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News Letter 5849-019
12th day of the 4th month?5849 years after the creation of Adam??
The 4th Month in the Fourth year of the third Sabbatical Cycle???????
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle?????????
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences?
June 22, 2013

Shabbat Shalom Family,

I am speaking in Sarnia Ontario this Shabbat and presenting “The Assyrians Who Are They?” Once when I was presenting to this same group I showed them their ancestry through heraldry. It is such an amazing subject that exposes so much truth and so simple to see and understand. In my research on Assyria I am again going to show through Heraldry who they are and show you the same symbols used back then are still in use today.

In the News this week is more news of a coming Genocide in South Africa, which is being planned against the white population. We have reported on this before. We do so now again. http://mobile.wnd.com/2013/06/in-jeopardy-future-of-white-south-africans/
Genocide Watch raised its alert level on South Africa to stage 6 out of 8 – the planning and preparation phase of the extermination process. http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html

I also received this video this week, which also helps to explain some of the Tornado activity in Oklahoma this past May. http://superstore.wnd.com/Eye-to-Eye-Facing-the-Consequences-of-Dividing-Israel

We also now have an official web site up for our Sukkot gathering this fall. If your in the Tennessee area and want to learn more about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and the terrifying prophecies they reveal to us then this is the one place to come. I will be sharing all I can on this subject during Sukkot 2013. The speaking itinerary is posted at this site.
http://poasukkot2013.weebly.com

We have been showing you that you are saved by grace through FAITH. We then showed you that Faith was Emunah, which means belief. Abraham did not believe “in” God. He believed God.

We have taken three News letter to explain this to you in detail so that you all can understand this. And this is in answer to an email, which is similar to many I get about this subject I teach. That is the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

You are saved by the Mercy of Yehovah because you believe Him. Period. It does not excuse you from obeying anything He has commanded us to keep.

Now this week we must move on to a related subject.

Since I began to speak out about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years in 2005 there have been a few who have reacted vehemently against those things I teach. And it is this same feeling in various degrees that causes some to hold back as the writer of the email we are addressing has said and as some of you have also written in about.

I have had 3 foot wide strips torn off of me from those who call themselves brethren because of this. They have gone up one side and down the other and then brag to others how they have undressed me in public. Others have cursed me and then begin to attack everything I have said. One fella has said that I am not to be listened to because I have not healed anyone, nor raised anyone from the dead nor do I speak in tongues.

I do not pass out the list of those who have been healed after I prayed for them. But I could. Nor do I know exactly how many have awakened from their dead walk they were on to begin keeping the Torah after learning those things we teach here. I can speak French, and I used to speak Spanish, but I cannot write in either language but that is the limit to my speaking in different tongues.

The attacks come from the same place as does the feeling some of you get when you say you can go so far and then you have to stop. So it is this feeling we are about to address.
You have accepted that Yehovah has a name and you use one of the versions that you believe He was called by. You have accepted the Sabbath and the Holy Days. And many of you still work and or shop on the Sabbath and many of you still are mixing the Holy Days of Lev 23 with Easter and Christmas. Some of you are straddling the fence trying hard to keep one foot in both camps and not loose your friends or your jobs if need be. And you are in fact compromising the Torah in order to be accepted in mainstream circles. Yes some of you are just learning these things but others have compromised for years on many of them.

They consider it OK to travel long distances on Shabbat or go to the airport and catch a flight on Shabbat or a Holy Day or to skip the eighth day in order to be at work on that day. The Feast of Sukkot is for 8 days but they only book off for 7 or just show up on the weekend part as it was convenient and they do not want to “Get into it” at work.

Some of you are already bristling with what I have said so far as I step on some of your toes. Yehovah is not mocked. He knows what you do in secret and how you do not fully obey and how often you compromise His torah for convenience. And then you wonder why you are suffering in so many different ways and begin to cry out to God and wonder why He does not hear you.

Christianity teaches you that in this life you are suffering because of your faith. And many of you believe that lie. You are told that Job is your example of a man who was the most righteous and yet he suffered terribly. So buck up and take it. Christianity teaches you that you are going to suffer a lack of things for being obedient.

Is that what Yehovah Says?

He says

Gen 12:3 And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Yehovah also said from Mount Sinai Himself that if we keep His Commandments then He will have GRACE on us and forgive us IF “IF” we keep His commandments.

Exo 20:5 You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me, 6 and showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted by his lusts, being drawn away and seduced by them.

Exo 34:6 And Jehovah passed by before him and proclaimed, Jehovah! Jehovah God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the sons, and on the sons of sons, to the third and to the fourth generation.

Neh 1:5 And I said, I pray You, O Jehovah, the God of Heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments; 6 let Your ear now be open, and Your eyes open, so that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the sons of Israel Your servants, and confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very wickedly against You, and have not kept the commandments nor the statutes nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 I pray You, remember the Word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you turn to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though you were cast out to the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather you from there and will bring you to the place that I have chosen to set My name there. 10 And these are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 O Jehovah, I pray You, let now Your ear be open to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name. And I pray You, bless Your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. (For I was the king’s cupbearer.)

Deu 7:9 Therefore, know that Jehovah your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. 10 And He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slow to repay him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. 11 And you shall keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today, to do them. 12 And it shall be, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, Jehovah your God shall keep to you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.

Pro 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many; but fools die for lack of wisdom. 22 The blessing of Jehovah itself makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

Psa 24:3 Who shall go up into the hill of Jehovah? Or who shall stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity, and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, In what have we robbed You? In the tithe and the offering! 9 You are cursed with a curse; for you are robbing Me, the nation, all of it. 10 Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room. 11 And I will rebuke your devourer, and he shall not decay the fruit of your ground against you; nor shall your vine miscarry against you in the field, says Jehovah of Hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed; for you shall be a delightful land, says Jehovah of Hosts.

Do you see the pattern yet?

If you obey the commandments then you will be blessed. Not all of you are Jobs and in need of correcting your righteousness for you are not yet righteous because you still do not keep the commandments. Yet you think you do and deceive yourselves. YOU need to examine yourselves daily. Daily!

Now we are coming to the crux of the whole issue with many Christians and with many who now call themselves Hebraic and bring with them the Christian mentality. That is you are a good person and because of that you are saved by grace and you also believe on Jesus and this too is all you have to do. There is no real need to keep the commandments. Really?

You are saved by grace because you believe in the name of Jesus. And now you are a good person. So those things I am saying rub you the wrong way and it really irritates you.

Why? Because although you do see some of what I am saying as true and you read the scriptures I use to support this you deny it in your brain. It is applicable to other people but not to you because you believe in Jesus and are saved by grace. And those of you that are doing this are deceived.

This is why we have gone through this so meticulously over the past few weeks.

Once again you are saved by Grace through Faith. That is you are saved by mercy through Emunah, that is by belief, by BELIVING Yehovah and not just believing in Yehovah or believing in Jesus. You must believe HIM. Not just in Him.

Jas 2:19 You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble.

The demons believe “IN” Yehovah. They know He is real. But they do not believe Yehovah. They do not do as He instructed them.

As we showed you last week Abraham Believed Yehovah. He did not just believe “IN” Yehovah. He believed what Yehovah said. And this comes down to the crux of why many of you do not like what I say.

How so?

Deu 11:26 Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 A blessing if you obey the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you today, 28 and a curse if you will not obey the commandments of Jehovah your God, but will turn aside out of the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.

You believe in the blessings. You want these. You want the Deut 28:1-14 blessings and expect to get them because you believe in the name of Jesus and are saved by grace because you believe in the name of Jesus, or now maybe it is Yehshua.

Deu 28:1 And it will be, if you shall listen carefully to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you today, Jehovah your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come on you and overtake you, if you will listen to the voice of Jehovah your God. 3 You shall be blessed in the city, and be blessed in the field. 4 The fruit of your body shall be blessed, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 5 Your basket and your store shall be blessed. 6 You shall be blessed when you come in, and blessed when you go out. 7 Jehovah shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be stricken before your face. They shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. 8 Jehovah shall command the blessing on you in your storehouses, and all that you set your hand to. And He shall bless you in the land which Jehovah your God gives you. 9 Jehovah shall establish you a holy people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of Jehovah your God and walk in His ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of Jehovah, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And Jehovah shall prosper you in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which Jehovah swore to your fathers to give you. 12 Jehovah shall open to you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall loan to many nations, and you shall not borrow. 13 And Jehovah shall make you the head, and not the tail. And you shall be always above, and you shall not be beneath, if you listen to the commandments of Jehovah your God, which I command you today, to observe and to do them. 14 And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right hand or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

But you do not BELIEVE. If you do not believe as Abraham did or as Moses did then you do not believe Yehovah.

Again why am I saying this? And what do I mean by this, that you do not believe.

You get mad at me and some even extremely mad at me for telling you, the good people, that you are being hit with the curses of Lev 26 because you do not and will not keep the Sabbatical years. And this goes without saying that it also includes the Holy Days and the weekly Sabbath and how you mix them up with false teachings and pagan belief’s.

A few weeks ago I showed you that you should not pray for those who were victims of the two terrible tornados in Oklahoma. And this made some you uneasy and upset and angry. And when I point these things out to you, some of you get irate because you think you’re a good person. And those people are in the bible belt.

You do this because you believe that the debt was nailed to the cross. And as such you are now free from the LAW presuming it to also be nailed to the cross.

This is the false Christian teachings we have been warning you about.

What was nailed to the cross?

Please take the time to go through this power point about Colossians 2:14-17 You can study this at https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/?page_id=138 Please I pray you all do this even for review. This Power point was directed at the SDA Audience but is still applicable for all of you.

The “Handwriting of Ordinances” is not the law, but the record book of our sins. It is our indebtedness to the law. That is what is against us! That is what was nailed to the Cross! It was the record book of our sins that He blotted out by nailing it to the cross. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances is a legal term whose meaning and application is from the system of jurisprudence or law used in the Greco-Roman legal system. Paul is using legal terminology to show how God has legally dealt with our sins, not how God has dealt with the law.

Now go back to Exodus and to Mount Sinai once again. We have already stated this verse. Read it again.

Exo 20:6 and showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.

Your debt that you owed for the sins that you have done; that book with the record of your indebtedness is what was nailed to the Tree; the same as when you pay your bill at the local tax office. Your invoice is pushed on a stake to mark it as paid.

This is the MERCY, this is the GRACE that many of you talk about but do not know what it actually means. This mercy or Grace is only applicable “IF YOU REPENT AND KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS”.

Read Exodus 20:6 again and again if you still do not yet get it.

You are saved by Grace if and only if you begin to keep the commandments. That is when the grace is applied. Until that moment you are not saved by grace. As long as you keep on sinning and sin is the transgression of the law. If your not keeping the law then you have NO GRACE applied to you. This is what repenting means. You have turned and are now going to keep the law. Once you do this then and only then does the grace get applied.

Christianity says the law is done away with. We have just shown you in that article I asked you to go to, that this is a false teaching. But in Romans is an interesting scripture, which most Christian can quote but few know what it means.

Rom 10:9 Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.

So what does this mean? Look at the word confess.

G3670
???????? homologeo hom-ol-og-eh’-o
From a compound of the base of G3674 and G3056; to assent, that is, covenant, acknowledge: – con- (pro-) fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise.

In context this means one who is “confessing” faith in Yehshua; one who is coming into Covenant and binding themselves by oath with Him and agrees to the Covenant that Yehshua has presented at Sinai. As the “Lesser King” or “Master” to the Suzerain Yehovah.

Yehshua’s Covenant is the same as the Father’s, which means you are entering into an agreement to keep and be loyal to the Torah and you are then restored back into the Kingdom!

When you confess your sins you are in fact admitting to having broken the covenant made at Mount Sinai and want to return to the terms of that covenant as we had agreed to. By doing this you escape the curses that you are now under.

Those who confess the name of Yehshua, as we are told in Romans 10:9, confess to breaking this covenant and want to come back and begin to obey it.

This truth is so much more powerful than the lie you have been taught. That all you had to do was say the name Jesus and you were saved. How shallow is that.

You are to be like Abraham and Believe Yehovah.

And now we come to the part that bugs many of you.

Part of believing in Yehovah is also believing that this all loving and good God would also send curses on people and those curses would even kill them. Such as the recent rash of Tornados or the soon coming pestilence and the war we have been warning you would be coming after 2017.

Yes all the curses in the video and the same ones I teach you about week after week as we are told of them in Lev 26. These are the things you object to. You do this because the god you serve is a good god and would not do this.

The god you serve is not the mean god of the Old Testament, no the god you serve is the god of the New Testament who is loving and kind and forgiving and is the god of love. He is a good god.

I have used the small g in god on purpose to show you that this is a false god. The god that Christianity worships in the New Testament is a false god. And many of you have brought this small g god to your Hebraic walk.

How so?

You have continued to believe “in” a god that is all love and does not hurt. A good god who does not take revenge or exact justice.

Abraham Believed Yehovah. He believed what HE said and Abraham obeyed Him.

Go back to Deuteronomy 28. Yes you have read the blessings if you obey but now read the rest if you will not obey. These are what you do not believe, because you still follow the small g god of chrisitianity.

But The Large G God named Yehovah, the one Abraham believed, the same one I believe, said that if you will not obey then He will do the following. Read them and tell me how many of these things are not already happening. My Yehovah is a Jealous God and is Jealous over you. He does get furious with us and when that happens many die and will die shortly.

Deu 28:15 And it shall be, if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come on you and overtake you. 16 You shall be cursed in the city, and cursed in the field. 17 Your basket and your store shall be cursed. 18 The fruit of your body shall be cursed, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 19 You shall be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out. 20 Jehovah shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings by which you have forsaken Me. 21 Jehovah shall make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land where you go to possess it. 22 Jehovah shall strike you with lung disease and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth that is under you iron. 24 Jehovah shall make the rain of your land powder and dust. It shall come down from the heavens on you until you are destroyed. 25 Jehovah shall cause you to be stricken before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a trembling to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your body shall be food to all birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth. And no man shall frighten them away. 27 Jehovah will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with the hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 Jehovah shall strike you with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you. 30 You shall become engaged to a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, and you shall not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, and you shall not gather the grapes of it. 31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you, your sheep given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail for them all the day long. And there shall be no power in your hand. 33 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall be eaten up by a nation which you do not know. And you shall always be oppressed and crushed, 34 and you shall be mad because of that which you shall see with the sight of your eyes. 35 Jehovah shall strike you in the knees and in the legs with an evil ulcer that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 Jehovah shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations where Jehovah shall lead you. 38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather little in, for the locust shall eat it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but shall neither drink the wine nor gather, for the worm shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint with the oil, for your olive shall drop off its fruit. 41 You shall father sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and the fruit of your land the locust shall possess. 43 The stranger within you shall get up above you very high, and you shall come down very low. 44 He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever. 47 Because you did not serve Jehovah your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies which Jehovah shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the lack of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 Jehovah shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand, 50 a nation fierce of face who shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young. 51 And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your livestock, or flocks of your sheep, until he has destroyed you. 52 And he shall besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down, throughout all the land. And he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which Jehovah your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which Jehovah your God has given you, in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you. 54 The man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his sons which he has left; 55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his sons whom he shall eat, because he has nothing left to him in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not have ventured to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 and toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them secretly for lack of all things, in the siege and anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in your gates. 58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH YOUR GOD, 59 then Jehovah will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your seed great and persistent plagues; with evil and long-lasting sicknesses. 60 Also, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid. And they shall cling to you. 61 Also, every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law, Jehovah will bring them on you until you are destroyed. 62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of Jehovah your God. 63 And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to destroy you and to bring you to nothing. And you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. 64 And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, which neither you nor your fathers have known, wood and stone. 65 And among these nations you shall find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest. But Jehovah shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind. 66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and shall have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you shall say, Oh that it were evening! And at evening you shall say, Oh that it were morning, for the fear of your heart with which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68 And Jehovah shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I said to you, You shall see it no more again. And there you shall be sold to your enemies for men-slaves and women-slaves, and no man shall buy you.

Yehovah also said He would send these curses as we have just read and as He also told us in Lev 26. Note that it is Yehovah that is going to do this!

Lev 26:14 But if you will not listen to Me, and will not do all these commandments, 15 and if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul hates My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, so that you break My covenant; 16 I will also do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set My face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies. They that hate you shall reign over you. And you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if you will not yet listen to Me for all this, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heaven like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain. For your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the field yield their fruits. 21 And if you walk contrary to Me, and will not listen to Me, I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, who shall bereave you. And I will destroy your cattle, and make you few. And your highways shall be deserted. 23 And if you will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will still walk contrary to Me, 24 then I will walk contrary to you and will punish you seven times more for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword on you that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant. And when you are gathered inside your cities, I will send the plague among you. And you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 When I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight. And you shall eat and not be satisfied. 27 And if you will not for all of this listen to Me, but will walk contrary to Me, 28 then I will walk contrary to you also in fury. And I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters you shall eat. 30 And I will destroy your high places and cut down your images, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and My soul shall despise you. 31 And I will make your cities waste and cause your sanctuaries to be deserted. And I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors. 32 And I will turn the land into wasteland. And your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you. And your land shall be waste, and your cities waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy its sabbaths, as long as it lies waste, and you are in your enemies’ land; then shall the land rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies waste it shall rest, because it did not rest in your sabbaths when you lived on it. 36 And on those of you that are left I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them, and they shall flee as if fleeing from a sword. And they shall fall when none pursues. 37 And they shall fall on one another, as if it were before a sword, when none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall putrefy in their iniquity in the lands of your enemies. And also they shall putrefy with them in the iniquities of their fathers.

Having now read all the curses that will come upon you and your family and your city and your country if you and they do not repent and return to keeping the Torah, now read Ezekiel and note who it is that is sending these curses. The same curses in Ezekiel are the ones from Lev 26 in reverse order.

Eze 14:12 The Word of Jehovah came again to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when a land sins against Me by traitorous betraying, then I will stretch out My hand on it, and will break the staff of its bread, and will send famine on it, and will cut off man and beast from it. 14 And though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Jehovah. 15 If I cause destroying beasts to come through the land, and they spoil it so that it is deserted, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only shall be delivered, but the land shall be deserted. 17 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it; 18 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19 Or if I send a plague into that land, and pour out My fury on it in blood, to cut off man and beast from it; 20 though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter. They shall only deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 21 For so says the Lord Jehovah: How much more when I send My four evil judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the destroying beast, and the plague, to cut off man and beast from it. 22 Yet, behold, there shall be left a remnant in it that shall be brought out, sons and daughters. Behold, they shall come out to you, and you shall see their way and their doings. And you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I brought on Jerusalem, for all that I have brought on it. 23 And they shall comfort you when you see their way and their doings. And you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord Jehovah.

You are saved by Grace, you are saved by Mercy, your sins are forgiven you, BY FAITH, that is by Emunah, which is by your belief’s which is by your works, which show Yehovah by the way you are now walking that you have indeed repented. Never forget Satan and his demons believe in Yehovah. But they do not believe Yehovah.

I believe Yehovah when He says if we do not repent then He is going to send these curses and He already has them falling on our nations as I write. I BELIEVE HIM do you?

And because I BELIEVE Him and that HE will and is already sending these curses many of you can’t stand me. All I am doing is telling you what I see based on the Sabbatical and Jubilee year cycles. But because you believe in the lie that your god would never hurt you because you are already saved by Grace and have no further responsibility, you get angry at me for bringing this message to you warning you that Yehovah is going to hurt many people. IN truth 90% of all the 12 tribes of Israel are about to be wiped out. 90%.
The world never believed Noah and they hated Jeremiah and through him in the well out of hate for what he was saying. Only after was he vindicated but it was too late for all those people before hand who did not listen to him.

And guess what. When the Two witnesses come on the world scene and they tell the world to repent or receive the curses from the Exodus. The world will hate them too just like you do me now. Why? Because the world will blame them for the problems and not see it as a result of them not keeping Torah with Yehovah.

So when they kill the Two witnesses at Passover they will all be partying over their deaths. But they were just the messengers of Yehovah. Once they are raised from the dead after 3 days then the 3 ½ years of great tribulation begins. Who will they blame then and who will they hate. Revelations says they will curse God and not repent.

So now you must ask yourself is that person in Revelations that will not repent and begin to keep Torah, is that person you who right now hates those who are teaching you to keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Lev 23 and not to add any other false days to those, and to keep the Sabbatical Years. Those who are warning you of the coming curses that you might have to endure if you do not repent now and begin to obey Torah.

It is time for a gut check. You are saved by the Grace of Yehovah if you repent and begin to keep torah, that is believe Yehovah when He says He will send these curses or blessings depending on what you decide to do.

Stop being stiff necked and stop thinking Yehovah is not going to send these curses and stop cursing me with your mouth for showing you the curses from your own bible. You cannot be selective in your reading. Read it all. Consider the message of Hezekiah to those who had survived from the Ten Lost tribes after Yehovah had sent the Assyrians to destroy them and who is going to send them again in our day to destroy us.

2Ch 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to Jehovah, the God of Israel. 2 And the king and his leaders, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, took counsel to keep the Passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not made themselves pure enough, nor had the people gathered to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. 5 And they established a decree to send a notice throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to Jehovah, the God of Israel at Jerusalem. For not many of them had done as it was written. 6 And the runners went with the letters from the king and his rulers to Israel and Judah, and according to the command of the king, saying, O sons of Israel, turn again to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped out of the hands of the king of Assyria. 7 And do not be like your fathers and like your brothers who sinned against Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and He made them for a horror, as you see. 8 And do not be stiffnecked like your fathers. Yield yourselves to Jehovah and enter into His temple which He has sanctified forever. And serve Jehovah your God, so that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. 9 For if you turn again to Jehovah, your brothers and your sons will have mercies before those who lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land. For Jehovah your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him. 10 And the runners passed from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun. But they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. 11 However, men from Asher and Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the command of the king and of the rulers, by the Word of Jehovah. 13 And many people gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great congregation. 14 And they arose and took away the altars in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense they took away, and threw them into the torrent Kidron. 15 And they killed the Passover on the fourteenth of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed and made themselves pure, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of Jehovah. 16 And they stood in their place in their manner, according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites. 17 For many in the congregation were not sanctified. And the Levites were over the killing of the passovers for every one who was not clean, to sanctify them to Jehovah. 18 For many of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not been cleansed, but ate the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, May the good LORD pardon everyone 19 who prepares his heart to seek God, Jehovah, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20 And Jehovah listened to Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 And the sons of Israel found at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness. And the Levites and the priests praised Jehovah day by day with loud instruments to Jehovah. 22 And Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of Jehovah. And they ate the appointed things seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to Jehovah, the God of their fathers. 23 And the whole gathering agreed to keep another seven days. And they kept another seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep. And the rulers gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. And a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26 And there was great joy in Jerusalem. For from the days of Solomon the son of David the king of Israel there was nothing like this in Jerusalem.27 And the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people. And their voice was heard, and their prayer came to His holy dwelling-place, to Heaven.

You are saved by Grace if you repent. When you confess the name of Yehshua you admit to having broken the covenant and your desire to repent. The curses come on you and everyone else to help you and them come to this repentance stage. They are sent by Yehovah because He loves you and wants you to be happy and that only happens when you and everyone around you keeps the Torah. Until everyone keeps the Torah the curses will continue to come and get worse each time.

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at?https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

22/06/2013 Deut 23 Zech 10-14 Titus

Acceptance into the Congregation (Deuteronomy 23)
Verses 1-8 of this chapter deal with laws pertaining to the ancient physical nation of Israel—they are not applicable to the Church of God today. For example, verse 6 states that Israel was not to seek the peace of the Ammonite or the Moabite “nor their prosperity all your days forever.” Christ, on the other hand, tells His disciples to love their enemies, to bless them who curse them, and to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, 43-45). The word “forever” in Deuteronomy 23 must be understood in context. Often this word means forever as long as certain conditions apply (e.g., compare Exodus 21:5-6). Deuteronomy 23:1 prohibits eunuchs from entering the assembly of the Lord—that is, from receiving Israelite citizenship, which would have entitled them to full participation in Israelite society and the rights of being an Israelite. Thus, having the status of a “stranger,” they could have joined in festival worship and many other aspects of Israelite life but were still forbidden from certain things, such as partaking of the Passover. And they did not have all the protections under the law that Israelites did, such as having to be released from slavery in the year of release. Also, according to verses 2-3, descendants of illegitimate unions, as well as of Ammonites or Moabites, were denied Israelite citizenship until the family had dwelt among God’s people for 10 generations. Again, this is said to be the rule forever. But for those in Christ, such distinctions are eliminated and cannot apply in the way described here. True Christians may be from any nation and can suffer from any physical debility. As recipients of the Holy Spirit, they are spiritual Israelites, who may immediately worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). As Paul tells converted gentiles, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

Deuteronomy 23:9-11 states that an individual who contracts some ceremonial defilement during the night does not become ritually clean again until the next sunset. This is, of course, a ritual law that is no longer in effect. Still, as mentioned before, there were undoubtedly health benefits to such laws. And thus, the underlying principle of physical cleanliness is still very much applicable today. Verses 12-13 concern sanitation laws about dealing with human waste. Remember from the highlight on Leviticus 13-15 that dung was a major ingredient in the “healing” ointments of ancient Egypt. Of course, such products would have done nothing but worsen the condition of ailing patients. Only the revealed knowledge of the all-knowing God saved the Israelites from the same harmful practices. The next verse, Deuteronomy 23:14, it should be noted, can also be applied in a spiritual way—God may turn away from us if He sees something spiritually unclean in our lives that we do not want to get rid of.

The proscription against returning a slave in verses 15-16 is not talking about indentured servants within Israel. The Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary states in its note on these verses: “Evidently a servant [slave] of the Canaanites or some of the neighboring people, who was driven by tyrannical oppression, or induced, with a view of embracing the true religion, to take refuge in Israel. Such a one was not to be surrendered by the inhabitants of the place whither he had fled for protection.”

No Selling Dogs and No Banking? (Deuteronomy 23)
In verse 18, the principle is expressed that ill-gotten gain cannot become “holy” by giving a portion of it to God. The word “dog” here, it should be pointed out, is not a reference to an actual canine animal. Rather, as the previous verse makes mention of two related professions—that of a ritual harlot and that of a “perverted one,” i.e., a male prostitute—so the same two should be understood in verse 18. Thus, a harlot and a dog refer to a harlot and a male prostitute. Actual dogs in the ancient Middle East were often looked upon as worthless scavengers and so became metaphoric for unsavory or immoral people. Indeed, the word “dogs” is often used metaphorically in the Bible (compare Psalm 22:16, 20; Matthew 7:6; 15:26-27; Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15). Therefore, if someone runs a pet store or raises animals and sells dogs, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a portion of the profit to God. The verse in question has nothing to do with that.

Verses 19-20 forbid charging interest of a poor brother, but permit charging reasonable interest of a foreigner, as loaning money to foreigners was usually done in a business context (compare Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on 23:19-20; “Usury,” Unger’s Bible Dictionary; New Bible Dictionary; Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible). In fact, the Church of God in modern times has long understood that an Israelite was permitted to charge reasonable interest of even another Israelite if the purpose of the loan was not to help a poor and needy brother, but as a business transaction in a commercial context. Indeed, Christ cast banking (in which interest is charged of some so interest can be paid to others) in a positive light in some of His parables (compare Matthew 25:27; Luke 19:23). The same principles, then, apply today regarding Church members. Judging from the spirit of the law, it would be inappropriate for a converted Christian to charge a poor and needy person interest, whether or not the poor person is in the Church (compare Galatians 6:10). On the other hand, it would not be wrong for a converted Christian to charge another person, even one in the Church, interest on a loan given strictly in a business context.

Israel and Judah Saved (Zechariah 10:2-12)
As verse 1 of chapter 10 stated, God’s people are to pray to Him for their blessings-and He will abundantly provide. Yet Israel has often failed to seek God-looking vainly to idols, fortunetellers and other occultists for guidance. Interestingly, this situation did not characterize the Jews of Judea in the time of Zechariah. But it did aptly describe the far-flung scattered Israelites-as it still does today.

Indeed, psychics, astrologers and mediums remain popular. That’s because “there is no shepherd” (verse 2)-that is, there is no adequate leadership among the people. The “shepherds” with whom God is angry in verse 3 may be a reference to false spiritual leaders such as the occult practitioners mentioned. It could also simply denote those who have failed to lead the people so as to keep them away from such evil. However, based on what follows in the next verses, the shepherds here could be foreign oppressors. “While Israel lacked national leadership, there were plenty of tyrants seeking to rule God’s people” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 3). These are also referred to in the same verse as “goatherds” in the NKJV-“goats” in the KJV.

The Lord will make Judah as His royal warhorse against the oppressing enemy nations (verses 3). This will be accomplished through His coming as Israel’s long-awaited, much-needed Shepherd, the Messiah. “The cornerstone, the battle bow, and the nail [or tent peg] are figures of the Messiah to represent His qualities of stability, dependability, and strength. The cornerstone speaks of the ruler or leader on whom the building of government rests figuratively. (See Judg 20:2; 1 Sa 14:38; and Is 19:13.) It is a well-known symbol of the Messiah. (Cp. 1 Co 3:11 and 1 Pe 2:6, quoting Is 28:16.) The nail [or peg] refers to the large peg in an Oriental [i.e., Middle Eastern] tent on which were hung many valuables. On the Messiah will rest the hope and trust of His people. He will be the worthy support of the nation, the altogether dependable One, the true Eliakim. (Note Is 22:23-24 [and the Bible Reading Program comments on these verses].) The battle-bow stands for all implements of war and might. Messiah is the great military commander of His people; He is the Man of war (Ex 15:3). This will be clearly and openly manifest when He comes to rule (Ps 45:4-5)” (Charles Feinberg, The Minor Prophets, p. 321).

With Jesus Christ’s help, the Jews will overcome their enemies in the battle-infantry overcoming cavalry (verse 5), perhaps in an end-time setting signifying men on foot overcoming those in war vehicles such as tanks and the like.

Verse 6 again makes the end-time setting clear, as we see here the deliverance and return of the house of Joseph-representative of all the northern tribes of Israel. In verse 7, the name of Joseph’s son Ephraim is used in the same sense. God says He will “whistle” for His scattered people (verse 8), thus continuing the figure of the shepherd-signaling his flock.

God will bring His people back to their land-Gilead (east of the Jordan) and Lebanon (west of the Jordan) both being in the area of the former northern kingdom (verse 10). Lebanon could also denote the whole Promised Land (compare Joshua 1:4). God will deliver the Israelites from their end-time captivity in Egypt and Assyria (verse 10)-enabling those returning from the south to miraculously cross the Red Sea again on dry ground and those from the north to cross the Euphrates River in like manner (verse 11). Some identify “the River” here as the Nile, but this moniker is typically applied in the Old Testament to the Euphrates-the northern boundary of the Promised Land. The mention of Assyria in context makes this even more likely. These same events are described in Isaiah 11:11-16. Note particularly that Assyria again will be a national power in the last days (see Zechariah 10:11). As the representative northern power of the end time, the Assyrians will evidently constitute part of the final European empire known as Babylon. The scepter of Egypt departing may parallel the defeat of the final king of the South in Daniel 11. Yet,since Egypt is also figurative of this world of sin and captivity in general, this could denote the rule of sin and Satan coming to an end.

Israel, God tells us in Zechariah 10:12, will at last walk in His ways as His fitting representatives. Notice in this verse that the “LORD” (the Eternal) is referring to another as the “LORD”-that is, God the Word (who would become Jesus Christ) is referring to God the Father.

Two Staffs, Worthless Shepherds and 30 Pieces of Silver (Zechariah 11)
The wonderful high point for the Israelites at the end of chapter 10 is followed by a description of the lowest point of all. Whereas chapters 9-10 concerned the awesome deliverance and restoration to the Promised Land that the Messiah would bring, chapter 11 speaks of the nation rejecting that Messiah and the resultant dire consequences.

The first three verses of chapter 11 tell of destruction to befall Lebanon, Bashan and the Jordan Valley-that is, most of the Promised Land. Commentator Charles Feinberg notes: “The context of the rest of the chapter is determining and it points unmistakably to the judgment which resulted from the rejection of the Shepherd of Israel, that destruction which overtook the land and people [at the hands of the Romans] in AD 70” (The Minor Prophets, p. 325). Yet this is likely also to be understood as a forerunner of end-time destruction, as we will see.

“In the Talmud the Jewish rabbis identified Lebanon here [in verse 1] with the second temple, ‘which was built with cedars from Lebanon, towering aloft upon a strong summit-the spiritual glory and eminence of Jerusalem, as the Lebanon was of the whole country'” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 1-3). The mighty trees of the land, besides being literal, could also symbolize the principal men of the nation (the “shepherds” of verse 3). The roaring lions of verse 3 would seem to represent the ravaging conquerors.

The reason for this terrible situation then follows. “In Hebrew style an effect is often stated first, then the cause is presented afterward. So it is here. The cause of the judgment, the rejection of the Messiah by Israel, is now elaborated upon. The charge is to the prophet [Zechariah] who performed in vision what was commanded. He acted representatively for the Messiah in whose personal history these transactions took place” (Feinberg, p. 325).

Actually, it is not entirely clear who is speaking in verse 4, saying, “Thus says the LORD my God…” As we saw in Zechariah 10:12, the preincarnate Jesus Christ was speaking of the Father. It appears that Christ is still speaking in verse 4 of chapter 11-as what follows describes, in figurative language, His experience when He came to earth as a human being. Yet, as the commentator above and others contend, it may well be that Zechariah was to literally take shepherd implements and act out the role of the Good Shepherd. Indeed, this seems likely given the instruction to later take the implements of a foolish shepherd in verse 15-since that does not seem to be something Christ Himself did in any sense.

The Messiah was to “feed the flock [headed] for slaughter” (verse 4). In verse 5 we see the abuse and oppression of the people under foreign overlords, to whom their own leaders had essentially sold them out for the sake of their own position and comfort. In verse 6, God says that he will give every one into his neighbor’s hand (indicating an internally divided, faction-ridden nation, which Judah was in Christ’s day). God also says that He will give the people over to their king. In John 19:15, the crowd that cried out to have Christ crucified said, “We have no king but Caesar!” Thus it would be into the Roman emperor’s hand that they would be given.

Verse 7 describes the Messiah feeding the flock-that is, giving the nation spiritual nourishment through His teachings. It is particularly the “poor” of the flock who are fed-those of lesser means and those who are lowly and humble of spirit. The NIV has “oppressed.” Jesus quoted Isaiah in describing the commission God the Father gave Him: “He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).

The two staffs may have been literal implements taken up by Zechariah with symbolic meaning-or the reference could be altogether figurative. “Two staves are taken because the shepherd in the East carried a staff to protect against wild beasts [i.e., a club], another to help the sheep in difficult and dangerous places [i.e., a crook]” (Feinberg, p. 327). One staff, probably that of protection, is named “Favor” or “Grace” (“Beauty” is apparently an imprecise translation here). The other, probably the one used to keep the flock together, is named “Unity” or “Union” (as “Bonds” here, according to verse 14, connotes bonds of brotherhood). Christ’s shepherding work was to care for and protect His people and to keep them together.

Verse 8 says, “I dismissed [KJV has ‘cut off’] the three shepherds in one month. My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.” Many explanations have been offered here, and there is no way to be certain which is correct. “‘In one month’ has been taken to refer to (1) a literal month, (2) a short period of time, and (3) a longer period of indefinite duration” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 7-8). The presence of the definite article “the” (Hebrew ha) with “three shepherds” would seem to indicate that that these shepherds have been referred to already. If so, they would be synonymous with the shepherds of verse 5-that is, the nation’s leaders in general. This would seem to support the contention of many that the terminology here specifies not three particular individuals (though that is of course possible), but three classes of leaders among the people. Most suggest civil magistrates, priests and prophets. “Others understand it of the three sects among the Jews, of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians, all whom Christ silenced in dispute (Mt. 22) and soon after cut off, all in a little time” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, note on verses 4-14). Still others, seeing the reference as denoting individuals, suggest Eleazar, John and Simon, the three Jewish faction leaders during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Again, there is no way to be sure.

“In v. 9 the Good Shepherd terminates his providential care of the sheep, so that they even ‘eat one another’s flesh.’ According to Josephus, this actually happened during the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans…. [One commentator] remarks: ‘By withholding his leadership the shepherd abandoned the people to the consequences of their rejection of him: death, and mutual destruction. He simply let things take their course'” (Expositor’s, note on verses 8b-9). In verse 10, He takes the staff representing divine favor on is people-the one with which He fended off the nation’s enemies-and breaks it. This signals “the revocation of his covenant of security and restraint, by which he had been apparently holding back the nations from his people” (note on verses 10-11).

The “poor of the flock” (verse 11) or “afflicted of the flock” (NIV) who watch, or look to, the Messiah denote “‘the faithful few who recognize the word of the Lord, who know true authority [in the pronouncement of national punishment] when they see it in action’…. At least part of the fulfillment of these verses is to be found in Matthew 23 (note particularly vv. 13,23-24,33-39 [when Jesus excoriated the nation’s religious leaders and declared His work among the people over because of their unwillingness to accept Him, saying, ‘See! Your house is left to you desolate’ and telling them that they would see Him no more until they at last recognize Him at His glorious return.]). Faithful believers discern that what happens (e.g., the judgment on Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70) is a fulfillment of God’s prophetic word-a result of such actions as those denounced in Matthew 23, which led to the rejection of the Good Shepherd” (same note).

In Zechariah 11:12, the Messiah declares His job as the nation’s shepherd officially at an end, saying in effect, “Okay, I’m done here so it’s time to pay Me what you owe Me for My work-or just forget it.” The appropriate wage, Feinberg comments, would have been “their love, their obedience, and their devotion to God and His Shepherd. But it was not to be a matter of compulsion; if they were so minded, they could refrain from any manifestation of their evaluation of His ministry. They were prepared, however, to indicate their estimate of Messiah and His work. They gave Him thirty pieces of silver (money) for His wage. According to Exodus 21:32 this was the price of a gored slave. A freeman was considered twice that amount. Think of the insult of it!” (p. 328). God’s designation of the sum in verse 13 as a “princely price” was evidently given in sarcasm (see Expositor’s, note on verses 12-13). “The price was so disgraceful that it was to be cast to the potter who busied himself with things of little value. Casting a thing to the potter may have been proverbial for throwing away what was worthless” (Feinberg, p. 328).

Casting the money into the temple for the potter seems odd on the face of it. Why would money be cast into the temple if it were to be for the potter? Remarkably, the specifics of this prophecy were fulfilled in detail. The nation’s leaders weighed out 30 pieces of silver to Judas, Jesus’ moneykeeper, to have Jesus turned over to them (Matthew 26:14-16). Later remorseful, Judas flung the money into the temple-but the chief priests, not willing to put “blood money” into the temple treasury, gave it to a potter to purchase his field (27:3-10). Matthew cites Jeremiah rather than Zechariah in relating the prophetic significance of these events, though no such reference occurs in the book of Jeremiah. It is likely that Jeremiah had earlier spoken a similar prophecy. (We will consider this further when we come to Matthew 27 in the Bible Reading Program.)

In Zechariah 11:14, the second staff, representing the unity of God’s people, is broken-and is interpreted as breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. While this might seem strange since these two were already divided and remained so in Christ’s day (and in fact remain so today), we should understand it in the context of the prophecy of Israel and Judah’s national restoration in the previous two chapters of Zechariah. “The rejection of the messianic shepherd…meant that the [prophesied] national unity the Israelites hoped for would not be achieved at this time. But one day the two nations Judah and Israel will be united (Ezek. 37:16-28)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Zechariah 11:14).

With the rejection of the Messiah, the nation would be given over to foolish, worthless shepherds (verses 15-17). In verse 15, the implements of a foolish shepherd, as distinguished from a good shepherd, would seem to refer to personal attributes as expressed through behavior and the quality of food (spiritual nourishment) provided. In verse 16, a look at what the worthless shepherds will fail to do tells us exactly what proper spiritual leaders ought to do: 1) care for the lost or those who are in the process of being destroyed; 2) care for the young and inexperienced or, as the word here may alternatively be understood, the scattered; 3) heal those who are hurt; and 4) feed the healthy who, though they stand, need regular spiritual nourishment to keep them from falling. The bad shepherd will do none of these things. Instead of feeding the sheep, the end of verse 16 says he will feed on them. And when times get tough, he will abandon the flock (verse 17). As Jesus explained in John 10:11-12, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.” God ends Zechariah 11 with a special warning directed against such worthless shepherds. They will not escape the consequences of their failure to properly shepherd God’s people.

There are a number of similarities in Zechariah 11 to earlier prophecies in Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34. It would be worthwhile to review those passages and the Bible Reading Program comments on them in light of the present reading.

Finally, in the Zechariah 11 prophecy of the rejection of the Good Shepherd and the calamitous results we should recognize a parallel between events of Jesus’ day and those of the end time. The Jewish nation did not accept Jesus when He came. On the other hand, the modern nations of Israel today, led by the United States and Britain (see our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy), profess to be Christian. Yet these nations are awash in growing anti-God sentiment and godless legislation. Moreover, while many among them accept Jesus in name, they have not really accepted the true Jesus-that is, all that He taught and stood for. Their civil and religious leaders oppose Jesus’ message, as the religious leaders of His own day did-and the people follow suit. So they remain under the “care” of worthless shepherds. Moreover, the continued rejection of the Good Shepherd by the nations of Israel and Judah will result in the greatest time of calamity ever-of which the events of A.D. 70 were only a forerunner.

Sadly, Jesus even spoke of servants given charge of His spiritual household, the Church, in the last days who would abuse their fellow servants-and warned that they will pay the price for their callous misdeeds (see Matthew 24:45-51).

All Nations to Come Against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12) August 16-20
Chapter 12 begins the final oracle in the book of Zechariah. Verse 1 in the New King James Version refers to it as the burden of the word of the Lord “against Israel,” but this is evidently an inaccurate translation. The King James Version and J.P. Green’s Literal Translation both have “for Israel.” The New International Version has “concerning Israel.” While there is mention of punishment to come on Israel and Judah in this section, the primary focus is obviously on their deliverance and judgment being visited on the nations.

The prophecies in chapters 12-14 for the most part concern the end time. Of the 18 occurrences in the last two oracles of the phrase “in that day”—referring to the future Day of the Lord—16 appear in the second oracle. Monumental, earth-shaking events are depicted in this section. At the outset, God is declared to be the great Creator—both of the physical universe and the spiritual component in human beings (12:1). It is He who is able to bring these awesome, civilization-altering events to pass.

God says that Jerusalem will be as a cup of wine or strong drink causing drunkenness to all surrounding peoples (verses 2-3). Perhaps this implies national enemies being totally irrational about trying to control the city, as is certainly the case today. Yet the cup is also a metaphor for God’s wrath, as would-be conquerors are turned into reeling and collapsing men, incoherent and confused as if drunk (compare Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 13:13; 25:15-28; 51:7; Ezekiel 23:33; Revelation 14:10; 16:19). The next several verses of Zechariah 12 make it clear that this is exactly what is going to happen.

What is the time frame of the siege of Judah and Jerusalem described here? After Zechariah wrote, the next time the land of Judah would experience invasion and siege was during the time of the Seleucid Greek rulers of Syria. The Jews under the Maccabees would eventually succeed in pushing the Seleucids out. And it could be that the prophecy referred in small measure to those events. Yet the circumstances of those events were vastly different than the details given in the prophecy. “The fact is, no such coalition of nations (not even in the Roman war of the first century) against Israel has ever occurred in the past” (Charles Feinberg, The Minor Prophets, p. 330). Like most of the rest of this section, this prophecy is for the future—to be fulfilled “in that day” (verse 4), the Day of the Lord. The mention of “all peoples” here (verse 3) corresponds to God bringing “all nations” down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat in Joel 3:1-2. They will come to fight against the returning Jesus Christ—and will suffer utter defeat.

In the final battle, God says He “will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness…every horse of the peoples with blindness” (12:4). Seeming to parallel this, Zechariah 14:13-15 tells us that God will send a “great panic” among the attacking nations, causing them to slaughter one another in the ensuing confusion. While there may well be cavalry in the final battle over Jerusalem, perhaps horses in the end-time setting of Zechariah 12:4 refers more broadly to military vehicles. In the context of modern warfare, “blindness” and “confusion” among tanks and other war vehicles could perhaps refer to electronic sensors and guidance systems malfunctioning—leading to a flurry of “friendly fire incidents” sparking uncontrolled infighting. Of course, God can use other supernatural means to turn His enemies against one another—just as He did to ancient gentile forces that came against Judah in the days of Kings Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah (see 2 Chronicles 20; 2 Kings 18-19)

A remnant of Judah, rising from the oppression of the Great Tribulation, will be miraculously invigorated. Even though Jerusalem will have been occupied by enemy forces from the beginning of the Tribulation period, it is evident from Zechariah 12 that the Jews will retake the city and its surrounding territory shortly before Christ’s return—perhaps when forces of the end-time Beast power depart from Jerusalem to meet the Eastern forces arriving at Armageddon (Mount Megiddo) in northern Israel (see Revelation 16:12-16).

God says He will make Judah’s leaders “like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves” (Zechariah 12:6)—that is, “a firepan used to carry hot coals for the purpose of starting a fire, and…a fiery torch that could quickly ignite a field of cut grain” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 6). The Living Bible paraphrases verse 6 this way: “In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a little fire that sets the forests aflame—like a burning match among the sheaves; they will burn up all the neighboring nations right and left.” This ties back to the prophecies in Zechariah 9:13-15 and 10:3 and verse 5 of God using Ephraim and Judah to fight their enemies at Christ’s return—as well as the very clear statement in Zechariah 14:14: “Judah also will fight at Jerusalem” (see also Isaiah 41:14-15; Micah 4:13; Jeremiah 51:20-24). Of course, deliverance will come through the Lord Himself arriving to destroy His people’s enemies (Zechariah 12:7-9).

Verses 7-9 are quite remarkable in that they mention the “house of David” as a recognizable factor in the end time. This refers not to the Messiah (the returning Lord Himself), but to human beings in need of His deliverance and salvation. The dynasty of David did not end with the death of Jeconiah and Zedekiah in Babylon. Rather, it has continued through human rulers over the people of Ephraim in Great Britain. (To learn more about this, refer to our free online publication The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future.)

According to verse 8, “every ability will be enhanced, so the least individual will be like the undefeated warrior, David, and the royal line like the Angel of the Lord [here clearly equated with God]…. While the hyperbole is intended to emphasize God’s enablement, it may have prophetic significance, for Christ, David’s descendant, is also the Lord” (Lawrence Richards, The Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verse 8).

Mourning Over the Pierced One (Zechariah 12)
Verse 10 makes the end-time context of the events of the chapter clear. It is the time of the pouring out of God’s Spirit—starting with the people of Judah. “The prophet sets forth, as nowhere else in Scripture with such vividness and power, the conversion of Israel to the Lord. Nothing in Israel’s past history can be interpreted as the fulfillment of this passage. In that coming day of Israel’s national atonement, the Lord will pour upon the royal house and all who dwell in Jerusalem, then throughout the whole nation, the spirit of grace and supplication” (Feinberg, p. 332).

Of that time, the Lord makes this incredible statement: “They will look on [or ‘to’] Me whom they pierced.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The most common meaning of the Hebrew preposition translated ‘on’ is ‘to’ (NIV mg.), and there is no good contextual reason to depart from it here. The emphasis, then, is not on looking ‘on’ (or ‘at’) the Messiah literally but on [at last] looking ‘to’ the Messiah in faith (cf. Num 21:9; Isa 45:22; John 3:14-15)” (note on Zechariah 12:10). Yet it could well be “on,” especially given the specific reference to this time in Revelation 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.”

Regarding the pierced Messiah, Zechariah says of the people of Judah, “Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” They will finally realize what God meant through David in prophesying, “They pierced My hands and My feet” (Psalm 22:16)—that is, the nailing of the Messiah to the cross as part of His atoning suffering and death. They will at last recognize that Jesus Christ was indeed the true Messiah—that the very One they worshiped as God was made flesh and that His flesh was pierced with scourge, thorns, nails and spear for the sake of their sins and those of all humanity.

Early on the Jews understood the Pierced One here as a messianic designation, yet they found it difficult to reconcile with other messianic references to the coming conquering King. “The Talmud pronounces peace upon one who refers the passage to [the supposed] Messiah the son of Joseph, yet to be slain. The theory of two Messiahs, one to die and one to reign, is an invention of the rabbis without foundation in Scripture to explain the passages which present the Messiah as suffering and as ruling. The answer is to be found in the two advents [comings] of the one Messiah, as proved by this very passage under consideration. It is not some unknown martyr of whom Zechariah is speaking but of the coming Messiah Himself. The oldest interpreters of the passage, both Jewish and Christian, so understood it” (Feinberg, p. 333).

Sadly, “Jewish commentators [now] often regard this as a corporate reference to the Jews killed in the defense of Jerusalem (12:1-9)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 10). That is, “they will look to Me whom they pierced” is reinterpreted to mean “they will look to Me about those whom they [the enemy] pierced.” The Jewish Tanakh says, “They shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son…” This alteration is a rather convenient way of sidestepping the whole issue. Interestingly, the Tanakh has a footnote on this verse stating, “Meaning of Heb[rew] uncertain.” One day these Hebrew speakers will understand what their own language is telling them here. And when they do, they will greatly mourn over their failure to recognize their Messiah sooner and over their sins, which necessitated His atoning death.

The reference to the prior “mourning at Haddad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo” (verse 11) is uncertain. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary takes “Hadad-Rimmon as a place name (containing the names of ancient Semitic fertility gods) near Megiddo. So understood, the simile in v. 11 refers to the people of this town mourning the death of King Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:20-27; see v. 22 there for the plain of Megiddo and v. 24 for the mourning)” (note on Zechariah 12:11). Feinberg agrees: “The calamity referred to was Pharaoh-Necho’s slaying of the godly Josiah, the only ray of hope of the nation between Hezekiah and the fall of the Jewish nation…. Even Jeremiah wrote special dirges for the occasion” (p. 333). This seems rather likely, especially given that 2 Chronicles 35:25 says that mourning over Josiah became “a custom in Israel”—perhaps one that was still known in Zechariah’s day.

As in the former occasion, the whole nation will suffer intense sorrow and grief. The mention of the house of David alongside the house of Nathan is interesting. Judah’s kings were of the line of David’s son Solomon. Yet it is from David’s younger son Nathan that Jesus Christ came. Perhaps the idea is that all the families of David, from the highest to the lowest, will mourn. Again, this means that there will be a recognizable Davidic royal family to speak of at the time of Christ’s return. Listed next, “the house of Levi speaks of the priestly family; Shimei was of the family of Gershon, son of Levi (Num 3:17, 18, 21). Different priestly classes are comprehended here. The leaders, who are pointed out, and the common people of the land will engage together in the lamentation, each in his individual place” (p. 334).

Note the mourning of each family “by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zechariah 12:13-14). “These words are quoted in the Talmud as an argument for separating men and women in worship. But the verse seems to [simply] indicate that each mourner will face his or her sorrow alone, without the comfort of companionship” (Nelson, note on verses 12-14). Feinberg correctly notes: “The prophet means that the mourning will be so intense as to transcend even the closest ties of earth, those between husband and wife. Each will want to be alone with God in that hour” (p. 334). And in the face of this great and heartfelt repentance, God, in His great mercy, will pardon the transgression of His people. Indeed, their contrition of spirit is actually from Him. As He stated up front in verse 10, this is not a time of condemnation, but rather the awesome pouring out on His people of His wonderful Spirit of grace. We will see more about this in the next chapter.

Idolatry Cut Off; Shepherd Stricken and Sheep Scattered (Zechariah 13)
The prophecy of chapter 13 continues right on from that of the previous chapter. The phrase “in that day” at the beginning of verse 1 shows that what is described here will accompany the events of chapter 12—that is, the return of Jesus Christ to defeat the enemies of Judah, the Jewish people’s recognition of Him as their Messiah and their heartfelt repentance over their sins. Verse 10 of chapter 12 explained that the “house of David and…the inhabitants of Jerusalem” would receive the “Spirit of grace and supplication.” They would beseech God in prayer for mercy and forgiveness.

Now, in verse 1 of chapter 13, we see what God will do in response. He again mentions the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying that a fountain will be opened for them “for sin and for uncleanness.” The fountain imagery shows that this provision for cleansing away sin will be abundant and overflowing. Some see the fountain as representative of the shed blood of the Messiah. Revelation 1:5 says that Jesus “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” This atoning agent through which sin and uncleanness is forgiven will be opened to the entire nation of Israel at the time of Christ’s second coming. Yet the fountain could also signify the Word of God, as Jesus “gave Himself…that He might sanctify and cleanse [His people]…with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Only after Christ’s return will Scripture truly be opened to the understanding of the Israelite nation as a whole—teaching them the way out of sin and uncleanness. Then again, the fountain could symbolize the Lord Himself as “the fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13; see also Psalm 36:8-9). The living waters in this figure depict the Holy Spirit, which will be given to Israel and then all nations to empower them to depart from the way of sin and uncleanness. Indeed, not only will the guilt of iniquity be expunged, but iniquity itself will be removed from the land—though not all at once of course and not entirely until all mankind is later glorified.

Zechariah 13:2 states that God will cut off the names of the idols from the land so that they will no longer be remembered. This shows idolatry coming to an end. As noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Zechariah 10:2, idol worship was not a problem in Zechariah’s day. Yet God showed the prophet that it would yet be a problem among God’s people. This verse might also mean that the names of false gods will be removed from the language of the people. For instance, the fifth day of the week will no longer be called by the English name Thursday after the god Thor. A bowl of cereal will not be referred to as such, as the word comes from the Roman goddess Ceres. Even in Hebrew, the fourth month is named after the false Babylonian god Tammuz. This will apparently no longer be the case when God gives His people a “pure language” (Zephaniah 3:9).

God also says that He will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land (Zechariah 13:2). Prophets here evidently refers to false prophets, as God will still inspire human beings to proclaim His truth and even to have visions—indeed more at this time than in all history (see Joel 2:28). The term “unclean spirit,” used a number of times in the New Testament, occurs only here in the Old. This refers obviously to demons—the fallen angels behind much of false religion (see 1 Corinthians 10:20). They and their leader Satan will be imprisoned at Christ’s return (see Revelation 20:1-3).

Any human beings who then lie in claiming to speak for God will face the death penalty (Zechariah 13:3). “In that future day, if anyone dares to utter false prophecies (‘lies,’ v. 3), his own parents—in obedience to Deuteronomy 13:6-9—will take the lead in executing him [though apparently not by stoning as in ancient Israel]. The Hebrew for ‘stab’ [in the NIV and ‘thrust…through’ in the NKJV] is the same verb as ‘pierced’ in [Zechariah] 12:10, thus indicating that the feelings and actions shown in piercing the Messiah will be directed toward the false prophets” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on 13:2-3).

Those who were false prophets before—including the false preachers of nominal Christianity—will cast off their religious-looking garb. Out of fear of humiliation and punishment, they will seek to hide their past occupation by claiming to be average, everyday workmen from their youth (verses 4-5).

Verse 6 is understood by most commentators to refer to the former false prophets lying about how they received ritual, self-inflicted wounds, such as those the prophets of Baal inflicted on themselves in the contest with Elijah (see 1 Kings 18:28). While possible, there is no mention of any self-inflicted wounds prior to this point in Zechariah 13—and it seems a stretch to bring them into the account. In fact, it is just an assumption that the wounds of verse 6 are self-inflicted. It is also only an assumption that the description of where the wounds were received is a lie. Furthermore, given the end-time context of this prophecy, we should consider that false ministers do not typically cut themselves in religious ritual today.

A better explanation of this verse seems to be the minority opinion that this is a messianic reference—that the mention of wounds ties back 10 verses to the earlier appearance of the Pierced One in Zechariah 12:10 (and that the verses in between, 12:11-13:5, are parenthetical). Such an interpretation creates a more logical segue to the certain messianic reference in verse 7.

Dr. Merrill Unger, author of Unger’s Bible Dictionary, takes this view of verse 6 in his commentary on Zechariah: “The boldness and daring of this Messianic prophecy and the dramatic abruptness with which it is introduced have frightened most expositors away from its true import on the supposition that it is inseparably connected with verses 2-5, and therefore, still has the false prophet in mind, and [that] to introduce the Messiah is flagrantly to ignore the context. But…the context is not actually violated. The entire section 13:1-6 constitutes a prophecy of Israel’s national cleansing…. Verse 6 logically and forcefully presents the revelation of the Messiah as the cleanser from idolatry….
“The grammatical structure of verse 6 does not [rule out] a Messianic reference. While the…[‘him’ in the phrase] (‘Then some one will say to him’) apparently refers to the same person (the false prophet) as in the preceding verse; yet grammatically it may not, and the author may conceivably have another person in mind. That he does so and resumes the subject broached in 12:10 (‘They shall look unto me whom they pierced’) is suggested by the evident connection between these two passages (the intervening context being parenthetical…[describing] the effect of Israel’s exercising faith in the Pierced One)…. The prophetic Scriptures offer numerous illustrations of such extended parentheses….” (Zechariah: Prophet of Messiah’s Glory, 1970, p. 228).

Unger further contends: “The verse [13:6], accordingly, is not united to what immediately precedes [it] (an illustration of the main subject), but to the main subject itself, Him whom they pierced, for whom they are to mourn and by whom they are to be cleansed when they realize the wounds ‘between His hands’ [as the Hebrew literally reads], i.e., ‘in His hands,’ are those which He received on Golgotha’s cross. The wounds in the hands are thus in harmony with the piercing of Zechariah 12:10 which precedes [13:6], and the smiting of the Good Shepherd, which follows [13:6]…. Unsuccessful attempts have been made to make between thy hands mean something other than ‘in thy hands’—between the shoulders (Rashi), the breast between the hands (Wright), the breast or chest (Feinberg, who cites II Kings 9:24 as an analogous case…but II Kings 9:24 is ‘between the arms’ and is not the same as ‘between the hands'” (pp. 229-230).

In explaining the messianic interpretation of Zechariah 13:6, Unger says that Jesus Christ “with infinite grace and majestic pathos will reply to the heart-rending cry of His repentant people, with these I was wounded {smitten} in the house of my friends (me’ahavay, [literally] ‘in the house of those who loved Me’). It is to be carefully observed He does not say, ‘With these I was wounded by those who loved Me,’ for this was not true. The Jewish leaders who [sought to] put Him to death, on the contrary, hated Him diabolically. [And the Romans who carried out the execution had no love for Him.] But it was dramatically, even pathetically true, that His wounds were those with which He was wounded ‘in the house of those who loved Him,’ for it was ‘the house of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,’ yes, of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Zechariah himself who loved Him, looked for Him, and foretold His coming. It was the house of Simeon, Anna, His own mother Mary who bore Him and tenderly nursed Him, of Joseph who lovingly provided for Him, and the house of Peter, James, and John, who although they denied and forsook Him in the hour of supreme trial, nevertheless passionately loved Him, despite their human failure and weakness” (p. 230).

Verse 7 brings us to the time of that trial. It explains how the Pierced One came to receive His wounds—a logical transition from verse 6 if that verse is understood in a messianic context. God the Father is now speaking of His Companion whom He has appointed Shepherd over His people. This is a clear reference to the Messiah, and Jesus specifically applied this verse to Himself (see Matthew 26:31). It may be shocking to read in Zechariah 13:7 that God actually commands the sword to strike the Messiah. Yet like Isaiah 53:10 and the symbolism of Israel’s sacrificial system, this verse shows that the death of Jesus Christ was no accident but was divinely determined—even required—in His plan to redeem humanity from sin and its consequences (see also Acts 2:23).

“When the Shepherd is struck, the sheep (cf. 10:3, 9) are scattered, in fulfillment of the curses for covenant disobedience (Deut 28:64; 29:24-25)…. [One commentator] maintains that the thought is that the Lord ‘will scatter Israel or His nation by smiting the shepherd; that is to say, He will give it up to the misery and destruction to which a flock without a shepherd is exposed … The flock, which will be dispersed in consequence of the slaying of the shepherd, is the covenant nation…the flock which the shepherd in [Zechariah 11:4]…had to feed.’ This part of [chapter 13] v. 7 is quoted by Jesus not long before his arrest (Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27) and applied to the scattering of the apostles [on the night He was delivered over to the authorities] (Matt 26:56; Mark 14:50), but they are probably intended to serve as a type of the Diaspora [i.e., Dispersion or Scattering] that occurred [when the Romans invaded] in A.D. 70 and following [—the greatest fulfillment to come in the end time]. Some take ‘I will turn my hand against {or ‘on’ or ‘over’}’ in a negative sense, others in a positive one… [One commentator] strikes a balance: ‘For correction, but in mercy, ver[ses] 8, 9. Comp[are] Is[aiah 1:]25 [‘I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy’]. ‘The little ones’ are the remnant (vv. 8-9)” (Expositor’s, note on Zechariah 13:7).

The scattering of the national flock and the refining of the remnant is the subject of the next two verses—verses 8-9—which constitute the end of chapter 13. The Roman destruction of Judea in A.D. 70 may have been partially in view here. But the context of what follows in chapter 14 makes it clear that the end time is the primary setting. The “two thirds” and “one third” of 13:8 probably refers to parts of the entire national flock, including the northern tribes of Israel, not just Judah. The prophecy of this verse parallels that of Ezekiel 5, which shows that in the end time one third of the nation will die of famine and pestilence, one third will die from military weapons and one third will be taken into foreign captivity. (You may wish to review the Bible Reading Program comments on Ezekiel 5 at this point.)

At the end of Zechariah 13:8, the phrase “one third shall be left in it” can be misleading, as it seems to imply that after two thirds of the people are killed, one third remains in the land (rather than going into captivity). Yet the phrase is better comprehended as “one third in it shall be left”—that is, one third of those who are in the land to start with will be left alive and not immediately killed (not that they will necessarily still be in the land). In verse 9, God says He will bring this remaining third through the fire—the fiery trial of the Great Tribulation. As Ezekiel 5 and other passages show, they will be taken into captivity. Yet of these, we learn elsewhere that only about a tenth will survive (see Amos 5:3; Isaiah 6:11-13, Living Bible).
In the imagery of refining silver and gold through the smelting process, we see again the theme of God purging His people of iniquity—purifying them. And this process is not for the physical, national Israelites alone. The spiritual people of God, those of His Church, go through trials to produce patience and a perfected character (see James 1:2-4). Indeed, similar language to that of Zechariah 13 is used of some of God’s spiritual people of the end time who will have to endure the suffering of the Great Tribulation. God tells them, “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be [truly] rich” (Revelation 3:18). Those of both national Israel and the Church who are purified during the Tribulation will in the end be part of the true people of God.

The Lord Will Come in Power to Reign Over All the Earth (Zechariah 14)
Chapter 14 continues the prophecy of the previous two chapters and concludes the book of Zechariah. It portrays the coming of the Lord to take over the rule of the world.

The time frame is addressed right from the outset: “Behold, the day of the LORD is coming…” (verse 1). Actually, the literal Hebrew has “A day of the LORD” here (see NIV). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes: “Although ‘a day of the LORD’ is not the usual construction for ‘the day of the LORD,’ it doubtless means the same thing; ‘that day’ occurs throughout the context (chs. 12-14). Perhaps this particular construction is used here to emphasize the fact that the ‘day’ is distinctively the Lord’s” (note on verses 1-2). That is, the nations are having their day now, but a day is coming that will belong to God.

The Day of the Lord designates the time of God’s intervention in human affairs to bring judgment on the nations and assume rule over the entire earth. In one sense, it denotes the final year prior to Christ’s return—”the day of the LORD’s vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion” (Isaiah 34:8; compare Revelation 6:17). In a broader sense it represents the Lord’s millennial rule—which is the sense given in Zechariah 14:8. And in the broadest sense it means that and eternity beyond.

The gathering of all nations to battle against Jerusalem (verse 2) ties directly back to the prophecy of 12:2-3. This concerns the final siege of Jerusalem, evidently coinciding with the time of the Lord’s coming. The rest of Zechariah 14:2 seems to refer back to the beginning of the Great Tribulation of 13:8-9—perhaps to review the horrible events that have led up to this final siege. During the Tribulation, “the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city” (14:2, NIV).

This final point here does not necessarily mean that half of Jerusalem’s Jews will be exiled and half will remain. For consider that of the current Jerusalem population of 600,000, only 400,000 are Jews. Using such figures, perhaps 300,000 Jews (half the city but three fourths of the Jewish population) would be evicted, leaving 100,000 Jews in the city. (If the percentage of Jews in the city’s population changes drastically before the Tribulation, the percentages evicted and remaining would of course change as well.)

In response to the final siege against Jerusalem at the beginning of verse 2, God will powerfully intervene on behalf of His people, as shown in verse 3. “Just when it seems that all hope is gone, ‘then the LORD’ himself appears as ‘divine warrior’ and delivers his beleaguered people…. But who is this ‘LORD’? When one compares this scene, including v. 4, with [that of the coming of Jesus Christ in] Acts 1:9-12 and Revelation 19:11-16, it would appear certain that ‘the LORD’ here is ultimately the Messiah” (Expositor’s, note on Zechariah 14:3-5). Acts 1:11-12 shows that Jesus ascended to heaven from Mount Olivet—the Mount of Olives on the east side of Jerusalem—and that He would return in like manner. This seems to allude to the prophecy in Zechariah 14:4 that “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.”

The mention of this rise overlooking the Temple Mount and Kidron Valley in between would have been important symbolically to Zechariah’s immediate audience, as they already had the imagery in Ezekiel of the glory of God departing from the temple by route of this mountain (see Ezekiel 11:23). The divine presence, they are now informed, would return by the same route. Interestingly, the hill’s soil “is well suited to the growth of olive trees which thrust their roots down into the brittle rock. Hence, in the Mishna and Talmud it is called the Mount of Anointing” (The Illustrated Family Encyclopedia of the Living Bible, Vol. 8, p. 98, quoted in Expositor’s, note on Zechariah 14:3-5). Recall that the figure of olive trees and olive oil as a representation of anointing with the Holy Spirit occurs earlier in the book of Zechariah (see chapter 4).

When the returning Jesus Christ stands on the Mount of Olives, it will split in two, one half moving north and the other half moving south, thus creating a new valley running east to west between the two halves (14:4-5). The site of Azal to which the valley will reach has not been identified. It may be somewhere in the desert east of the summit of the Mount of Olives. On the other hand, it could be a place that will not exist until the valley is created. This new valley will provide a means of escape for the besieged remnant of God’s people. Recall that God enabled His people to escape from ancient Egypt by parting the Red Sea for them. Now God will enable His people to escape their end-time oppressors by parting a mountain of solid rock! This also allows them to escape from the destruction God is about to bring on the besieging forces of the nations.

Note also the reference, “…as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah” (verse 5). The prophet Amos dated his book with reference to that former earthquake (see Amos 1:1). As mentioned in the Bible Reading Program’s introductory comments on Amos, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus says that this earthquake happened when King Uzziah sinned in attempting to offer incense (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 9, chap. 10, sec. 4), thus dating the former earthquake to about 751 B.C. This was around two and a half centuries before Zechariah 14 was written, so the former earthquake and the resultant evacuation of the people from Jerusalem must have been a rather monumental event for it to have lingered so long in the national memory (especially given the deportations of both Israel and Judah in the intervening years).

Zechariah 14, while making a comparison with the former earthquake, does not directly state that there will be an earthquake at the time of Christ’s return. But the splitting of the mountain will surely cause one (or be the result of one otherwise brought about by God). We do know from elsewhere in Scripture that there will be an earthquake at the time of Jesus’ second coming, and it could well parallel the events of Zechariah 14. Notice Revelation 16:18: “And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.” Interestingly, the Jordan River Valley, a few miles east of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, lies along a major fault line, so the whole area has long been a significant earthquake zone.

At the end of Zechariah 14:5, we are told that God—again, in the person of Jesus Christ—will come with “all the saints.” The word saints literally denotes “holy ones” and includes both God’s holy angels and the spiritually converted human beings of this age resurrected to divine glory at Christ’s coming.

Verses 6-7 describe a period of persistent darkness across many days, signifying the time of judgment. This parallels Joel 2:1-2: “For the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (see also Isaiah 13:9-10; Amos 5:18, 20; Zephaniah 1:14-15). But then the darkness will be broken and light will shine even at night. We should understand this both literally in the sense that God will clear the debris of global catastrophe from the atmosphere and figuratively in that the light of God’s truth and character will be manifested and taught to mankind. Indeed, Jesus Himself is described in Scripture as the Light of the world—as are His followers.

Zechariah 14:8 describes living waters flowing from Jerusalem toward the eastern sea (the Dead Sea) and the western sea (the Mediterranean). “In contrast with the seasonal streams that flow only during the rainy season, these streams will irrigate the land in both summer and winter” (Nelson, note on verse 8). This parallels the description of the river of healing waters flowing from Jerusalem in Ezekiel 47 and Joel 3:18. While literal, the reference is also figurative of the Holy Spirit and salvation flowing from the divine Messiah (see Jeremiah 2:13; Isaiah 12:3; 44:3; 55:1; John 7:37-39; see also Revelation 22:1-2). It’s also interesting that the city of Jerusalem was founded on a hill atop the Gihon Spring, a freshwater source that has provided the city with water for many centuries. Also, not very far away to the east, water flows out of the solid rock at the desert oasis of En Gedi, where David and his men at times hid out while being pursued by Saul. The limestone hills around Jerusalem are clearly underlain by underground water sources, so little stretch of the imagination is required to see God bringing these prophecies to pass.

Verse 9 foretells the hope of all God’s people who pray, “Your Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10)—the time when Jesus Christ will at last become King over the entire earth.

Verse 10 reveals some major topographical changes that the land of Judea will experience. The land around Jerusalem is to be leveled and the city itself raised. “Geba was six miles northeast of Jerusalem. Rimmon was about 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Benjamin’s Gate was most likely the gate in the north wall of the city. The First Gate has not yet been identified. The Corner Gate probably marked the northwest limit of Jerusalem. The Tower of Hananel was probably a defensive fortification on the north wall” (Nelson, note on verse 10; see also Jeremiah 31:38). “The royal wine-presses were just south of the city” (Expositor’s, note on Zechariah 14:10-11). Verse 11 gives the comforting message that Jerusalem will be reinhabited with its citizens secure, the great destruction of the last days having come to an end.

Verse 12 returns to the theme of the final battle over Jerusalem at Christ’s return. God will send a “plague” to strike the enemy forces. The word plague today is often equated with disease and sickness, but it simply connotes a divine striking with judgment. Consider the 10 plagues that God brought on ancient Egypt, most of which were not sicknesses. The description of people’s flesh dissolving while they stand on their feet in Zechariah 14:12 seems similar to that of the effect of a nuclear- or neutron-bomb explosion. But the main point is who causes the effect—”the LORD will strike all the people.”

Verse 13 describes a great panic among the enemy forces that will lead to them attacking each other. As noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Zechariah 12:4, this appears to be related to God’s statement there that in the final battle He will strike every horse with confusion and blindness and their riders with madness. As previously mentioned, this could refer to a malfunction in the electronic sensors and guidance systems of modern war vehicles, leading to “friendly fire” instances among the enemy, sparking uncontrolled infighting. However it occurs, this will parallel ancient instances where God turned enemy troops besieging Jerusalem against one another (see 2 Chronicles 20; 2 Kings 18-19).

Zechariah 14:14 states that Judah will fight at the time of the final battle, then seizing the spoil of the defeated enemies. Yet ultimate victory will come not through force of arms but through the awesome, supernatural intervention of Jesus Christ already mentioned. The plague of verse 12 is referred to again in verse 15 as consuming enemy transport animals and livestock.

All to Keep the Feast of Tabernacles and Be Holy (Zechariah 14)
Verse 16 brings us to the time when the smoke of war has cleared and the reign of the Messiah has been established. The nations will have suffered severe judgment but the people among them who remain to this time will be given the opportunity, along with Israel, of enjoying a close relationship with the Almighty King of all the earth.

All nations will be required to observe the annual Feast of Tabernacles. This clearly proves that this festival, along with God’s other feasts listed in Leviticus 23, are not just for the Israelites but are, rather, for all humanity. Indeed, the Feast of Tabernacles pictures this wonderful future period pictured in Zechariah 14—the time when all nations will be brought under the reign of Christ to experience joy and peace for 1,000 years. (To learn more about God’s feasts and our duty to observe them today, send for or download our free booklet God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.)

The nations going up annually to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Tabernacles does not mean that every person in every nation is to go to Jerusalem every year. Rather, the Feast will be observed globally, with each nation sending a representation to Jerusalem. The point of verse 16 is to draw a contrast. Those of the nations who came against Jerusalem will now come to worship there. Just as God in formerly bringing “all nations” against Jerusalem did not bring every single person among them there, so the nations going to Jerusalem to worship at the Feast does not mean every single person among them will go there each year.

God “next unfolds what will happen to the recalcitrant nations that refuse to send delegations on this annual pilgrimage to worship the King in Jerusalem: The blessing of rain will be withheld from them (v. 17; according to Deut 28:22-24, this was one of the curses for covenant disobedience). [One commentator] relates v. 17 to 9:11-10:1, ‘where an adequate rainfall is connected with the prosperity of the Messianic era.’ Unger…observes: ‘In Ezekiel 34:26 the word {‘rain’} is used figuratively of spiritual blessing, and Zechariah’s usage, while literal, does not exclude the spiritual connotation.’ This principle is illustrated in v. 18 with Egypt” (Expositor’s, verses 17-19). Some read verse 18 as saying that Egypt would receive a different plague for noncompliance than lack of rain since it depends not on regular rainfall but on the annual flooding of the Nile. Yet this inundation itself requires sufficient rainfall upstream—and verse 19 appears to say that Egypt and other nations will receive the same punishment if they disobey, pointing back to the lack of rainfall in verse 17.

Such measures will be for the ultimate good of those afflicted. It will wake them up to understand who Christ really is. Also, even though they may go to learn from Him unwillingly at first, they will nevertheless be afforded an opportunity to learn that they would have unwisely denied themselves. Eventually, most will be grateful for this discipline and will freely and enthusiastically join in the worship of God.

As Expositor’s notes on verses 20-21, they “may be summed up like this: There will be holiness in public life (‘the bells of the horses,’ v. 20), in religious life (‘the cooking pots in the LORD’s house,’ v. 20), and in private life (‘every pot in Jerusalem and Judah,’ v. 21). Even common things become holy when they are used for God’s service. So it is with our lives. ‘Holy to the Lord was engraved on the plate of gold worn on the turban of the high priest (Ex. 28:36) as an expression and reminder of his consecration, but it was meant to be true of all Israel (Ex. 19:6; Je. 2:3)’…. So God’s original purpose for Israel (Exod 19:6) will be fulfilled….

“While the Hebrew for ‘Canaanite’ can also mean ‘merchant’ (cf. NIV mg.)—possibly referring either to 11:5 or to the kind of activity condemned by Jesus in Matthew 21:12-13 (cf. John 2:13-16)—’Canaanite’ seems the better translation for this context [—not in the sense of physical descent but in contrast to holy purity]. ‘Canaanite’ would then represent anyone who is morally or spiritually unclean—anyone who is not included among the chosen people of God (cf. Isa 35:8; Ezek 43:7; 44:9; Rev 21:27).” Indeed, God appears to be drawing a parallel between the establishment of His Kingdom in Zechariah 14 with ancient Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan. When the ultimate Joshua (Jesus) leads spiritual Israel to victory over the nations of spiritual Canaan (this evil world)—to dispossess them from the Promised Land of this whole earth—there will be no more spiritual Canaanites (rebellious, idolatrous nations) left to defile the house of the Lord. Instead, all will be holy.

The end-time and millennial prophecies that God gave through Zechariah must have been wonderfully encouraging to the Jews in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, and they are certainly sobering and inspiring for all of us who look forward in faith to their fulfillment. We hope the fulfillment will be soon!

Titus

A letter from the apostle Shaul to the believer named Titus. Shaul writes to Titus reminding him of the reason for his remaining in Crete and that is to make sure to teach and employ good leadership for the assemblies. He lays out some requirements and characteristics to look for in good and appropriate leaders and elders.

Shaul warns against allowing silly arguments and fables that the established Pharisees and Sadducees like to present and spend time on and also the worthless teachings of the traditions of men. Shaul takes time to lay out specific characteristics to look for in the men, women, and children and that all should be and strive to be “beyond reproach.”

Summarily, everyone is to be held to the same standard no matter their social or economic standing, whether young or old, and whether male or female. Be reverent. Mind the testimony. Be sober, kind, sensible, trustworthy, acting appropriately at all times, love one another. He admonishes Titus to be the first in all these – an good and righteous example to demonstrate these and to let no one despise him or oppose him.

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