Let’s open our Bibles this evening to the book of Zechariah chapter 13 and verse 1 (Zech 13:1). I’m kind of stalling cause I need to make an announcement about next week and most of the people aren’t in here right now so, see the dilemmas you face in ministry? I could do that I guess. Okay! What ‘s that? Yeah. Alright! Well, next week is our last study of the spring quarter and typically we don’t meet during the summer, which I used to kind of think, ah! Those guys are a bunch of slackers but after trying to teach this study, I kind of need a break Amen? So we take a few months off, we pick it up I think in September when school starts. So technically next week, next Wednesday is our last Wednesday night study of the spring quarter and there’s going to be something unique going on at Sugar Land Bible church next week. There’s a hand out that you can find on the name tag table and it’s the regional meeting of the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. So the meeting starts at 1:00 and goes all the way to 8:00. So basically what it is, it’s kind of an academic group and, you know, scholars give papers in their talks and since they wanted to do it at our church, they scheduled me as the last speaker. So during the time that I normally give this Bible study, I’ll be giving my paper on Apocalyptic literature. That’ll pack ‘em in, right? But basically this is a group trying to defend literal interpretation of the Bible, is basically what it is. So from one to eight you guys are welcome to come. It’s open to anybody that wants to be here. So some of the speakers, there’s four speakers. Joe Parle of the College of Biblical Studies is speaking in the afternoon. Elliot Johnson, who was my professor, is speaking. Mike Stallard is speaking. Mike Stallard is the executive director of this group and then we have our dinner break. So dinner goes as normal and they’ll probably just join our food line and then from seven to eight is me as the last speaker. So I’ll be the normal speaker during this hour just the content will be a little different. So if you want to be stretched a little bit and come to this, we encourage you to do that. So that’s next Wednesday, may 25th and then once we’re finished with that then where the spring quarter is over and we’re into a three month hiatus. So I know it’s kind of confusing because we just finished a conference and it’s like, oh no! You guys are going to have another conference. Well, this one is going to be a lot more low key than our last one. So any questions on that? It starts at 1:00 PM. Right, on Wednesday. I mean, the rest of the church just functions as normal but we take Wednesday off for the summer. So don’t wander off into too much false teaching during that time. 5:51
Alright! Well, let’s go ahead and get started. I got this new clock up here so I might as well use it. Even though no one pays attention to it. It looks pretty, like a Christmas ornament. Alright! So look at this, chapter 13. What does that mean? That means we finished chapter 12 and that means when we come back in the fall we’ll just have, depending on how far we get into chapter 13 tonight, we’ll just have chapter 14 to cover. So you remember the outline of the book of Zechariah. Oh! And I should say, the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, I think, we’re planning on streaming it. Of course, I said that about our last conference, didn’t I? That didn’t go too well Saturday. Circumstances beyond our control but I think we’re planning on streaming and if we’re not streaming at least we’re going to be recording the sessions for the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. You all know what hermeneutics is right? Okay. It’s interpretation. Hermeneutics means interpretation. So that’s really the difference of opinion within Christianity is, do you take the whole Bible literally or not? So this group that’s meeting here next Wednesday is trying to defend a literal interpretation of the whole Bible. So when I do my talk from 7 to 8 and it’s one of those things where it’s not a lecture, I give a presentation but they’ll ask me questions, So if you want to see me get grilled, you can come and watch that too. Andy in the lion’s den. I’m going to try to defend literal interpretation in the book of Revelation. So, that’s what my paper is about. All the other presentations that are coming are going to relate to the theme of interpretation. So with that being said, the first part of Zechariah, you remember, is a call to repentance.
Then there were the eight-night visions, seeking to stimulate the returnees into rebuilding the second temple. Part three, chapter 7 and 8, dealt with questions and answers about fasting, you remember? And then chapters 9 through 14 are the two burdens.
1.Two Burdens (Zech, 9‒14)
Chapters 9 through 11 concerns the first coming and chapters 12 through 14 concerns the second coming. So last week you’ll recall, we finished Zechariah, 12,
Zechariah 12 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
which deals with Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration and that chapter moves very nicely into chapter 13 that we’re going to try to look at tonight, also dealing, making predictions about Israel’s eventual physical and spiritual restoration.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
So verses 1 through 5 is a prediction about Israel’s spiritual cleansing and verses 6 through 9 is about Israel’s deliverance. It kind of starts off way back what got Israel into trouble, what put them in the bondage and how God is going to take them out of bondage one day. 9:56
So let’s start with verses 1 through 5 (Zech 13:1-5), Israel’s spiritual cleansing.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
We have a fountain, verse 1; idolatry removed, verse 2; false prophets removed middle of verse 2 into verse 5. So take a look at the fountain and notice verse 1 (Zech 13:1), it says: In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity… Now, you’ll notice it says “in that day”. In fact, as you go through this chapter it says “in that day” a number of times. So what day would that be? Well, it would be the same day spoken of in the prior chapter where Israel is going to be saved by the work of the Spirit. So chapter 13 is just a continuation of that theme with different imagery. So Charles Feinberg writes:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 233.
“The connection between chapters 12 and 13 is so close that a chapter division is really uncalled for… “ Now, we all know that the Holy Spirit didn’t put these chapter divisions in there. That was put in by someone named Lankton, so I think it’s Stephen Lankton if I remember right and I want to say he did that in the fourteenth century and so he just was on a long carriage ride and he’s the one that put these chapter divisions in the Bible and most of the time, the chapter divisions make a lot of sense, but sometimes they’re kind of awkward. This would be an example because the stuff in chapter 13 really goes with chapter 12. So sometimes a chapter division really doesn’t make sense and when you see that, you just say, well, you know, man put that in there it’s a tool but, you know, don’t blame it on God.
But Charles Feinberg says: “The connection between chapters 12 and 13 is so close that a chapter division is really uncalled for. The same people, the same subject, and the same time are in view in both chapters. The relationship between 12:10-14 and 13:1-6 is not only logical but chronological as well. Once Israel is brought to a penitent condition and is brought face to face with her crucified Messiah, then the provision of God for cleansing will be appropriate.’”
So Israel is converted in chapter 12 and she’s cleansed in chapter 13. So you’ll notice the order here. First, a person is converted and then they’re cleansed and the reason I bring that up is a lot of people present the gospel as, you need to clean yourself up and come to Jesus. Well, if you clean yourself up first and come to Jesus, why would you need to come to Jesus, right? You already cleaned yourself up and if you have to clean yourself up and come to Jesus, by way of faith, that’s nothing more than salvation by works. So God when He saves people doesn’t say, okay! Here’s what you need to do on the front end, you need to quit using profanity. You need to stop looking at bad movies, you need to make better use of your money and then you need to trust in Christ for salvation. I mean, that’s not the gospel. The gospel is trust in Christ for salvation, once that happens there’s what’s called an Ordo Salutis which is Latin meaning “order of salvation”. First you believe and then the Holy Spirit comes in you and regenerates you. So now when that happens you have something living inside of yourself that’s greater than yourself and He can and will help you with the cleaning process on the back end. But when people put the cleaning process on the front end, they’ve reversed the ordo salutis, the order of salvation, and they’ve actually taught a gospel of works without realizing it and they’ve asked people to do something that they can’t do. I mean, you can’t clean yourself up. We’re sinners by nature. So we need something greater than ourselves to help us with that and that doesn’t come into you until you trust Christ for salvation. So it’s the same process with Israel, she is saved, chapter 12 and then she is cleansed, chapter 13; and this cleansing process is portrayed as a fountain. A fountain will be opened for who? Well, this context it’s for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, you know, for sin and impurity. So you’ll notice that the removal of sin is portrayed many times in the Bible as water. You see that same portrayal in the book of Ezekiel chapter 36, verses 24 through 28 (Ezek 36:24-28) where God says: 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… And that’s obviously a metaphor for the work of the Spirit because verse 26 there of chapter 36 of Ezekiel (Ezek 36:26) says: God will put into the hearts of the Jewish people a new Spirit… So you see the analogy of being cleansed from sin to water and when you understand this, you understand what Jesus is talking about in John, 3, when He had a conversation with Nicodemus at night, which I call the Nick at night conversation. You remember Nicodemus, the leader of the Jews, religiously came to Jesus at night and wanted to know how He could do these miracles, because God must be with Him to do the miracles that He was doing and Jesus doesn’t really get into a long winded conversation with him about a bunch of stuff, He gets right to the point and in John, 3, verse 3 (John 3:3): Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God… So He’s talking about the spiritual birth that Ezekiel is speaking of and that Zechariah is speaking of in chapter 12 and chapter 13. Then Jesus analogizes this to water cleansing. Jesus answered, truly truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Now a lot of people want this to refer to water baptism, which is very important but it doesn’t save anybody. What water baptism is just an outward sign of an inward reality. But you can be baptized in water and not have the Spirit of God in you. The key thing a person needs to see to enter the kingdom of God is they need the Holy Spirit in them and that’s analogized by Christ to the cleansing of water. Now where is Jesus getting this whole idea from? He’s getting it from Ezekiel, 36, verses 24 through 28 (Ezek 36:24-28) and He’s getting it right out of Zechariah, 13, verse 1 (Zech 13:1), which says: In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity… So you believe and the Holy Spirit comes into you and that’s analogized to being washed in water because impurities are taken away at the point of faith and the Holy Spirit comes into us and gives us the power for the first time and the conviction to say no to sin. Something we didn’t have before and so that whole process is analogized to being washed in water. So when Jesus analogizes it, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, He’s not making anything up with Nicodemus. In fact, He expects Nicodemus to already understand Ezekiel, 36, and Zechariah, 13. But Nicodemus just doesn’t get it. Nicodemus, John, 3, verses 9 and 10 (John 3:9-10) said to him, how can these things be? And Jesus really gives a rebuke of an answer. John, 3, verse 10 (John 3:10) Jesus answered and said to him are you the teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? I mean, Nicodemus. Nick, buddy, let me talk to you about this. I mean, you’re not just a teacher in Israel but you are, definite article, THE teacher. I mean, you’re like the head teacher of the whole nation and you don’t understand something this basic? What I’m saying here should be obvious to you, your mind should automatically be going back to Ezekiel, 36 and Zechariah chapter 13 because Jesus is not making up anything new here. Why didn’t Nicodemus understand it? Nicodemus did not understand it because he was a Pharisee and the Pharisees, to prevent the Babylonian captivity from happening again, made up a bunch of rules. They all started off well intentioned. This was during the intertestamental period before the time of Christ. But with man-made rules, sadly what happens is the rules become more important in God’s word. The tail starts to wag the dog, in other words and so the Pharisees were experts in these rules and Mark, 7, verse 13 (Mark 7:13) of these rules says, Christ speaking: You have nulled the word of God through your traditions… Which is the danger of legalism. There’s two pits to stay out of, two ditches. One is the ditch of the Sadducees. You know who the Sadducees were, right? They’re always sad you see. Why were they sad? Because they were basically liberals. They did not believe in resurrection. They did not believe in angels. They only believed in the first five books of Moses, nothing else and so, we would call Sadducees basically today liberals, people that deny the truths of scripture. So that’s ditch A to stay out of. Ditch B to stay out of is the ditch of the Pharisees who were so afraid of becoming Sadducees that they passed a bunch of man-made rules to prevent them from becoming liberal Sadducees. But the problem is their rules became more important than God’s word. So Sadducees, liberals, denying scripture; Pharisees, conservatives, which is good in and of itself, but they built a man-made fence around the law so no one would violate it and the man made fence became more important than what it was supposed to be protecting and so, those are the two extremes to stay out of in modern day Christianity. There’s liberalism and I don’t know if we have a big problem here at Sugar Land Bible Church with liberalism. I mean, we stand on the authority of scripture in every area that I can think of. The ditch we need to stay out of is the ditch of the Pharisees, because what well intentioned people can do is they can start promulgating man made rules so we don’t go liberal and at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, am I doing this because of a man made rule or my doing this because that’s what the word of God says?
So Nicodemus the teacher of the Pharisees could not see basic scriptural truths about the new birth and the water, because he wasn’t thinking about Ezekiel, 36 nor was he thinking about Zechariah, 13. He was thinking about Mishna, Talmud, rule after rule after rule, which explains why Jesus had so much conflict with these people. I mean, almost every page in the gospels, when Jesus is in a conflict, it’s always with the Pharisees, always. So He heals a man on the Sabbath and there rather than rejoicing that a man has been healed, they’re upset, because He broke their rule. You’re not supposed to do that on the Sabbath and that’s when Jesus will say things like: I am the Lord of the Sabbath, I invented it, I understand what the Sabbath is for, it’s to benefit man and here I’ve healed a man on the Sabbath and you guys are upset with me. At one point his disciples were eating on the Sabbath and they were upset with Him about that and He’s saying, you’ve lost track of what the Sabbath is about. I mean, your rules are so dominant in your mind, you’ve made null the word of God through your traditions. The Sabbath exists to be a blessing to man so if my disciples are nourished on the Sabbath, I’m operating consistent with the Sabbath cause I invented the Sabbath, cause I’m Lord of the Sabbath. If I heal a man on the Sabbath, I’m operating consistently with the Sabbath because the Sabbath is there to be a blessing to man and also He cites them for hypocrisy because they have no problem pulling out their own donkey or animal out of a ditch on the Sabbath. So if I heal a man on the Sabbath and a man is more important than an animal, you ought to rejoice, but that’s the power of legalism, it blinds you to basic scriptural realities. Legalism is just as lethal a force as is liberalism and I’ve been around both. I’ve been in environments that are very liberal, where people deny what the scripture says and I’ve also been in environments where people are like hyper vigilant, trying to prevent liberalism, that they move very fast in the legalism and so those two ditches are personified through the Pharisees and the Sadducees and those are always the two extremes you want to stay out of. So this is why Nicodemus really didn’t understand something so obvious. His focus was not on the scripture, his focus was on his rules. 27:30
So it says in Zechariah, 13, verse 1 (Zech 13:1): In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity… Now, it’s also possible that this fountain that’s going to open up, although it clearly says it’s for sin and impurity, some believe this is also an actual literal fountain. So there’s a prophecy in Ezekiel, 47 about a river that is going to flow out of the millennial temple in Jerusalem and it’s going to flow into the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea will come to life. The Dead Sea will team with biological life. So this may be a prophecy like that, where it’s a spiritual cleansing but also a physical fountain as well and there’s this very interesting quote from an archaeologist going all the way back to 1873 and he wrote a book called “The Land and The Book” and this is what he says of his archaeological discoveries and so forth in the land of Israel in 1873, he says:
I have repeatedly found wells closed up tight and the mouth plastered over with mortar. Such wells are reserved until times of greatest need, when all other sources of supply have failed… So I find it interesting that maybe what he’s discovering here’s what God is going to use for this fountain in Israel in the last days. So is it a literal fountain or is it symbolic? I think the answer might be yes, you know, could be both. I mean, it’s obviously talking about the cleansing of the nation. But it wouldn’t surprise me if this was some kind of like physical event that happened on equal par with the river flowing out of the temple into the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea comes back to life, Ezekiel chapter 47.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
So we have spiritual cleansing through a fountain verse 1 (Zech 13:1) and then God says, as this happens, idolatry is going to be removed. So take a look at verse 2 (Zech 13:2), it says: It will come about in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land… So the first thing He deals with this idolatry being removed. Idolatry is a big deal to God. Idolatry basically deals with the worship of anything above God. So when God gave the law of Moses, all the way back in the time of Moses probably about a thousand years before Zechariah had his prophecies, He gave him the tablets of stone and in those tablets there was something called covenant obligations, which are an unpacking of the ten commandments. Basically chapters 5 through 26 of the book of Deuteronomy reads sort of like the covenant obligations, it’s what the nation is supposed to do and those chapters, all they are, is how to apply the ten commandments as now the nation of Israel is entering the land. So the first two of the ten commandments and you remember what the first two commandments are, right? What’s commandment number one? No other Gods before me. What’s commandment number two if I remember right? Anybody recall? I think it relates to graven images, doesn’t it? Commandment number one: You shall have no other Gods before me. Commandment two: You shall not make for yourself an idol or likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or on the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children on the third and fourth generation to those who hate me but showing lovingkindness to those who Love Me and keep my commandments. So idolatry is condemned in the first two of the ten commandments. What got the nation of Israel into trouble and what sent them into the Babylonian captivity was basically ignoring those first two commandments. So God brought on the nation curses. The apex of those curses would be the Lord will bring a nation against you from afar from the end of the earth as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation with a defiant attitude who will show no respect for the old nor show favor to the young. So God is saying, it’s idolatry that got you into the message you’re in. It’s idolatry that sent you into the captivity and now, they’ve come out of the captivity, they’re sort of repentant about it. Phariseeism is starting to develop now, where they’re purging the land through man made rules of idols and God is saying, when I finally cleanse the nation and this cleansing is analogized to this fountain that washes away sin and iniquity. The first thing I’m going to deal with once the nation of Israel is in faith is I’m going to purge the land of idols. In fact, God, it says there, is going to cut off the names of the idols. I mean, the idols have names. The gods, little g, have names and God says I’m going to cut them off. I’m going to remove their reputation. So a cleansed Israel is basically an Israel that will not worship idols anymore. So we have a tendency to kind of look at the Jews and say, man what a shame, you know, it’s too bad they got involved in idolatry and got in all kinds of trouble and we’re sort of blind to the idols in our own lives. An idol doesn’t necessarily have to be a statue that you bow down and worship, it’s basically anything that you look to for security and significance other than God. So if that’s the definition of idolatry, virtually anything could be an idol. A church could be an idol. A pastor could be an idol. A career could be an idol. You know, money could be an idol. A car could be an idol. A person, maybe a person that you’re involved with, maybe you’re looking to that person for security and significance other than God. Well, they’re an idol also and when we become idolatrous, which is easy for us to do, because our hearts are basically in their fallen state, idolatrous. I mean, we’re violating the first two commandments of the Decalogue and we’re not paying attention to Israel’s history and what got them into so much trouble to begin with. So God says, when Israel’s cleansed, idolatry and the reputation of the idols is going to be removed and then He says something else is going to be removed, it’s the false prophets, they’re going to be removed.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
So it’s sort of obvious when you get to the second half of verse 2 all the way through verse 5 that He switches topics. He’s no longer talking about idols but He’s talking about false prophets. 37:10
It says in the second part of verse 2 (Zech 13:2): I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land… Verse 3 (Zech 13:3): And if anyone still prophesies… Verse 4 (Zech 13:4): Also it will come about in that day that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies… The prophet will say… Verse 5 (Zech 13:5)… I am not a prophet… So it keeps saying prophet, prophet, prophet, prophet, so he’s obviously right as you get to the middle of verse 2 through verse 5 switched subjects and it’s no longer talking about the fountain verse 1 and it’s no longer talking about the idolatry of the beginning of verse 2, but he’s dealing with false prophets. So the second half of verse 2 (Zech 13:2) once again says: I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land… Not only am I going to get rid of the idols, I’m going to get rid of the false prophets and I’m going to remove the unclean spirit. So what’s the unclean spirit? I would guess it’s the supernatural empowerment, the demonic empowerment, that gives power to the false prophets. So you look at false prophets in our day, you look at their followings, you look at their popularity, you look at the number of people that they’re able to mesmerize and you ask yourself, well, how are they able to do it? Well, ultimately they’re able to do it because of the unclean spirit. Demons are always at work behind false prophets. Satan uses false prophets. That’s why when Israel is restored, God is going to get rid of (A) the false prophets and (B) the unclean spirit that empowered the false prophets and then you go down to verse 3 (Zech 13:3) and it says: And if anyone still prophesies… A false prophet in other words… then his father and mother who gave birth to him will say to him, You shall not live, for you have spoken falsely in the name of the LORD and his father and mother who gave birth to him will pierce him through when he prophesies… So this is interesting because it’s sort of a bringing back of the commandments found in the Mosaic Law about, if you find a false prophet, you’re to kill the false prophet. You’ll see that in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 13, verses 1 through 5 (Deut 13:1-5), it says: But the prophet or that dreamer of dreams… That’s the false prophet… shall be put to death. So you shall purge evil from among you… It shows you how God feels about false prophets. Deuteronomy, 18, verse 20 (Deut 18:20-22) talks about a false prophet and it says: ..That prophet shall die… So the penalty for being a false prophet is extremely severe and notice who was supposed to throw the first stone? Did you catch that? Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad are supposed to throw the first stones at a false prophets. That comes right out of Deuteronomy 13:6-10, it says: If your brother, your mother son or your son or daughter or the wife you cherish or your friend who is your own soul entices you secretly saying let us go and serve other Gods, so you shall stone him to death… You know, who’s supposed to do the stoning? The parents, if your son or daughter happens to be a false prophet. So this is recitation, if you will, of what the Mosaic Law says in Deuteronomy, 13, verses 6 through 10 (Deut 13:6-10). 41:45
By the way, how do you figure out if someone is a false prophet? Well, they say something contrary to the scripture. Back to Deuteronomy, 13, it says: If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams among you gives you a sign and wonder and the sign and wonder comes true… They’re like David Copperfield, they perform a magic trick… Concerning which he spoke saying, let us go after other gods whom you have not known, let us serve them. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul… So the first way you recognize a false prophet is not based on their inability to do miracles cause false prophets can do miracles under Satan’s power, apparently. But if they say, let’s follow other gods. The moment they say let’s follow other gods, they’re contradicting the first two commandments of the Decalogue. No other gods before me, no graven images. So they do a miracle and they contradict what God has already said, immediately you recognize them as false prophets and in the land of Israel, they were to be put to death and the first people that were to throw the stones to put them to death would be their own parents. The second way to recognize a false prophet is if their prediction is inaccurate. They make a short term prediction that doesn’t come true. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says: But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods that prophet shall die… You may say in your heart, how will we know the word which the Lord has spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true. That is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously and you shall not be afraid of him. So the kingdom of the cults, whether it’s Mormonism, one of my best friends in high school was a devout Mormon, Mormon family. He was always trying to convince me to become a Mormon and I always told him, Todd, this guy’s name was Todd, nice guy, you’re involved with a false religion because I would show him documentation of people from his own movement that claim to be prophets that made totally inaccurate predictions. I mean, not little things, big things like who would win the civil war, things like that and you could see this in the Jehovah’s witnesses, littered with false predictions and so when you see (A) false predictions and you see (B) prophets, doesn’t matter how popular they are, how many miracles they perform, they blatantly contradict what God has already said, you automatically know they’re a false prophet. Now, under the old covenant they were to be put to death and the first people to throw stones would be the parents of that false prophet and so apparently that sort of mindset comes back in the millennial kingdom as God is purging the land of Israel from false prophecy. It even says here at the end of verse 3 (Zech 13:3): and his father and mother who gave birth to him will pierce him through when he prophesies… Now who was pierced? Jesus Christ. There are many predictions given about Christ in advance. One of them, second from the top there, is that He would be pierced.
You’ll see that prediction made in Zechariah, 12, verse 10 (Zech 12:10) which we studied last week. Isaiah, 53, verse 5 (Isa 53:5) predicts it and Psalm, 22, verse 16 (Psa 22:16) predicts that the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. So when that same concept of piercing shows up again, what it’s saying is that they, when God cleanses the land of false prophets, will pierce the false prophets just as fatally as they have pierced their own Messiah, because it was Israel that turned Jesus over to Rome for execution to be pierced and that same level of violence that they exhibited towards Jesus, is the same level of violence that they’re going to exhibit towards the false prophets, when God cleanses the nation of Israel after Israel’s in faith. I mean, this is like strong stuff. I’ll just be honest with you and it shows you the attitude that God has towards false prophets and false prophecy. Apparently He doesn’t like it very much and it’s going to become so severe that the false prophets themselves are going to be ashamed of their own prophecies. 47:42
If you look at verse 4 (Zech 13:4), it says: Also it will come about in that day that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies… Now, let me just give you some of the strongest chapters in the Bible about false prophets. Jeremiah, 23 is one chapter and let me just read you a few verses just a couple, verses 21 and 22 (Jer 23:21-22). God, of the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day says: I did not send these prophets, But they ran. I did not speak to them, But they prophesied. But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds… Of these false prophets God is saying, I don’t know them at all. I don’t know these false prophets, they’ve never stood in council with me. They don’t prophesy according to my word. So not everybody that claims to have a word from the Lord is really giving you a word from the Lord. Someone that claims to give you a word from the Lord, that word always has to be tested. Is it contradicting what God already said? Or is it making some prediction that has failed? That’s how you can determine true prophecy from false prophecy. By the way, a biblical command that you’re supposed to follow in the church age is in 1st John, chapter 4, verse 1 (1 John 4:1). This is not a suggestion. This is a command. It says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone into the world… Now, we’ve had folks even at this church who have come up to me and said they just had a vision from God for my life and I’m always wondering well, how come God didn’t give me the vision. Why does He have to go through you? But a very valid question to ask people like that and you’ll run into people like that in your Christian life is when someone says, I just had a dream from the Lord, I just had a vision from the Lord, the Lord just told me this, the Lord just said to me that, etc., etc., etc., a very valid question for you to ask that person is, have you tested the prophecy? I mean, this vision or dream that you’ve had allegedly, have you tested it? Cause that’s what you’re commanded to do and I’ve actually tried that line on some people and immediately they get upset at me over it. You know, they say you’re quenching the Holy Spirit or something like that. But the truth of the matter is that’s a biblical command. So when the land is cleansed these prophets are going to be embarrassed about their own prophecies cause the prophecies never came from the Lord. Well, where did they come from? They came from their own wicked imaginations or they came from the realm of the satanic and demonic. Same chapter Jeremiah, 23, verses 25 and 26 (Jer 23:25-26): I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, I had a dream, I had a dream!… I mean, with all this Covid and stuff that happened and Trump not getting reelected and all of these things, how many people are on the internet saying that they had some sort of dream or vision from the Lord related to how everything’s going to work out and the people that said Trump is going to be reelected, well, what do you do with those people? I mean, that’s a blatant false prophecy. Yeah! But the pastor, look how many followers they have on their YouTube channel and look at, you know, look at their books, they’re at the top of the best seller list, and your book is like a hundredth on some narrow list. But it’s climbing fast, you know. What does the Bible say? It says, if they perform a sign or wonder or announce a sign or wonder and the sign or wonder comes true, but they say let’s follow other gods or they make a prediction that doesn’t come true, you’re to reject them as a false prophet, doesn’t matter how sensational they are, it doesn’t matter if they give you the liver quiver of the day. It’s false prophecy, not everyone who claims a word from the Lord is giving you a word from the Lord. Now, the second chapter that deals with false prophets is Ezekiel, 13, Jeremiah, 23, Ezekiel, 13: Son of man prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, listen to the word of the Lord… So where are they getting their innovative prophecies from? They’re making it up as they go. They’re not getting it from the Lord, because if they got it from the Lord (1) It would come true number; (2) It wouldn’t contradict anything God has ever said elsewhere in His word and (3) It would cause people to repent of their sins, that’s what Jeremiah says. The prophets of God would have turned back people from their evil ways. So, is it a false prediction? Does it contradict divine revelation? Does it deal with anything related to conviction for sin? If it fails those criteria then it’s not from God. So son of man prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, listen to the word of the Lord, thus says the Lord God, woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit. That’s a problem and have seen nothing and then Ezekiel, 13, verses 6 and 7 (Ezek 13:6-7) says: They see falsehood and lying divinations who are saying the Lord declares when the Lord has not sent them. Yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. They give a prediction and hope it becomes true because if it comes true then they could say, I told you so; and you would think that people would sort of wise up after a while. I mean, if I was going to be a false prophet I wouldn’t make predictions about things that have the potential of being fulfilled in my lifetime. I would say something like in a hundred years Martians are going to land and then I can die and be called a prophet and no one could call it false because I could just say it’s for a hundred years down the road. But I’m not planning on going into the false prophet business but those are just some thoughts that I ruminate on. Verse 7: Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said the Lord declares but it is not I who have spoken… So what’s going to happen is God cleanses the land of all these false prophets is they’re going to be embarrassed about their own visions cause their visions never came from God and then you go to the second part of verse 4 and into verse 5 (Zech 13:4-5), it says: they will not put on a hairy robe in order to deceive; but he will say, I am not a prophet; I am a tiller of the ground, for a man sold me as a slave in my youth…
Dr. Constable on these verses has a helpful note, he says:
Thomas L. Constable – Constable’s online notes on Zechariah, p. 124.
“This dangerous situation…” In other words, these false prophets who are being killed in the land of Israel for their own false prophecies, they are even being stoned to death by their own parents… “This dangerous situation for the false prophets will lead them to hide their identity as prophets…” See, once the tide turns against them in judgment they’ll deny that they were ever prophets to begin with. “They will not identify themselves in traditional ways but will deny that they are prophets, in order to avoid punishment. They will go so far as claiming to have been sold into slavery as feel hands when they’re only boys so that they could not possibly be prophets…
So all of a sudden when the judgment of God comes, they’re going to pretend like they weren’t prophets at all and they’re going to say things like at the end of verse 4 (Zech 13:4): They will not put on the hairy robe in order to deceive… Now what is this hairy robe thing? You’ll notice in 2nd Kings chapter 1, verse 8 (2 Kings 1:8), Elijah, a true prophet of God, put on a hairy robe. 2 Kings 1:8 says: They answered him, He was a hairy man with a leather girdle bound about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite… So some of the greatest prophets of God like Elijah wore hairy robes. John the Baptist, who was the greatest prophet of the whole Old Testament era? John the Baptist. Jesus, of John the Baptist said, truly, truly I say to you among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist. So John the Baptist was greater than Isaiah, he was greater than Daniel, he was greater than Elijah and what was John the Baptist wearing? He was wearing a hairy robe. Matthews, 3, verse 4 (Matt 3:4), now I thought about getting a hairy robe up here and putting it on, that’ll be kind of cool but I have such a problem with too much heat and sweat, it just wouldn’t work and that’s probably why these prophets talked about hell so much, they have this hairy robe on and they were hot. Matthew, 3, verse 4 (Matt 3:4) says: Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey… Now some folks in our pastor’s point of view audience sent us some chocolate locusts and that was pretty cool, remember that, brother Jim? He didn’t eat any of it. I think I ate them all. So this hairy robe is basically a sign of the prophet and so when the prophets are saying, we’re not prophets we were just sold as children into slavery, we’re not going to put on the hairy robe, what it’s talking about is they’re denying who they are in the day of judgment. So they want popularity as prophets before the day of judgment comes, but when the day of judgment comes they’re just going to, you know, run like rats leaving a sinking ship. So being a prophet is a lot of fun until the day of judgment comes, particularly when you read about the detest that God has for people that prophesy in His name that God never sent or God never gave visions to. 1:00:48
So this is a pretty interesting chapter dealing with the cleansing of the nation of Israel, her spiritual cleansing.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
So there’s a fountain, verse 1; idolatry is removed, verse two; and false prophets are removed second part of verse 2 into verse 5 and then we get into verses 6 through 9 (Zech 13:5-9) and you’re going to have all summer to think about these cause we can’t do them tonight.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
He sort of reaches all the way back in a comprehensive way and talks about what got Israel into trouble in the first place.
Zechariah 13 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
They struck their own shepherd, that’s what they did. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. So God scattered the nation and He’s going to take the nation, the Lord is and He’s going to put them through a time of unparalleled distress called Jacob’s trouble, which is going to be so severe that by the time you get to verses 8 and 9 you learn that two thirds of the Jewish nation is going to be destroyed. Now, you heard this weekend Olivier Melnick’s talks on antisemitism and the Jewish mindset never again, because Hitler killed a third of the Jews and what Bible prophecy indicates is what Hitler did is minor compared to what’s coming, where two thirds, not one third, two thirds of the Jewish nation is going to be wiped out and so this is very severe judgment, yet, you get to the end of the chapter and God takes a third of the Jewish nation and refines them as gold is refined in a fire. As gold is refined in a fire, it purifies them and they come out the backside of the tribulation period, the whole one third of them are saved. What happened to the other two thirds? They were killed and God then fulfills His millennial covenantal promises through that one third as they enter the millennial kingdom as believers and so that’s what’s coming in verses 6 to 9 (Zech 13:6-9) and then you might wonder okay, all this talk about the millennial kingdom what’s it going to be like? Well, that’s what chapter 14 talks about. It tells you what the millennial kingdom is going to be like.
So we’ll pick that up in September, are you guys good with that? But you don’t want to miss next week cause you want to hear about literal interpretation on apocalyptic literature right? I mean, you’re not complete in Christ until you hear that. So we’ll stop at this point if you got to take off, pick up your kids, etc., this would be a good time for you to do….