Synthesis of Scripture

Zechariah 8

Then the word of the LORD of hosts came saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts. Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. ‘And it will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’ For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. And the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

Why is it so difficult to properly place the prophecy in this passage, that pretribulational, premillenial dispensationalists; amillenialists and postmillennialist cannot agree on the timing? I believe it is because of elapsed time and taught traditions that have evolved and eroded over the years. We have turned the eastern book of the Bible into a western, Hollywood-style, script of sensational sophistry– literally in movies like Left Behind. Not that the Bible is not sensational and not that it isn’t greater than any Hollywood script, but it is an eastern book, written over a thousand years with multiple genres and with recurring themes, such as God’s patience. Therefore all these things should be taken into account as one not only studies prophecy but the Bible in general, including the fulfillment of prophecy. This is the G, in the CAGED method. We have to consider the genre of prophecy and the apocalyptic address while we consider its context. We must consider the aspirations of the author to his audience and we have to explore examples, such as common imagery, words and phrases and absolutely understand when a New Testament writer tells us that the prophecy has been fulfilled by emphatically stating it or even alluding to the former prophets. Such as Peter proclaimed the prophecy in Joel had been fulfilled in Acts. It’s an excellent example of how to understand the apocalyptic address.

We also need to clear our minds concerning certain definitions, such as “apocalypse” or the word, “armageddon.” I have previously written during the beginning of the outbreak of Covid19, that a certain radio personality called it the apocalypse. This is a western definition and etymology of an eastern word meaning “unveiling.” I confidently affirmed that Covid19 is neither the “apocalypse” nor the end of the world. Covid19 is not an apocalyptic event in either sense of the word. To “apocalypse’s” true form, meaning, “revelation,” Covid19 is not found in the context of Scripture, specifically, and in the western sense, it’s clearly not the end of the world. My point is, as always, one cannot hit on the highlights of headlines and then interpret the Bible but must empty one’s mind and let the Bible interpret itself and then interpret the times.

A simple exercise of the mind will help to change one’s mind–I think. Think about our times when persecution runs rampant across the globe, Covid19 has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide (yet the flu has disappeared). Protests of anarchy are rising up across America over racial tensions created by leftwing hate-groups and yet we live in the absolute best of times. You may disagree with that statement but think; would you rather live now amongst anarchy, Covid19 and persecution or would you have rather lived during the holocaust in a concentration camp? How about during the Spanish flu and World War I? But that’s relatively recent history. Would you rather live now with a facemask, no job, and limited freedom to do the things you like or would you rather live on a slave-ship during the Middle Passage? How about in the city slums with open sewer, on the streets, during the bubonic plague? Would you rather live now or 500 years ago? How about 1000 years ago? The fact that you are reading this is also significant because a; the internet and b; you can read. We have a coastline paradox situation in our current cultural climate. We think that yesterday was better than today but we can easily admit, if we truly think, that over time things have gotten better. If you need extra help admitting this, go without your smartphone, toilet paper, flushable toilet, clean water, car, eye glasses, pacemakers, air conditioning, steel-toed boots and cruise-ship vacations. What else do I have to list? Do I have to go on about your grandparents’ racism? If we could travel back in time and attend southern churches only 50 years ago, would we not find sermons promoting segregation? Would we not find sermons promoting antisemitic attitudes? Nevertheless I will admit that something is wrong with our current cultural climate and I take my responsibility for it. I chased the American dream, but the Lord cut me down. What have we done to stop the genocide of Black babies in the womb, slaughtered by white “doctors.” I guess the white people with their BLM signs are right, racism is a health care crisis. What is the demographic breakdown of abortion doctors to slaughtered babies?

I hate facemasks and I hate persecution but I am also fed up with the most prosperous people in the history of the world saying that these are signs of the end of the world. On a recent radio program of a prophecy pundit, the listeners were told to “wake up!” While it is true that antifa and BLM are not what they appear to be, neither is the dispensationalist dogma of this radio program. We are Christians and we are supposed to condemn xenophobia and racism, yet they keep saying that we have to support Israel, they also say that all this carnage and rage which is going on, could be because President Trump was considering signing the “Deal of the Century,” annexing some of Israel’s land, but not Jerusalem, to the Palestinians. There are only several problems with that theory: where does the Bible say that Israel’s borders belongs to Jews alone? I know that they think the Bible says this but that’s because they have westernized their definitions. Where does the Bible say that nations must bless modern Israel in order to be blessed? Immediately when reading this, many minds will think, “I will bless those that bless Israel.” However that is not even a verse ripped out of context, it isn’t a verse at all. It’s another example of how well-meaning men have manipulated the manuscript. The verse, in Genesis 12, actually refers to the descendants of Abraham and as John the Baptist said to the alleged descendants; “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Nevertheless this is not a call for antisemitic attitudes because a remnant according to God’s gracious choice, did bear fruit, much fruit. We don’t want to confuse the blessings towards Abraham with borders of a modern country. What we need to do is utilize the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics, where; context is king, author’s aspirations to his audience are apex, genre is the general, expository exegesis of examples enlightens and dividing rightly the word of truth either confirms or cancels our preconceived notions and presuppositions. Unless you are learning for yourself you only know what you have been taught. And as we have seen, most of us have been taught that the Lord “will bless those who bless Israel.” Also remember that Israel existed of 12 tribes, and since it is about the land according to dispensationalist dogma, there were 10 land tribes, 2 land half-tribes and the Levites, who served in the temple and as priests and had no land inheritance. Since the dogmatic dispensationalists are dogmatic, shouldn’t the Jewish people only be given Judah as we await the return of the other tribes? If this sounds convoluted and confusing, straying from the straightforward, it absolutely is. Jesus is the true Israel and Matthew went to great lengths to prove that. I wrote many missives on Matthew, if you read the first 4 or 5, you’ll see the pattern develop: born in Bethlehem, fled to Egypt, called out of Egypt, baptized, tested for 40 days, retelling of the law on the mountain… Only every time that Israel failed, Jesus was triumphant. Therefore all who have the faith of Abraham are regarded as descendants in Jesus Christ; that’s Romans 4. Adam failed, Jesus was victorious, Noah failed, Jesus was victorious and the list goes on and on.

Therefore the boundries of a non-Christ-centered nation are not a huge concern to us but the displaced, Christian Palestinian should be. We bless those who are true Israel, the ones around the world suffering and dying for their faith. Nevertheless, we also hate antisemitism and should not tolerate those who want to destroy Israel. We want to defend the closest thing to a constitutional republic in the middle east. But not at the cost of lives of the Christians. Therefore we pray for Israel, not to receive a blessing for ourselves but so that Christians won’t be persecuted and so that Israel will become a Christian nation, as much of it was 2000 years ago, only more than it was 2000 years ago. I see this happening. All it takes is a careful consideration of the context and to stop listening to our evangelical, prophecy pundits who claim that the inhabitants of modern Israel are God’s chosen people, giving them a false sense of security while at the same time, believing that God will slaughter two-thirds of them. Modern day Israel is apostate and needs the gospel–like every other nation on earth.

We focus too much on the Old Testament without New Testament context. That is, we can’t apply the Old Covenant in the New unless the New confirms it. While some pastors and preachers, theologians and teachers would take exception to this, that’s because they graduated from America’s pastor factories. They don’t study the Bible but regurgitate what was taught to them. And yet there exists a small remnant who do not make money off of their sermons and books, who are grossly underpaid and also hold fast to the truth. Who are you going to believe, a man making millions or the humble servant who provides the word for free? Even more troubling are the ones who never went to seminary but because of nepotism, inherited the pulpit. In their teachings we find the problem; rather than consider the context, they promote earthly rewards and rather than be antiabortion activists, they chase the almighty dollar. This is why we find ourselves in this current cultural climate. Like Israel, we don’t defend the orphans, much less the unborn.

We certainly do resemble the returning remnant we see in Zechariah, who are historically found in Ezra and Nehemiah. We promote peace and prosperity out of one side of our face but promise apostasy out of the other–the true definition of hypocrisy. We all know John 3:16 but we don’t know John 3:17. We don’t consider the context. We think that God so loved the world that he sent his son that whosoever believes in him will be rescued from the world that God loves. We make no sense when we don’t consider the context. We shouldn’t be pessimist about the world that God loves but optimistic. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John recorded these words of Jesus, the same John who recorded the following words: “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.” In this passage, John used the Greek word γῆς, for what has been interpreted “earth” in the NASB but should have been translated “land.” Jesus, in John 3, used the word  κόσμον, which has been translated into “world.” A quick lesson of which we could dive deeper into but the point is that Jesus meant world when he said that he came to save the world. Not the land, not the terrain but the planet. Of course that doesn’t include all the people, the context confirms this but Jesus did say that he came to save the world, one cannot simply explain that away, though most try. We take the straightforward text and manipulate the meaning but attempt to take the apocalyptic address and make it literal. We need to let Jesus interpret the apocalyptic address.

“I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her. I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain. Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets. If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight? Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.”

Is this a future return to Israel where the Lord reigns from Jerusalem for a semi-golden age? Or is this the coming of Jesus to his temple in the first century? We can automatically rule out the future, ultimate reign of Christ, physically on earth because the old men need canes. Perhaps I am getting a little too literal but I think we can also eliminate the allegorical assumption for the same reason. Yes, the staff could refer to leadership and wisdom but I also think it best to take the text as literally as the context will allow. Zechariah hears of a time when the Lord will once again be present in Jerusalem. Let’s look at a few statements from Zechariah and the New Testament.

“I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.” John writes, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” God’s presence used to dwell in the Holy of Holies, but departed during the destruction of Solomon’s temple. Jesus returned to a new temple with plans to topple that temple too.

“Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain. Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets. If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?” We see the imagery of old men and women in the streets. The old men have staffs because of their age. It could be argued that they have staffs to signify that they are wise. The Old Testament is full of imagery of a staff, from a king, to Moses, to shepherds and old men walking. Even in the apocalyptic address, the context has to define the word. Notice that “old” is mentioned twice and the reason for the staffs is given; “because of their age” and not because of wisdom. Do we see children in the streets of Jerusalem when Jesus comes to her?

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they became indignant, and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, “OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF?”‘ And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.”

And on his way to Jerusalem, “Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ And after laying His hands on them, He departed from there.” Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. We need to juxtapose the situation in Zechariah with the situation as Jesus enters Jerusalem.

In Zechariah a pitiful people present are attempting to finish building a shabby looking temple. They are told not by might but by the Lord’s Spirit they will build it–and it is as pitiful as the people present. Solomon’s temple was glorious but the new temple paled in comparison, even with the Spirit. What we see by exploring examples in Nehemiah and Ezra and remembering Haggai is that the returning remnant was rather small and the land was still somewhat deserted but by the time Christ came, people were everywhere and came from everywhere.

“Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.” Ironically we can hear Jesus saying, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus is harkening back to his words in Zechariah. Many Scriptural scholars would scoff at this comment but the context is clear. Jesus could have said any number of locations but chose the exact wording he used in Zechariah. He could have said, from the north or from the south. He could have simply said from the nations but he deliberately chose to use the east and the west, not too long after this John the Baptist said, “God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”

What we see in Zechariah is a shabby temple and a pitiful people but when Jesus arrives the temple meets or exceeds the excellence of Solomon’s temple and the streets are full of people from the young to the old. However the glory is neither in the temple nor in the streets but in the Messiah walking in the streets and tossing the tables in the temple. While Jesus invokes the imagery in Zechariah, we see some of its literal fulfillment in the book of Acts. “And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.”

In Zechariah we read, “I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.” And at the day of the outpouring of the Spirit we read,  “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven…and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Not too shabby. Everyone of them was Jewish and they had come from the east and west and Peter revealed to them that a great many prophecies were fulfilled in that day.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. And it will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’ For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.”

But what does Jesus find when he enter his temple? Like the Roman Catholic church in the days of Martin Luther, they were selling indulgences. At least the mega-church pastors are not selling indulgences. Sometimes it’s difficult to pick up on sarcasm in the written word but I think that reverberates with rhetoric. But I digress.

“Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.”

I have been fasting but I didn’t end it with a feast, I ended it with spinach salad and spinach juice from my daughter’s juicer, which she had to have but never uses. However this morning I did eat a little meat with my eggs. That is I am progressively eating more. My fast has nothing to do with what the Lord is portraying in Zechariah. We don’t look at ourselves to interpret the Bible, we look at the Bible. Jesus came eating and drinking and yet he never violated one commandment. In Matthew we remember a famous scene. “Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.'”

When Jesus came, the mourning and the fasting came to an end while he was here. It doesn’t mean that we don’t fast because Jesus said that they would fast but for the attendants of the bridegroom, in his presence, the fasting and the mourning ceased.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. And the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

This is how the church began. This is a description of how the gospel went forth and it started when Jesus healed the centurion’s child but found it’s fruition in the council of Jerusalem. “And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.'”

We remember that Jesus said his kingdom starts small like a mustard seed, or little leaven in dough which slowly rises. It’s like the rock in Daniel that become a great metaphorical mountain that fills the earth and crushed all other kingdoms. Yet this kingdom also came with a curse, written on the front and the back of a flying scroll.

Much of Zechariah has similar themes as Isaiah, because they speak of similar situations and are part of the sublime string. Isaiah promises also that the nations will flock to the mountain of the Lord. “The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.'” Yet Isaiah also states; “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name. I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, A people who continually provoke Me to My face, Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; Who sit among graves, and spend the night in secret places; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of unclean meat is in their pots. Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom, Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together, Because they have burned incense on the mountains, And scorned Me on the hills, Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom… I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah; Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a pasture land for flocks, And the valley of Achor a resting place for herds, For My people who seek Me. But you who forsake the LORD, Who forget My holy mountain, Who set a table for Fortune, And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, And all of you shall bow down to the slaughter. Because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear. And you did evil in My sight, And chose that in which I did not delight. Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry. Behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty. Behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame. Behold, My servants shall shout joyfully with a glad heart, But you shall cry out with a heavy heart, And you shall wail with a broken spirit. And you will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones, And the Lord GOD will slay you. But My servants will be called by another name.”

The blessing and the curse came in the first century. The blessing continues but the curse came to a climax in 70 AD. However the eternal curse is in existence, that is, their exist two people groups in the world, true Israel and apostate Israel. Saved and unsaved, elected and reprobate, it doesn’t matter as much how one sees it as it does that one sees it. God doesn’t have two distinct people with two distinct plans but one people in Jesus Christ. There was an old Covenant but the only person to follow the old Covenant was Jesus himself. In the New Covenant Jesus came to save the world. He says this immediately after the world’s most famous verse.

While every tiny tidbit alluded to in Zechariah hasn’t been completed, Jesus came right on time and established his eternal reign on earth and if we look back at history and take a long view, we clearly see God has kept his promise to curse the ones who cursed him and to establish his reign, reversing the curse that happened in a the garden by rising from the dead in the garden. It turns out that we can look out our window and see that the mustard seed which is small, is growing into a great tree.

This is dedicated to all the underground churches in the world who meet with joy under the threat of death. It is also dedicated to those in the west who feel like they are “polishing brass on the sinking ship.” Wake up, we win, the Bible is quite clear on this. It is also dedicated to the mega-church pastors who should retire; you’ve made your money, step aside so that the next generation can get busy doing the Lord’s work while you spend the money that you stole from your sheep. This is also dedicated to Kanye West, read the Bible for all its worth, considering the context before you run off the rails and bring thousands with you. It’s also dedicated to DMX, welcome back to the fold, keep reading the Bible but use a hermeneutical tool such as the CAGED method. It is also dedicated to Ben Roethlisberger; confession is essential for growth, read the Bible and let the Bible interpret the Bible and watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is also dedicated to all of you. Read the Bible, mining for gold. Remember that unless you are learning for yourself you only know what you have been taught. We have caged the Scripture by our taught traditions, therefore utilize the CAGED method of Biblical hermeneutics, where; Context is king, Author’s Aspirations to his Audience are apex, Genre is the general, Expository Exegesis of Examples enlightens and Dividing rightly the word of truth either confirms or cancels our preconceived notions and presuppositions. The majority of Christians believe that in our last days difficult times will come because Paul wrote that to Timothy, disregarding the fact that Paul wrote that to Timothy. Of course we will see difficult time but the difficult times of which Paul spoke, he spoke specifically to Timothy to warn him. We have to consider the context and not rip verses out of context. When we do, like a house of cards many of our dubious dogmas should fall. The problem is that the most difficult thing to do is admit when we’re wrong. God is always right and always right on time, therefore when he came with a kingdom, he came with a kingdom. When he died on the cross and was raised in a garden, he reversed the curse given in the garden by the promise given in the garden. Yet he also came with a curse to those who reject him. Notice the opening line in today’s text. “Then the word of the LORD of hosts came saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.”‘” Zion is not the land or the Pharisees and Sadducees but those who believe with the faith of Abraham, from every nation, tribe, tongue, color and sex, these are the true Zion, Israel, people of God, the sublime string shows us this. Zechariah 8 is not found in far-future fulfillment but came to pass when Jesus invaded the earth and bought it back by his blood. The devil showed Jesus the nations and promised to give them to him if he would worship him. But Jesus, knowing his curse to come on the cross resisted the devil. Jesus did not have to worship Satan to win the nations but he had to be obedient to the father, which we couldn’t do and he died in the place of the nations, the true Israel. This will all be confirmed next time, Lord willing of course.

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