It’s All About…Timing

Zechariah 9

The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD), And Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, athough they are very wise. For Tyre built herself a fortress And piled up silver like dust, And gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her And cast her wealth into the sea; And she will be consumed with fire. Ashkelon will see it and be afraid. Gaza too will writhe in great pain; Also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded. Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon will not be inhabited. And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod, And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, And their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, And be like a clan in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite. But I will camp around My house because of an army, Because of him who passes by and returns; And no oppressor will pass over them anymore, For now I have seen with My eyes. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.  As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword. Then the LORD will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south. The LORD of hosts will defend them. And they will devour, and trample on the sling stones; And they will drink, and be boisterous as with wine; And they will be filled like a sacrificial basin, Drenched like the corners of the altar. And the LORD their God will save them in that day As the flock of His people; For they are as the stones of a crown, Sparkling in His land. For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.

Most of us are very familiar with one part of this prophecy; “Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” But are we familiar with the context or the fulfillment? Most think that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as promised but then was killed, or cut off, so that the rest of Zechariah is hanging in hiatus until the rebirth of Israel, because that’s what we have been taught. We’re taught through traditional teachings, which sprang up and evolved rather recently, that Israel is God’s prophetic hour glass, time clock or stop watch. But have we ever truly considered the context, aspirations of the author in the apocalyptic address, genre of the apocalyptic address, examples of the apocalyptic address and then divided rightly the word of truth for ourselves? Look at one phrase that our taught traditions miss, which is seen in some form or fashion throughout the Scripture; “Then they also will be a remnant for our God.” Now look at the context.

“The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD), And Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. For Tyre built herself a fortress And piled up silver like dust, And gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her And cast her wealth into the sea; And she will be consumed with fire. Ashkelon will see it and be afraid. Gaza too will writhe in great pain; Also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded. Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon will not be inhabited. And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod, And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, And their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, And be like a clan in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite.”

This is not some far-fetched, far-future fulfillment but rather, it’s the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me utilize an overused idiom of a collective confession; if we’re honest, when we read this passage our minds tend to shut off or slow down because of all the names used. We don’t think we have the time or ability to research these names to see how they correlate with the context. And while names of nations and cities are important, knowledge of every aspect included in the names is not essential. We neither need nor are we given all the details about these nations but we should notice the juxtaposition between the nations and Israel. The nations are not God’s chosen people but Israel is and yet we see in the sublime string that the nations will come to Israel and join her as God’s chosen people as those who are of apostate Israel, will join the nations as not being God’s chosen people. But rather than let me explain this, we should let Jesus explain it.

Look again at the text and notice the gospel juxtaposed to Old Covenant. “I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, And their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, And be like a clan in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite.”

Question; Who does the removing and the cutting off of blood and detestable things? And after the blood and detestable things are removed, who becomes a remnant? God makes the change and the nations become like Israel; this is the gospel and Jesus explained it to Israel, over and over again, using names and situations familiar to the people present. This is the A of the CAGED method. What was Jesus’ aspiration to his audience?

In Matthew we read about Jesus: “Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.’ At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to infants. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.'”

Jesus came on time and preached to his people but much of Israel rejected him. They questioned him, mocked him, rebuked him and his disciples for many things, like not washing their hands but of all things, they hated healing someone on the Sabbath. And this is one of the things about which we don’t really reflect; the ridiculousness of the religious people present in Jesus’ day…or even now. If you love your dubious dogma and taught traditions, ask the Pharisees how that worked out for them. Think about it, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath and the Pharisees hated him for it. There are many lessons in this but let’s look at what Matthew makes mention of concerning Jesus healing on the Sabbath and the ridiculous religious-rage which ran rampant in the Pharisees.

“[Jesus] went into their synagogue. And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned Him, saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’—in order that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, ‘What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand!’ And he stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to make Him known, in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, might be fulfilled, saying, ‘BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS. A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY. AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.'”

Don’t discount the dastardly deed of destroying developed by the Pharisees, the religious leaders of Israel. Notice also that they lured and provoked Jesus and Jesus intentionally provoked them back by specifically by healing on the Sabbath. Jesus could have waited until sundown on Saturday to heal the man, but to fulfill what was written about him in Isaiah, he healed the man while the sun shone on Saturday. Jesus was not disobedient to the father by healing on the Sabbath, on the contrary, look at what the context in Isaiah says. “BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED.” Jesus was following God’s law but the Pharisees followed their own taught-traditions by the precepts of man who erroneously expounded upon the Scripture, like a prophecy pundit. We need to let Scripture interpret Scripture.

We know that Jesus fulfilled Zechariah when he rode into the temple on a donkey but we really don’t understand the context, because we share snippets of Scripture, first on Hallmark cards and now on Twitter, and don’t read long enough to see the context. If we did, we would see the first thing that Jesus did after he dismounted the delineated donkey was to overturn tables in the temple. Here is your king, on a donkey,  exactly as described, but they were neither prepared for him nor did they recognize him, even though he came exactly as promised at the exact time. What did they miss? What do we miss? They loved their taught traditions as we love our taught traditions, regardless if they are right or wrong. We have been taught that the world goes to hell in a handbasket and since one usually hits that at which they aim, our current cultural climate in the west has been in a downward decline since the 1970’s. At least that’s the way we perceive it and this should give us pause. Because the 1970’s is the decade in which dogmatic dispensationalism really took off and got its foothold. It’s also the decade in which I was born so that there is little wonder why we perceive the world declining since my arrival. While it is true that our culture is crumbling from christian values, we have also seen the increase of christianity in other cultures, if we bothered to look. We can easily establish that, worldwide, the gospel is growing as is a better world than it was 100 years ago. Coronavirus and protests included, the world is a better place in 2020 than it was in 1920. Nevertheless it appears as though we have a long way to go, although I am not dogmatic and don’t believe that everything has to be made perfect before Jesus can return. I believe that the Scripture is quite clear, Jesus returns when the kingdom is filled and only he can be the judge of that. However the Bible does give us indications of what the world will look like when Jesus returns and in my opinion, we’re far from that. The reason that the dogmatic dispensationalists believe the world goes to hell in a handbasket is because they misinterpret the meaning of “coming.” What they perceive to be the end of the world is actually the end of the Judaic eon. They misunderstand that a coming and the return of Jesus physically to earth, can be two entirely different things, even though they believe the rapture to be a coming prior to the second coming. This is hypocrisy of the worst kind because they mock and scoff at our belief that Jesus came in the first century to judge Jerusalem, which he promised to do but they believe that Jesus comes to rapture his church before he comes a second time. By their own dogmatic discourse they are condemned, like Paul pointed out to Peter. Most dispensationalists believe that which they believe because they were taught it by passionate prophecy pundits and pastors.

Many pastors only repeat what they have been taught. Therefore I don’t point the proverbial finger at the flock and I am patient with pastors because they have a tremendous responsibility for the flock. Imagine being 22 years old, entering seminary because you feel Christ calling you to fulltime ministry. You’re young and paying people to teach you how to, and what to, teach others. Should you not have confidence in the teachers of the teachers? Nevertheless pastors need to have the ability to properly consider the context and people need to check everything for themselves like the Bareans checked Paul. We are sheep not stones.

One’s passion doesn’t indicate one’s correctness. Ask my cousin who wants to buy me a tshirt that reads, “the louder I get the more right I am.” Look at the protesters who are obviously passionate but are incredibly misguided because they’ve been lied to by marxist activists who use any kind of anarchy to divide and conquer. As we have firmly established, the most difficult thing for a person to do is admit when they are wrong. Passionate pastors are a good asset as long as sound, Biblical teachings are found in their repertoire, among the other qualities found in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Passion alone is more than meaningless if it is not coupled to the truth, it is actually destructive and leads people astray. I have been fortunate to have really solid pastors who were passionate about the word of God but not one of them would agree with me concerning our days or the days of yore. We can agree to disagree on the nonessentials because we all believe in the Great Commission and that revival is possible. But the dogmatic-dispensationalist prophecy-pundits point the finger at those of us who have the audacity to argue that Jesus will remain reigning in heaven until he makes all his enemies a footstool under his feet (the last being death) and call us mockers and scoffers, mocking and scoffing at us who hold to the consideration of the greater context. And not only the greater context but the simple and plain meanings of “this” and “that.” So that, when Jesus said, “all these things shall come on this generation,” we believe that all of those things came upon that generation. We don’t factor in a figurative fig tree to modify our hermeneutic but take the Scriptures literally, unless otherwise indicated.

Therefore when we read the apocalyptic address it is essential to see the metaphorical meanings as well as the literal meanings by considering the context, with a heavy dose of exploration of examples from the New Testament. When God sarcastically says, “Tyre and Sidon, athough they are very wise,” we should see that Tyre and Sidon are actually not very wise in the eyes of the Lord. In the discourse of Tyre and Sidon we see a few similes and metaphors. “For Tyre built herself a fortress And piled up silver like dust, And gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her And cast her wealth into the sea; And she will be consumed with fire.”

The metaphorical meaning is that Tyre and Sidon had a great defense and much wealth but these were meaningless in the sight of the Lord. He was going to bring them to ruin for their sins against him. And while some of Tyre and Sidon certainly burned, they were not consumed by literal fire and their possessions were not literally thrown into the sea. But the metaphorical meaning of utter destruction is easily evidenced and understood when the reader researches the history of Tyre and Sidon, whom Alexander the Great ravaged, slaughtered and sold into slavery, doing that which Tyre thought impossible. Tyre was an island but Alexander used the landscape to build a land bridge and to this day, Tyre is a peninsula. While professing to be wise, Tyre ended up playing the fool. The Greeks destroyed Tyre and Sidon as predicted by the Lord in Zechariah and Jesus explained to his generation, and his blood relatives, that they were worse than Tyre and Sidon and could expect a similar day of judgment.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you.” And while this is telling, the prayer of Jesus is the proverbial icing on the cake which links his discourse in Chorazin and Bethsaida to today’s text. We remember that God mocked the people of Tyre and Sidon for their false wisdom and that Jesus prayed the following after rebuking the citizens of his generation, promising them a greater judgment: “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to infants.”

You may or may not be a fan of reggae music but this is a recurring theme in reggae music, the telling to the wise but the real revelation to the simple. It’s also a recurring theme in the Bible, especially in Matthew’s gospel account and the book of Romans. “Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” This is exactly what happened to Tyre and it is exactly what happened to Chorazin and Bethsaida, yet it is nothing new. It happened in the garden and the days of Noah and on the exact day that God gave Moses the Law on the mountain.

To keep your interest we have to keep moving and keep considering the context. “But I will camp around My house because of an army, Because of him who passes by and returns; And no oppressor will pass over them anymore, For now I have seen with My eyes. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Before we meddle with metaphorical meanings it is best to explore examples found in the Old Testament tutor, then examine examples in the New Testament. After this the metaphorical meanings should meld in our minds with the continuing context. Let’s look at Psalm 2, which is the second psalm. “Why are the nations in an uproar, And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed: ‘Let us tear their fetters apart, And cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury: ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.”‘ Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence, And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of four kingdoms crushed by “the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel interpreted this small stone which became a great mountain thusly: “And in the days of those kings [Caesars] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, [not go to hell in a handbasket] but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel also saw a vision concerning this kingdom; “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”

Did you catch the part that the prophecy pundits miss or attempt to explain away? Actually, they attempt to explain away all of these verses, they have to because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Notice that Jesus comes on the clouds and goes up to the Ancient of Days and not down to earth. That’s kind of a big deal but I am getting way ahead of myself–I couldn’t continue without pointing out that juicey, little nugget. Nevertheless we continually see the kingdom, nations and dominion given to Jesus. The prophecy pundits see this but expect it to be in our future. But we will see what Jesus said about his kingdom very soon.

We remember reading in Zechariah; “Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying scroll. And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ And I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.’ Then he said to me, ‘This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side. ‘I will make it go forth,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones.'”

The kingdom comes with a curse. Throughout the Old Testament we see the recurring theme of the nations coming to the Lord and a curse on apostate Israel. Nevertheless we see a weak remnant made strong through the Spirit and we have not even examined other examples in Isaiah, which is full of the same themes and imagery. “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.”

The Lord continues to speak to Isaiah, “‘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.’ Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘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.'”

Enter Jesus, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the King of kings, of whom Isaiah prophesied, “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”

And yet the prophecy pundits proclaim that the world goes to hell in a handbasket and the amillenialists assert a figurative kingdom in heaven or those who are of his Spiritual kingdom. The problem is that the throne of David represents the land and Jesus was promised dominion. Also, the context is clear that the Messiah came to dwell on his dominion.

“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. John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”‘ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

The creator of the earth invaded the earth to redeem the earth from the curse of sin in the garden. Jesus was the one who spoke with Moses, Elijah, Zechariah, Haggai, Isaiah and all the other prophets. Jesus was with the angels in heaven but came to earth to save the earth from sin and Satan. And while this should seem sublimely simple it is a sensitive subject with not only my friends in the United States but it is an even more sensitive subject with my friends in a certain communist country in the Caribbean. Like the dogmatic dispensationalists, only more so, they believe Satan is increasingly more powerful and that Jehovah is the father. But John makes it clear that Jehovah, better written as YHWH, is the pre-incarnate Jesus. John also makes it clear that Jesus came to crush the devil, decreasing his power, in Revelation 20. Satan is bound from deceiving the nations for a very long time. But that’s part of the periphery and we have much more relevant context to consider. Nevertheless keep this in mind–Jesus is Jehovah and the devil doesn’t run free, he’s on a short chain.

We running out of time and attention spans therefore we will move quickly, hitting the highlights but remembering that the Bible is full of examples indicating a curse and a kingdom with a New Covenant. Also inhale the immense imagery of Jesus going up to the Ancient of Days and being given dominion and a kingdom. Remember that God is calling the nations and judging Israel as he has Tyre and Sidon. Jesus elected, or selected, 12 disciples and sent them out to Israel.

“These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”‘”

Jesus warned them also as he sent them out only to Israel, as Paul has written, “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.”

We see two things, at minimum, of which enlighten us to the tasks at hand. One, apostate Israel will be judged and also, faithful nations will come to the Lord through the disciples, even though Jesus is sending them to the lost sheep of Israel only. We see the kingdom and dominion and the curse of the flying scroll. Do not miss that the disciples are sent to Israel only. Israel, because of Abraham, has the first shot at the first fruits of the kingdom but those without faith and truth from among Israel are judged for their thievery and false promises. We see the curse and the kingdom progressively unfurled like a giant, flying scroll. Notice also that it is actually Israel of whom Jesus said were wolves. It’s right there, clearly seen in the context because they are sent to Israel only and not the gentiles or even the blood relatives of Israel, the Samaritans. Nevertheless antisemitic attitudes are excluded because these 12 are not only from Israel, their number equates to the 12 tribes, though one is a traitor.

For time’s sake we will skip ahead a bit and see the worst crime in the history of mankind. We remember Tyre and Sidon and the promise made to Israel as we also remember the King coming in the flesh to his people but he found falsehood and robbery in them as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and overturned the temple tables. Jesus provoked them with the truth and they made sure that Jesus died for this.

While on trial before the high priest, we see Zechariah and the prophets unfurled before our eyes. “And the high priest stood up and said to Him, ‘Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’ But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.’ Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy.'”

Why was this blasphemy in their eyes? Because they at least understood, apparently better than the prophecy pundits, the context of Daniel. Jesus told them that he was going to the father to get his dominion and kingdom. Remember what Daniel recorded. “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”

The high priest understood the claims made by Jesus but didn’t believe Jesus–this was prophesied by the prophets. The nations will come to Christ but his own will disown him. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Where is the certificate of divorce, By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away. Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink for lack of water, And die of thirst.'”

Again, the first recorded act of Jesus after his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey was to overturn the money tables in the temple. We begin to understand the apocalyptic address in Zechariah based on examples of which we have not exhausted. The entire book of Isaiah paints the picture of a righteous king and faithful, suffering servant coming to his house and finding his house out of order to no surprise to him, because knew them and warned them repeatedly. The imagery is not that Jesus would come and not recognize the people but that Jesus would come and the people wouldn’t recognize him, even though they were given the timing and the manner of which he would come to them.

Prophecy pundits take note; like 1 Corinthians 10, you are acting like Israel, not recognizing the kingdom, which is made up of every nation, tribe and tongue, which started small like a mustard seed but has grown exponentially. With all of this in mind, read again the apocalyptic address in Zechariah and see Jesus as the coming king rejected by apostate Israel who calls true Israel to himself. Look at the progressive prophecy and not an overnight success. Although one pinprick of righteousness is enough to save the world, the fullnes is found over a long period as the decline found its fruition over a long period. Jesus let sin run its course until it found its  fulness when he came, one time. The world doesn’t go to hell in a handbasket but it was and apostate Israel did but Jesus came and reversed the curse and set the prisoners free.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.  As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword. Then the LORD will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south. The LORD of hosts will defend them. And they will devour, and trample on the sling stones; And they will drink, and be boisterous as with wine; And they will be filled like a sacrificial basin, Drenched like the corners of the altar. And the LORD their God will save them in that day As the flock of His people; For they are as the stones of a crown, Sparkling in His land. For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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