the Messiah.
Scripture is full of peculiar promises of God’s people being regathered a second time. God’s word is sure—His promises are secure. And we’re seeing these prophecies fulfilled as recently as 1948, when the nation of Israel became a nation again in only one day.
Watch our study of Zechariah 10 as we consider the faithfulness of God to fulfill His promises.
In Zechariah 9, we read about three future kings who will enter the city of Jerusalem at different times. God provides Zechariah prophetic details about these three kings so we can see the differences in how they triumphantly entered Jerusalem.
The first king is Alexander the Great—brilliant and ruthless. The second king is Antiochus Epiphanies—vile and violent. The third king is unlike the first two. He is meek and lowly, yet He is the most important king of all—one whose reign will never end.
Watch our study of Zechariah 9 as we consider these three kings and how they each chose different ways to enter the city of Jerusalem.
While in captivity in Babylon, the Jews continued to fast in the fifth month over the destruction of the temple. Now that a new temple was being built, a delegation returned to Jerusalem to ask the priests if they should continue a religious ritual they had instituted for the past 70 years.
But they were missing the bigger point. So the word of the Lord came to Zechariah. The Lord had a question for them—when you fasted, did you really fast for Me?
The focus they had on what they thought they should do revealed their impenitent hearts that no longer felt shame or regret about their actions or attitudes.
Watch our study of Zechariah 7 as we reviewed and reflected on God’s word.
In Zechariah 6, we read of two more visions Zechariah experienced. In these visions, Zechariah was shown not only the spiritual reality behind what was happening in his day and age, but he was also shown the spiritual reality of events far in the future.
Events like the time of tribulation that falls upon the whole world immediately before the second coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign as king.
Though things today seem bleak, we can still have hope. Watch our study of Zechariah 6 as we remember that no matter how bad things get, our King is still coming!
“What do you see?”
Zechariah was asked this question in his sixth vision. And what he saw was…a 15’ x 30’ flying scroll.
It’s important to remember that these visions were physical pictures that communicated spiritual truth. The angel explained the spiritual truth in this vision: the scroll represents the curse that goes out over all the earth. This curse has consequences—corruption and destruction because of sin.
But this curse has been broken! Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’” In John 3, Jesus points to a physical picture to understand this spiritual truth.
There was a time when deadly snakes invaded the camp of the Israelites in the wilderness. Moses pleaded with the Lord to do something and the Lord commanded him to make a bronze serpent, to put it on a pole, and to lift it up. Anyone who was bit by a snake and looked to the bronze serpent would live.
Jesus explained that this physical picture has a spiritual truth. Bronze is a symbol of judgment and the serpent is a symbol of sin. Lifting it on a pole is a picture of sin being judged for all to look to and live.
On the cross, Jesus became a curse for us—He became sin so we could become the righteousness of God. All who look to Jesus will be saved—He has rescued us from the curse by becoming cursed for us!
“What do you see?”
This is the question Zechariah is asked at the beginning of his sixth vision as recorded in Zechariah chapter 5. Each vision that Zechariah experienced was a peek behind the scenes to the spiritual reality, beyond what can be seen with physical sight.
The sixth and seventh visions Zechariah experienced are no exceptions. And what Zechariah saw was…a giant flying scroll and a woman in a basket.
As strange as that seems, God used these physical pictures to communicate spiritual truths. Watch our study of Zechariah 5 as we consider the meaning and significance of these visions.
Have you ever faced a mountain of a problem with no success that you’ve felt like a failure? Maybe you’ve tried everything to solve it—all of your might, power, and strength—but that mountain of a problem stubbornly remains. And all of your effort and ingenuity only seem to make the problem worse.
But when you come to the end of your limited human might, power, intellect, and ingenuity and begin to rely solely upon God’s Holy Spirit and God’s grace that the mountain of a problem miraculously begins to move.
This was God’s encouragement to Zerubabbel in Zechariah 4. God is graciously willing to help when we truly humble ourselves and admit that God’s work must be done in God’s way—not by our might or by our power.
Imagine the courtroom scene that young Zechariah saw in Zechariah 3. The Angel of the Lord is the judge. Joshua, the high priest, is the defendant. Standing to Joshua’s right is Satan, the accuser, acting as prosecutor.
Satan didn’t need to lie to the judge about what Joshua had done. He just needed to point and say, “He is guilty—You know it, I know it, he knows it. Guilty!”
And yet, the Lord chose Joshua, just as the Lord chose Jerusalem, just as the Lord chose Israel, just as the Lord chose you. His choice didn’t have anything to do with your self-righteousness. It had to do with His goodness. He sees you and Satan standing next to you to accuse you. He knows that He has every right and every reason to reject you.
But He chooses to do with you what He chose to do with Joshua:
“Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him, He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”” (Zechariah 3:4)
He chooses to do this even though He has every right and reason to reject you because of the stains of your sin. It is not by anything we are capable of, but only by Him and His sacrifice is it possible for us to be forgiven and completely cleansed from all unrighteousness.
O Christ, I lift mine eyes;
your love for me I own;
in your great sacrifice
remains my hope alone;
the robe is mine, my soul to dress,
of everlasting righteousness.
In Zechariah 3, we read about the fourth vision of young Zechariah. In this vision, he saw the spiritual reality behind what everyone else saw with their physical eyes.
What Zechariah saw was Joshua, the high priest, on trial before God Almighty. His adversary, named Satan, was accusing him, but Joshua had an advocate.
Who was this advocate? And would Joshua be found guilty or innocent? Watch our study of Zechariah 3 as we considered this courtroom scene—and the applications we find in it for us today.
God encouraged the discouraged remnant in half-built Jerusalem with these words: “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,” says the Lord, “will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4-5)
“Really?” the people must have thought. “This is the future glory of this city? This is what will be far in the future as a direct result of our courageous faithfulness right here and right now? Really?”
Yes, really! It may have been difficult for them to imagine things different than how they saw it, but God’s word is true! This entire transformation began with believing God, obeying God, and moving in God’s direction.
Like the remnant, we are prone to discouragement by the lack of progress we might see in our lives. Our lives may be busted up and broken down, dilapidated due to laziness and sin. But in Christ, you are holy. You are set apart for a specific good work. God wants the world to see the reality of His existence through His relationship with You. The watching world is reading your life and your relationship with God.
So, with courageous faithfulness, place what you have into the hands of Jesus—then watch what He can do! He may even give you a glimpse of the future glory that will come from your small act of obedience right here and right now.
In Zechariah 1, we were introduced to the remnant of faithful Jews who returned to Jerusalem after enduring 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Their initial excitement wore off when the worries of life set in. The foundation of the temple was all they had to show for their labor and faithfulness.
So God sent Haggai and Zechariah—messengers to deliver God’s heart-changing, soul-stirring, life-giving Word to encourage them to return to obedience.
In Zechariah 2, we encounter that life-giving exhortation. His message to the remnant then is just as important for us now: “Lift your eyes and look at what God will do far in the future as a result of your courageous faithfulness today.”
Listen to our study of Zechariah 2 and receive God’s encouragement for your soul!
In Zechariah’s first vision (Zechariah 1:8-17), Zechariah saw soldiers on horseback sent by God throughout the earth. In their midst, in the hollow among the myrtle trees, was a man.
Myrtle trees aren’t impressive like the soaring cedars of Lebanon. Their beauty is born out of difficulty. The more that their roots struggle to find soil and water, the more beautiful the tree becomes. Its blossoms are fragrant when crushed and are used for medicines.
In scripture, myrtle trees are consistently seen as a symbol of the people of the nation of Israel—hearty and beautiful who fight for existence and bless others, even while being crushed.
But there was also a man among the myrtle trees—a leader of an army who stood among the people of Israel. He seemed to be The Lord of Hosts—The Lord of Heavenly Armies. Who is this man? What is His name?
His name is Jesus—The Lord our Salvation. No matter how many times the enemy rises up to scatter and tear down, Jesus finds men and women in every generation to rise up, build up, and bless.
May the Man among the myrtle trees encourage you to be steadfastly committed to loving God, loving your family, and loving your neighbors. For when we do this in loving obedience to God—even and especially when times get tough—it terrifies our enemy.
This past Sunday, we began our study in the book of Zechariah. His ministry was complimentary to the ministry of Haggai in many ways. Where Haggai was blunt and very straightforward, Zechariah was more encouraging and uplifting.
While Haggai forced the returning remnant to focus on the immediate task at hand, Zechariah encouraged the people to lift their eyes beyond what they were working on on to what God would do far in the future.
And though Haggai was old, Zechariah was “a young man”—somewhere between a young boy and a teenager.
But Zechariah did not let his youthfulness get in the way of his usefulness for the Lord. He boldly proclaimed the word of the Lord to a people who needed to remember that the Lord remembers. Watch our study of Zechariah 1 as we got to know this young prophet in Jerusalem.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends