Open up your Bibles if you could to the book of Zechariah chapter 3, and verse 1 (Zech 3:1). So, we are in that part of the book roman numeral 2 here, as you see on the screen, where the prophet Zechariah has eight night visions.
So, these are eight visions that he received in a single night and each of these visions has to do with encouragement regarding rebuilding the Jewish temple that had been left desolate by Nebuchadnezzar at least 70 years earlier, in fact, yeah, around 70 years earlier.
So, we’ve finished the first vision, the rider and horses among the myrtle trees and we finished vision number 2, the four horns and the four craftsmen and then last time we were together we finished vision number 3 which is the man with the measuring line in chapter 2 and now we’re on the fourth vision which deals with the cleansing of the high priest Joshua.
So, here is our chart that we like to refer to, just to get the big picture of what’s going on in this particular vision, but it’s the fourth one down chapter 3, the cleansing and crowning of the high priest Joshua and each of these visions is designed to communicate a major point and the major point here is the cleansing of this priest is a type, if you will, of Israel’s future cleansing and ultimate reinstatement as a priestly nation, because going all the way back to the book of Exodus chapter 19, I think it’s around verse 6 (Ex 19:6), God told Israel that He wanted to make them a kingdom of priests. So, they’ve failed in their calling up to this point in the book of Zechariah and so the question now becomes, how are they going to get cleansed so they can be restored to their role? Well, God sort of does it in microcosm form with the high priest Joshua.
So, you got two parts here verses 1 through 5 (Zech 3: 1-5) and this has to do with part 1, the three stages of Joshua’s cleansing, verses 1 through 5 and then verses 6 through 10 (Zech 3: 6-10) how Joshua was cleansing is a pre-figurement of Israel’s and Jerusalem’s future cleansing, verses 6 through 10. 3:13
So, notice if you will, verses 1 through 5 and of course we want to start off there with verse 1 and notice what says there in verse 1 (Zech 3:1), it says: Then he showed me Joshua the high priest… Now, the “me” of course is Zechariah seeing this vision… Then he showed me Zechariah, the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. So, you’ll notice there in verse 1 “Then he showed me”, that’s our verb of perception. Whenever he says “I saw” or “I look” or something like that, it typically communicates a new vision, so that’s our marker, how we know a new vision is coming. Says: Then he showed me Joshua the high priest… Now, what Joshua is this speaking of? It has nothing to do with the book of Joshua which happened roughly a 1000 years earlier. It has nothing to do with that Joshua that conquered the land, this is a different person. This is the high priest. So, as Israel or as the southern kingdom Judah came back from the 70 year captivity, God in the land of Israel, in the nation of Israel was basically using two people. The first is Zerubbabel, the governor, so God was using him politically and the second person God was using was Joshua, the high priest. So, God had his hand on the governor Zerubbabel and He had his hand on the religious aspect of the nation, through the high priest Joshua. So: Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD… and notice this next expression here… and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. So, Satan, no matter what God does, Satan is always going to come against it. So, just take that as a word of warning, anytime God has his hand on you and God wants to use you like He was using Joshua and Zerubbabel here, Satan will always come against you. It just goes, you know, it just goes with the territory. A lot of times we’re shocked how much warfare we go through but we shouldn’t be shocked cause the Bible says if God is at work, Satan will also be at work trying to oppose or thwart what God is doing. 6:07
So, what is Satan doing with this man Joshua? The same sort of thing that he does with us, he is basically standing there to accuse him. You’ll notice at the end of verse 1 the word accuse and that’s what Satan is, he is the accuser. He loves to accuse God before man. He always tries to make it sound as if God is some kind of meany that’s holding out on you. He’ll take the goodness of God and he’ll distort it in your mind. Uhm, this is what he did with Eve at the dawn of human history. It says in Genesis 3, verses 4 and 5 (Gen 3:4-5): The serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So, in other words, Eve! God really does not have your best interest at heart, He is trying to hold back things from you and so if you just follow my way, you’ll move into enlightenment. So, he is accusing God in the presence of man and this is a tremendous deception that keeps a lot of people away from Christ. People think that if they become a Christian God is just going to destroy their lives and wreck them, not understanding that the son of man has come into the world to emancipate us, not to destroy us. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus says in John 10:10 (John 10:10) but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. So, it’s very easy to lose sight of God’s goodness and it relates to Satan’s activity as the accuser, and not only does he accuse God in the presence of men but the opposite is true, he accuses men in the presence of God and you don’t have to get far in the Bible to see this, the oldest book of the Bible is the book of Job and that’s what Satan does in the first two chapters. Job 1, verses 8 through 11 (Job 1:8-11), it says: The LORD said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil. Then Satan answered the LORD, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge of protection about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face. (haha) So, there’s Satan in the presence of God attacking Job’s character, Job 1, verses 8 through 11. 9:31
If that weren’t enough, the exact same thing happens in Job 2, verses 3 through 5 (Job 2:3-5): The LORD said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job?… It kind of makes you feel like, God if you are proud of me, please don’t boast about me publicly… For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast with his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause. Satan answered the LORD and said, Skin for skin! Yes, all that he has he will give for his life. However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and flesh; he will curse You to Your face. So, the accuser of the brethren. In fact, Satan is called that in Revelation 12, verse 10 (Rev 10:12) It says there of Satan: …who accuses them before our God… anybody know the last phrase there? How frequently does Satan do this… day and night. That’s a lot of accusations.
In Luke 22:31 (Luke 22:31) Jesus said to Peter: Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat. So, it’s kind of interesting that there are all kinds of conversations in the heavenly places going on about us and Satan loves to accuse us before God. So, that’s what’s going on here in verse 1. Why is Satan doing this? Because God’s hand is on this high priest Joshua and Satan is trying to make it sound like this guy is not qualified for ministry. So, what you see in verse 2 (Zech 3:2) is God rebuking Satan, look at verse 2: The LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? So, notice that it’s the Lord that rebuke Satan, it’s not Joshua that rebukes Satan and that’s important because there’s a lot of people running around today binding Satan, casting Satan out, yelling at Satan, screaming at Satan, giving Satan a black eye and running him out of town and such practices you don’t find in the Bible. Essentially, what you have going on here is the Lord is rebuking Satan. 12:30
So, Michael the archangel in Jude 9 (Jude 1:9), in a dispute with Satan concerning the body of Moses said: …The Lord rebuke you! So, if Michael didn’t rebuke Satan himself but rested and trusted in the Lord, then, and Michael is an archangel, which means he is higher than us, Amen? Maybe we should follow the same practice. What we are supposed to do relative to Satan is to put on the full armor of God, you know, we’re primarily on defense against him, you know, not offence and that, understanding that will counter a lot of practices that are common in the spiritual warfare movement where people are always yelling at Satan, screaming at Satan, binding Satan. I don’t know why they keep binding Satan because every time they bind him it looks like he got lose again but if you look at verse 2, it says: The LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, Satan!… and then it says: Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! So, notice that God is identified as the one who has chosen the city of Jerusalem. 13:53
We know from Deuteronomy chapter 7, verses 7 and 8 (Deut 7: 7-8) that the Lord chose the Jewish people, the Hebrews. He chose them, he made a sovereign decision to use them to mediate his blessings to the world. So, it says in Deuteronomy 7, verses 7 and 8: The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh the king. So, the Lord made a sovereign choice to use Israel as his instrument of blessing to the rest of the world. I mean, why didn’t God decide to use the Egyptians or the Phoenicians? It has to do with God making a choice of a nation and not only according to this verse has God chosen a nation but he’s chosen a city, the city of Jerusalem. 15:05
Zechariah 2:12 (Zech 2:12), I think we covered this last time, it says: The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem… and then in the prior chapter Zechariah 1, verse 17 (Zech 1:17) it says: Again, proclaim, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts, My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem. So, God is the one who has chosen Jerusalem to be the city ultimately of His holy habitation. He has not chosen any other city. So, God here, as He is defending Joshua and rebuking Satan, identifies Himself as the one who has chosen Jerusalem and then God explains why He’s defending the high priest against these satanic accusations. He says: Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? So, it’s speaking of the fact that the fire could have destroyed the Jewish nation in the Babylonian captivity but God did not allow the nation to be destroyed. He plucked them out of the fire and He plucked Joshua as the high priest and Zerubbabel out of the fire and why did God do that? Because God wants to use Judah, Zerubbabel and Joshua. So, if God has already gone to all the trouble to pluck them from the fire, why would He just sit there and let Satan malign these servants of God? So, it’s an explanation of why the Lord is rebuking Satan here.
Thomas L. Constable – Constable’s online notes on Zechariah, p. 40.
“The Lord then referred to Joshua as a burning stick ‘plucked from the fire,’ evidently for His future use (cf. Amos 4:11). If Joshua represents Israel, then the fire must refer to the Babylonian Captivity from which Israel had emerged almost destroyed, and the stick refers to the surviving remnant. Israel had experienced another brush with extinction at the Exodus (Deut 4:20; Deut 7:7-8; Jer 11:4), and she will do so again in the Tribulation (Zech 13:8-9; Jer 30:7; Rev 12:13-17).”
So, Thomas Constable says in his online notes: The Lord then referred to Joshua as a burning stick ‘plucked from the fire,’ evidently for His future use… and you’ll find this same terminology in the book of Amos chapter 4, and verse 11 (Amos 4:11) Constable says: If Joshua represents Israel, then the fire must refer to the Babylonian Captivity from which Israel had emerged almost destroyed, and the stick refers to the surviving remnant. Israel had experienced another brush with extinction and she will do so again in the Tribulation. So, if God wanted Israel to disappear, he could have allowed that to happen but he plucked them out of the fire. So, obviously, God is not just going to sit back and let Satan make accusations against Joshua and destroy him, because if it was God’s purpose for Joshua to be destroyed, He would have never plucked him from the fire to begin with. See? And this is something that’s important for us because Satan, in your life as a Christian, will whisper in your ear, you are worthless, you’re good for nothing, how do you think you can be used by God? And the answer is, well, God saved me, and if God was going to just pass over my life and never use me for His purposes, he wouldn’t have saved me. So, the fact that He saved me means He wants to use me. So, that’s what you say to yourself when you come under the condemnation of the accuser of the brethren. 19:04
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 57.
“For the figure of the brand plucked from the fire we can be referred to Amos 4:11. It is most meaningful here. It speaks of Israel snatched from the Babylonian Captivity, for the wrath and fire of God have not been permitted to do their complete work of destruction.…Would Jehovah have delivered Israel from Babylon, if his ultimate purpose was to destroy her?”
“Since God has done so much, not only is His love proved, but the continuance of it is assured and guaranteed. A piece of timber is rescued from fire only when it’s possessor sees further purposes in it. Similarly, God’s plan for Israel did not close with the captivity of the southern kingdom and the deportation to Babylon. His love sought her out yet once more.”
Charles Feinberg of this verse says: For the figure of the brand plucked from the fire we can be referred to Amos 4, verse 11 (Amos 4:11). It is most meaningful here. It speaks of Israel snatched from the Babylonian Captivity, for the wrath and fire of God have not been permitted to do their complete work of destruction.…Would Jehovah have delivered Israel from Babylon, if his ultimate purpose was to destroy her? See, if God’s ultimate purpose was to destroy you He wouldn’t have saved you to begin with. Feinberg goes on and he says: Since God has done so much, not only in His love proved… you know, interrupting the quote for a minute, what is Christianity? It’s love proved. Romans 5, I want to say it’s around verse 8 (Rom 5:8) or so: For God demonstrates His love for us.. that Christ died for us, so Christianity is not about God just saying I love you, it’s about Him doing something practical to redeem you through the shed blood of His Son. So, why would He go all that trouble if He’s just going to let you sit on the bench and never wants to use you for His purposes because you come under satanic accusation. So Feinberg says: Since God has done so much, not only in His love proved but the continuance of it is assured and guaranteed. A piece of timber is rescued from the fire only when its possessor sees further purposes in it. Similarly, God’s plan for Israel did not close with the captivity of the southern kingdom and the deportation to Babylon. His love sought her out yet once more. So don’t be discouraged about rebuilding the temple, get busy rebuilding it, God has a purpose for it and if He wanted your fire to go out, spiritually speaking, you would have been destroyed in the Babylonian captivity. So, the fact that you’re back from the Babylonian captivity is proof that God has purposes for you. So, it doesn’t matter what Satan is saying here. 21:21
So, what happens as you go into verses 3 through 5, is now Joshua is cleansed by God and when you look at verse 3, you see why he needs to be cleansed. You only need to be cleansed when you are what? When you are dirty. So his dirt is described there in verse 3 (Zech 3:3): Now Joshua… this is the high priest… was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. So, why does he need to be cleansed? Cause he is dirty. Why do I need to be cleansed? Cause I’m dirty. Why do you need to be cleansed? Cause you are dirty. Cause Romans 3, verse 23 (Rom 3:23) says: For all have sinned and… what?… fallen short of the glory of God. All means all. It’s like saying “all y’all” . We can speak a little Texan here “all y’all” not “y’all”, “all y’all” have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 5, excuse me, 1 Corinthians 15, 21 and 22 (1 Cor 15:21-22) says: For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. So, it’s not just Joshua that’s dirty, all of us are. Romans 5, verse 12 (Rom 5:12) says: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned. That’s why all of us need this cleansing. Now you might say, wait a minute now, Joshua is a high priest. How could a high priest be dirty? Well, Isaiah 64, and verse 6 (Isa 64:6) says: For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our… Now watch this very carefully… all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf… so, you’ll notice that what makes me unclean is not just my unrighteous deeds but it’s my righteous deeds. Any time I’m relying upon religiosity to gain standing before God, that’s our righteous deeds in men’s eyes and yet God looks at it as a filthy garment. It’s what Adam and Eve clothed themselves with in Genesis 3, verse 7 (Gen 3:7): …they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. God would not accept that. Genesis 3, verse 21 (Gen 3:21) says: The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. The only clothing God will accept is clothing He provides. So, Joshua apparently is trying to stand there in his own works of righteousness and Satan capitalizes on it by bringing a bunch of accusations against Joshua and so, what does God do? God takes care of the problem and how God takes care of the problem for Joshua, is the same way He takes care of the problems for us. 24:56
The first thing He does is He removes the sin. Look at verse 4 (Zech 3:4): He spoke.. that’s God… and said to those who were standing before him, saying, Remove the filthy garments from him. And He said to him, See, I have taken your iniquity away from you. So, the first thing God does is He takes Joshua’s sin and He removes it. This is a doctrine called expiation and it basically refers to the removal, the permanent removal of the eternal consequences of sin and anybody that’s a Christian has had that done for them. Psalm 103, verse 12 (Psalm 103: 12) says: As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. How far is the east from the west? It’s an infinite line. It’s interesting it doesn’t say as far as the north is from the south because there’s a north pole and a south pole. So, the north and south are not infinitely removed from each other but there is no east pole and there is no west pole. So, when He says as far as the east is from the west, it’s an infinite line and this is what’s happened here with this man Joshua. That’s why Satan’s accusations against Joshua can’t stand up because God, through expiation, has already removed the eternal consequences of Joshua’s sin. Now, I’ll have to be honest with you. For many, many years in my Christian life, that’s about as far as my understanding went concerning grace. I thought it was just God takes your sins and He washes them away. I kind of thought… I kind of looked at it like this, let’s say, I’m in negative one hundred category or in my case, let’s make it a thousand, I’m negative a thousand and then God comes along and He credits me a thousand which takes me from negative a thousand to zero. So, I’m back where I started and that’s it, that’s all God wants to do. So, I was looking at the work of grace as just a subtraction and even when you ask different Christians, you ask them: Well, what does justification mean? and they’ll rattle off this definition which is not an accurate definition. They’ll say: It’s just as if I’ve never sinned. Well, you’ve got it there half way. God does do that, but simultaneously when He removes, or when He removes something, the part of it I wasn’t understanding as many years as a Christian is God simultaneously adds something. So we are not just dealing with the subtraction, we are dealing with the subtraction but that’s not the complete picture, there’s also an addition so what you see there in the first part of verse 4, concerning Joshua the high priest is a subtraction, but you’ll notice the verse picks up second half of verse 4 into verse 5 and it describes something more than a subtraction, it describes an addition. In other words, Joshua received a subtraction and an addition. So, most of my Christian life I thought it was just a subtraction but look at the whole verse and into verse 5 it’s an addition. So, He’s talked about how I’m going to remove your filthy garments, etc… and you go to the end of verse 4 (Zech 3:4) and it says: … and will clothe you… and that’s an addition, He’s taking away his filthy garments but He’s giving him new garments… and will clothe you with festal robes. Verse 5 (Zech 3:5): Then I said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by. So, not only does he get his dirty clothes taken away, he gets clean robes, he mentions “clean” there twice if you’ll notice, and he gets the turban on his head, so what is this speaking of? This is not expiation. Expiation was described in the first half of verse 4, the permanent removal of sin’s eternal consequences as far as the east is from the west, that’s expiation. What the second half of verse 4 and verse 5 is speaking of is a different doctrine, called imputation. 30:15
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ you receive expiation but you simultaneously receive imputation which is a transfer. So, it’s not just as if I’ve never sinned or just as if I’ve never sinned. That’s not the picture, that’s half of the picture, that’s expiation. There’s an addition where the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is the highest righteousness you could have, right? is transferred to you in a nanosecond at the point of faith alone in Christ alone. This is why Satan has no grounds against you, because you have been the recipient of expiation and imputation. Imputation is a transfer. So Joshua doesn’t just get his dirty clothes taken away, he gets the new robes and he gets the crown, or the turban I guess I should say on his head and Gosh! If I was stuck on a desert island and they only let me take one verse out of the desert island, this is the weird things I think about by the way. If they threw me out of a desert island and they say, you only get one verse. What verse would you pick to take with you on to the desert island that summarizes Christianity? The best you can find in the whole Bible. My verse is Philippians 3, verse 9 (Php 3:9). I think Philippians 3, verse 9 summarizes Christianity more than any single verse in the Bible and Paul who was the quintessential legalist prior to salvation says: …and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law… in other words, my righteousness doesn’t come from my obedience to the law, this is the Pharisee of Pharisees coming to this realization… and may be found in Him, not having… yeah, Philippians 3, verse 9… not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith… in other words, righteousness is achieved through faith, watch this now… the righteousness which comes from God… see that?… on the basis of faith. That’s imputation, that means, at the point of faith alone in Christ alone, Paul not only had his dirty sins taken away, expiation, but what was transferred to him, at the point of faith alone in Christ alone was the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That’s not just a subtraction, that’s an addition. This is what Joshua is receiving here. 33:23
So, it’s interesting that we think Paul, you know, is the first one to really articulate these doctrines of expiation and imputation but here it is, 500 years before the time of Christ. In the book of Joshua, you know, as God is dealing with Joshua. Martin Luther called this “The Great Exchange”. In other words, at the point of faith alone in Christ alone, two things happen to you. Not only were the eternal consequences of your sin removed, expiation, not only were the dirty clothes taken away but simultaneous with that is you were clothed with clean clothes and the righteousness of Christ was now transferred to you and God looks at you as if you’re just as righteous as Jesus Christ and when you understand that, now you understand why you have standing before God, why God listens to our prayers because He looks at you as if you’re just as righteous as His Son, and that’s why Satan’s accusations that have been raised against Joshua, they don’t stand up. I mean, that’s… you want to talk about the ultimate defense attorney? That’s Jesus Christ. Satan is the prosecutor, just like he was with Job and in our natural selves he’s got plenty of things to work with, amen? But then, the defense attorney comes forward, by the way, there’s a reason Jesus is called “Our Advocate”. 1st John 2, verse 1 (1 John 2:1): …we have an Advocate with the Father. What is an advocate? It’s a legal term, it’s a defense lawyer. He comes forward with his defense which is expiation and imputation. So, there’s no basis for accusation. So this is a magnificent truth here that you find not just in Paul. You find it 500 years before the time of Christ as God is dealing with this man Joshua. 35:49
Kenneth L. Barker – Kenneth L. Barker “Zechariah.” In Daniel-Minor Prophets. Vol. 7 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. 12 vols. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein and Richard P. Polcyn. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985. Page 624
“Theologically, however, there also seems to be a picture here of the negative aspect of what God does when he saves a person. Negatively, he takes away sin. Positively, he adds or imputes to the sinner saved by grace his own divine righteousness (cf. v. 5).”
So, Barker, Kenneth Barker in his Zechariah commentary says: Theologically, however, there also seems to be a picture here of the negative aspect of what God does when he saves a person. Negatively, he takes away sin… Now, for most of my Christian life I understood that part, I didn’t understand though Barker’s final sentence here… Positively, he adds or imputes… that’s our word transfer… to the sinner saved by grace… cause you can’t access these things by works, right?… Positively, he adds or imputes to the sinner saved by grace his own divine righteousness. So, the great exchange. Dirty clothes taken away, clean clothes put on, just like that at the point of faith alone in Christ alone. By grace, because it was Jesus that accomplished this for us on the cross. So, that’s your right as a child of God. So, if you’re going through your life kind of.. in warm, you know, sometimes we get into worm theology, oh, I’m just a little worm down here, how could God ever listen to my prayers? How could God ever use me? You know, we get into this sort of mindset cause we’re so busy looking at our failures. If we stop looking at ourselves and look at what Jesus did for us, there’s no basis for worm theology. Of course God wants to hear your prayers. Of course God wants to use you because you are the recipient of imputation, expiation and imputation simultaneously. 37:37
By the way, did you notice he had a clean turban put on his head? That’s where you wear your turban, right? Here is a picture of the high priest.
I know, you can read all that stuff around there real carefully, real well, right? Well, when you look up at his head, that’s where his turban was and you know what it said on his head, the high priest? It said in Exodus 28, verse 36 (Exo 28:36): …Holy to the LORD… and then Exodus 28:38 (Exo 28:38) says: …It shall be on Aaron’s forehead. So, ha.. yeah, you can wander off this week, we can wander off this week into all kinds of sin if you want to do that, but you’re living way beneath who you are. So, your growth as a Christian is really determined by, are you going to let your practice catch up with what God has already decreed you to be? Yeah, that was Exodus 28, verse 36, Exodus 28:38 (Exo 28:38) where it says:.. holy to the Lord is on the priest’s forehead. So that is why it emphasizes here this turban that’s placed on Joshua’s head.
So, that’s the end of the chapter, right? We can close our Bibles and go home, No! not quite. Because what just got described here is a type of what God is going to do for the whole nation.
The nation of Israel and that future cleansing is described in verses 6 through 10 (Zech 3:6-10) and there’s going to be four things over the nation. (1) A King-Priest, verses 6 and 7; (2) A Future Branch, verse 8; (3) There’s going to be Cleansing, verse 9; and (4) There’s going to be Peace to the point where everybody is going to sit under their own vine or fig tree and no one will make them afraid which ultimately comes from Micah chapter 4, verse 4 and most American Christians don’t know this either, but let me share it with you now. Micah 4, verse 4 (Micah 4:4), everyone is going to sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one will make them afraid is the favorite verse of the father of the United States of America, George Washington. That’s the verse he quoted more than any other verse in his speeches, in his writings because he saw in it a symbol of American freedom and liberty. I’ll show you more on that just a little bit if time permits.40:42
So, the cleansing is going to bring forth a King-Priest and look at verse 6 (Zech 3:6): And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying. So, now Joshua in his righteousness, not in his filth but in his righteousness becomes a type for what God is going to do for the nation of Israel. In fact, the name Joshua is “Yeshua”, which is derived from “Yeshua”, which is the Hebrew name for Jesus. Jesus, his Greek name, Yeshua, his Hebrew name going back to Joshua which basically means “Yeshua”, Yahweh saves, that’s what Jesus means. His name is Jesus Christ. Christ is not his last name, amen? People didn’t go up to him and say: Mr. Christ, can I get an autograph? Christ means the “anointed one”. So, Yahweh-saves, Christ, the anointed one, Jesus, Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah. So, Joshua is a prefigurement of what God is going to do for the whole nation of Israel and you go down to verse 7 (Zech 3:7), you start to get a description of what God is going to do: Thus says the LORD of hosts, If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service… Now, we know that’s going to happen because Joshua has been cleansed… then you will also govern… you should underline govern cause that’s a regal term, he is governing as king… you will also govern My house… you should underline house because house is a priestly term, it refers to the temple. So back to verse 7, it says: Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among those who are standing here. So, you’ll notice “govern”, Jesus is going to rule over the nation of Israel one day. In fact, from Jerusalem He’s going to rule the whole world. 43:15
Psalms 2, verse 9 (Psa 2:9) says of Jesus, Yeshua in that future day: You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware. In other words, pagan nations, they’re going to be under His rod of righteousness. So, Joshua was cleansing, in his cleansing role he’s prefiguring what Jesus Christ is going to do. Isaiah 9, verse 7 (Isa 9:6-7), this is Christmas card season almost, isn’t it? This is going to be on all of your Christmas cards: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest upon His shoulders; His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace… and then, it begins to talk about His millennial reign…There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace… boy I can’t wait for that… The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this… On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice… I think we need a little justice don’t you think?… and righteousness From then on… until the next election cycle. Oops! Didn’t say that … From then on and forevermore. So that’s why we’re to pray “thy kingdom come”. So Joshua in his cleansed state governing is a pre-figurement of that but Joshua, going back to verse 1 is also the high priest and if you look at verse 8, it says: Now listen, Joshua the high priest… So Joshua is a priest functioning as a king and you go through the Old Testament and that never happened. In fact, the kings that tried to do things that the priests were supposed to do, got into a world of trouble. Saul tried to do that, in 1st Samuel 13 and he lost his whole kingdom because of it. Uzziah tried to do it, he tried to go into the temple and do what the priest do, he was warned not to but he did it anyway and he was… 2nd Chronicles 26:… smote with leprosy from head to toe and he died as a leper because he tried to intermingle the office of king and the office of priest. The priest came from which tribe? Levi. The kings came from which tribe? Judah. Genesis 49, verse 10 (Gen 49:10) says that, and so they always keep separate. So, because it’s describing not just a king but a priest, not just a priest but a king, it has to be the Messiah because only the Messiah can be both, because if a mere human tried to mix the offices together, there are always serious consequences. So, what is going to be established over the whole nation in the millennial kingdom and this is what Joshua in his righteous day is prefiguring, is this king-priest, named Jesus Christ. He is going to do something that no human being has ever been qualified to do and secondly, He is also going to function as the branch.
Look at verse 8 (Zech 3:8): Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you— indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant, the Branch. So you see the word “symbol” there? Joshua’s cleansing is symbolizing what God is going to do for the whole nation, and what is God going to do for the whole nation? He’s going to bring in Jesus to rule over the nation, and the world functioning as a servant. 47:31
Now, there’s a section in the book of Isaiah called “The servant songs”, you’ll find it in Isaiah chapters 49 through 57 where you start going through Isaiah’s writings and it starts to develop a particular man who is going to save Israel from their troubles and there’s at least four, maybe more servant songs there. In fact, that’s where we find the great prophecy of Isaiah 53, that’s one of the servant songs. Isaiah 42, verse 13 (Isa 52:13) says: Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. So that’s why the Messiah is called a servant. That’s who Jesus is, He’s a Servant. Mark 10, verse 45 (Mark 10:45) says: For the Son of Man did not come to serve… excuse me, the Son of Man… sorry that’s completely wrong.. the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many. Wow! Who could have written something like that? Who could have ever come up with a story where God is the servant? I mean, if you’re writing your own theology, would you come up with something like that? It’s incredible, this has to be from God. That God enters our world, dies on a cross, rises from the dead to serve us. By the way, this is a pretty good exhortation about how we treat each other. I mean, do we look down on each other? Do we order each other around? Do we boss each other around? Do we pull rank on each other? I mean, that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus is the servant and He is not only called the servant but He is called the branch. Isaiah 11, verse 1 (Isaiah 11:1) says:… The shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit… and it goes on in Isaiah 11, verses 2 through 9 (Isa 11:2-9) roughly, describing his messianic kingdom as a Branch coming forth. Jeremiah 23, verse 5 (Jer 23:5) says: Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch… Jeremiah 23, verse 5… And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. So, He’s called a Branch as Messiah many times and here he’s called a Servant and a Branch. So what’s He going to do as a Servant Branch? Verse 9 (Zech 3:9), He is going to cleanse the whole nation: For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. Now you see where it says land? That’s the land of Israel. So obviously, what happened with Joshua at the beginning of the chapter is a type or a prefigurement of what God is going to do to the whole land, the land of Israel. So the Messiah is called here a stone with seven eyes. 51:22
Thomas L. Constable – Constable’s online notes on Zechariah, p. 43-44.
“Zechariah also saw in the vision a ‘stone … set’ in front of Joshua. The stone, too, is a common figure of God and Messiah in the Bible (Zech 10:4; Exod 17:6; Num 20:7-11; Psa 118:22; et al.). In the past, God had promised that ‘the Stone’ would be a secure, never-failing refuge for His people (Isa 28:16; 1 Pet 2:6). When Messiah appeared, however, He proved to be a ‘stone’ over which the Jews ‘stumbled,’ and an offensive ‘rock’ to them that they ‘rejected’ (Psa 118:22-23; Isa 8:13- 15; Matt 21:42; 1 Pet 2:7-8).”
“Presently He is the ‘foundation stone,’ the ‘chief cornerstone’ of the church (Eph. 2:19-22). And in the future, He will be the ‘great stone’ that ‘smites the nations’ (Dan. 2:35, 45)…The stone that Zechariah saw had ‘seven eyes’ (Heb. ‘ayin), probably symbolizing its complete, divine intelligence (omniscience; cf. Zech 1:10; Zech 4:10; 2 Chron 16:9; Isa 11:2; Ezek 1:18; Zech 10:12; Col 2:3, 9; Rev 5:6).”
Doctor Constable says: Zechariah also saw in the vision a ‘stone … set’ in front of Joshua. The stone, too, is a common figure of God and Messiah in the Bible. In the past, God had promised that ‘the Stone’ would be a secure, never-failing refuge for His people. When Messiah appeared, He proved to be a ‘stone’ over which the Jews ‘stumbled,’ and an offense ‘rock’ to them that they ‘rejected’. Presently He is the ‘foundation stone,’ the ‘chief cornerstone’ of the church. In the future, He will be the ‘great stone’ that ‘smites the nations’ …The stone that Zechariah saw had ‘seven eyes’, probably symbolizing its complete, divine intelligence or omniscience; seven being a number of completion. Seven eyes perhaps talking about the omniscience of the Messiah but that’s why he’s called a stone because of all of these references as you move through the Bible, how the Messiah is a stone. He is a stone to Israel, He is the stone to the nations, He is the stone in the church, etc, etc…
Charles L. Feinberg –God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 65-66.
“Why is the Messiah called the Stone? It relates Him to Israel. To them He was the stumbling stone and rock of offense (Isa. 8:14). But to those in Israel who trusted Him, He was a never failing refuge (Isa. 28:16). The Stone relates Christ to the nations. He will be the destroyer of the godless world-monarchies (Dan. 2:35). The Stone connects Christ with the Church. He is her foundation and top-stone (Psa. 118:22; Eph. 2:20–22).”
“The designation relates the Messiah to God. He is the Stone made without hands, the one who is called the Tabernacle which God pitched, not man (Dan. 2:34). The Stone speaks of the beauty of the Son of God (Zech. 3:9)…The Stone reveals Him to be the dependable rock, fortress, high tower of the trusting soul…The stone relates Him to the Spirit of God, for the seven eyes are symbolic of manifold intelligence and omniscience (Isa. 11:2; Rev. 5:6).”
Charles Feinberg says: Why is the Messiah called the Stone? It relates Him to Israel. To them He was the stumbling stone and rock of offense. But to those in Israel who trusted Him, He was a never failing refuge… don’t you need a stone in your life?… The Stone relates Christ to the nations. He will be the destroyer of the godless world-monarchies. The Stone connects Christ with the Church. He is her foundation and top-stone. The designation relates the Messiah to God. He is the Stone made without hands, the one who is called the Tabernacle which God pitched, not man. The Stone speaks of the beauty of the Son of God …The Stone reveals Him to be the dependable rock, and fortress and high tower of the trusting soul…The stone relates Him to the Spirit of God, for the seven eyes are symbolic of manifold intelligence and omniscience… and there’s an inscription on the stone. I’m not sure what the inscription says cause the Bible doesn’t say. So please don’t ask me what’s on the stone cause I don’t know. 53:53
So, what’s the stone going to do? Who is the Messiah? It says: I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day. He is going to completely cleanse the nation of Israel from top to bottom, spiritually speaking. Ezekiel 36, 24 to 28 (Ezek 36:24-28) says: For I will take you from the nations, I will gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean… I will put a new spirit within you… Ezekiel 37 describes the same thing. Bones coming together with no breath, but then breath entered the bones and the nation became a living nation.
I’ll be honest with you, I have spent so much of my life being excited about the regathering of the Jews into their own land, in unbelief I have lost sight of the complete promise. If you think that God’s purpose is to bring Israel into their own land in unbelief and that’s the end game, we’ve missed the whole point of the Bible. He not only is going to bring them back into their own land in unbelief, something we’re seeing happen in our lifetime, but He’s going to cleanse them to the point where, by the time you get to the end of the process, every Jew on planet Earth will be regenerated.
Doctor Randall Price has this chart here, I don’t know if I have time to go into it, but it describes Israel’s two re-gatherings. First she returns in unbelief and then she passes through the tribulation period, where at the end of the tribulation period, she will not just be re-gathered politically, but she will be restored spiritually and by the way, when God restores them spiritually, He’s going to do it, what does it say here? How long is it going to take Him? One day (haha) What day is it, this will happen?
I think it’s the second to last feast day, it’s the day of the atonement. That’s when she’s going to be restored to spiritual life because on that day, it says (Zech 12:10): I will pour out on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace. So, the Holy Spirit is going to come upon the whole nation. So they will look upon Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. So the whole country, I mean, think about.. I don’t think a revival like this has happened to any country, where every person in the country is saved, that’s what’s coming for Israel and suddenly on a particular day, probably a feast day, Atonement, it occurs to them: You know what? We’ve had it wrong for 2000 years, the whole country. I mean, the politicians, the people behind the news desk, everybody. You know, it’s just dawns on them, we had it wrong for 2000 years. You know, our Messiah came 2000 years ago and they’re all going to start weeping because it says they will mourn for the one they have pierced, and this happens in a single day. It’s stunning what is being predicted here. 57:58
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 66.
“Most Christian expositors claim it is the day of Calvary, but it must look beyond that to a day when Israel in a time of national atonement and repentance will have ratified for her in her national life actually, that which was rooted out potentially and provisionally at Calvary.”
Charles Feinberg says: Most Christian expositors claim that the day is the day of Calvary, but it must look beyond that to a day, when Israel in a time of national atonement and repentance will have ratified for her in her national life actually, that which was rotted out potentially and provisionally… may be rooted out, I may have misspelled that… provisionally at Calvary. In other words, Calvary paid for it in a single day, but what it’s talking about here is suddenly the benefits of Calvary accrue to the whole nation, because the whole nation comes under an awareness in a single day, every single Jew on planet earth that Yeshua, Jesus was their Messiah. This is a national revival. By the way, jot down Isaiah 66, verse 8 (Isa 66:8) which says: Can a land be born in one day?… rhetorical question… Can a nation be brought forth all at once?… Answer, you better believe it because God’s going to do it. Let me toss in verse 10 (Zech 3:10): In that day… What day? The day of the Atonement, yet future where Israel recognizes that Jesus was their Messiah… In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his own fig tree and under his tree. So, it’s talking here about the blessings of the millennial kingdom.
By the way, when Solomon had things under control, which he did, he was the last reigning king over the united kingdom. The borders of Israel expanded more under the reign of Solomon than any other time. When the Bible describes Solomon’s forty year reign, I know things went down the tubes towards the end of his life, and after he died the kingdom was divided, but before that division, it says in 1st Kings 4, verse 25 (1 Ki 4:25): So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his own vine and fig tree, from Dan to Beersheba, were all the days of Solomon. So this idea that everybody is going to sit under their own vine and fig tree, I mean, that’s imagery that goes back to the Solomonic era and it’s imagery that comes right out of the book of Micah chapter 4, and verse 4 (Micah 4:4), which by the way is not socialism. Do you follow that? Because if you’re sitting under your own vine and fig tree and no one is there to make you afraid, that means the government is not coming along to redistribute what you have gained, right? So, this is… you see? This is why George Washington quoted this verse all the time. A parallel passage says, Isaiah 65, 21 and 22 (Isa 65:21-22): They will build houses and inhabit them; They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and another inhabit… see how’s absolutely different than socialism? Because the young evangelicals that are all into justice today, think justice is socialism and yet justice God’s style is completely anti-socialism… They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat.. etc… So here is what I was trying to say about George Washington. You ought to get the book “Sacred Fire” By Peter Lillback, if you have any doubts on the Christianity of George Washington, because as you look at the book, I’m not kidding, it’s this thick, the footnotes single spaced, span over 200 pages. The footnotes are bigger than most books. What are the footnotes? They’re primary sources showing you where George Washington said all this stuff, cause the humanists that control the educational system, they want everybody to believe the founding fathers were deists or they were part of the illuminati of something like that. Nothing could be further from the truth. George Washington, the father of America was as Christian as you could get.
George Washington’s Favorite Verse – Peter A. Lillback and Jerry Newcombe, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (Bryn Mawr, PA: Providence Forum, 2006), 316-17.
“Probably, George’s Washington’s favorite biblical allusion referred to each sitting under his own vine and fig tree. Washington used this phrase more than forty times in his writings. It comes from Micah chapter 4, verse 4: ‘But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.’ He saw the new nation and especially his own Mount Vernon as places where each citizen, including himself, could enjoy the fruit of his own labor without fear of government intrusion.”
So Lillback in this book “Sacred Fire” says: Probably, George Washington’s favorite biblical allusion referred to each sitting under his own vine and fig tree. Washington used this phrase more than forty times in his writings. It comes from, ultimately from, Micah 4, verse 4 (Micah 4:4): But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it… Why is this going to happen? Cause God said it was going to happen and then Lillback goes on and he says: He… that’s George Washington… saw the new nation and especially his own Mount Vernon as places where each citizen, including himself, could enjoy the fruit of his own labor without fear of government intrusion. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to argue here that Micah 4, verse 4 was fulfilled in the United States. It’s a millennial passage, okay? But George Washington loved the verse because he wanted the United States to be like that. Your own vine and fig tree. In other words, you enjoy the fruits of your own labor and no one is going to come along and take away what you’ve earned. That’s true social justice, right? Social injustice is when I work myself to the bone to produce and then somebody else enjoys the benefits of what I worked for, that’s the definition of slavery, amen? Slavery is, I work you eat. That’s slavery. I perspire, you live well. Well, pastor, don’t you believe in a safety net? Well, the problem is when the safety net turns into a hammock. Now we have a problem. That’s not the United States. Micah 4, verse 4 is not talking about that and when George Washington was trying to secure freedom for the Jews to live in the United States, he quoted Micah 4 verse 4 (Mic 4:4) where he said in this letter written in 1790:
George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 18, 1790
“I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport… the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants of the land; while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. Well why didn’t George Washington say, Oh! by the way, that’s found in Micah 4, verse 4? Cause when we quote the Bible, we say that’s found in this chapter and this verse. Do you know why Washington didn’t have to say that? Cause everybody knew that’s where it was found. That’s how high scripture literacy was at the beginning of the United States. 1:05
So anyway, I thought you might find that interesting, little bit of information on that verse. But anyway, what you have in chapter 3 is the cleansing of Joshua the high priest which is a picture of the future cleansing that God is going to do in and through the nation of Israel.
7 minutes over, so I’ll stop….