God Almighty says to each and everyone of us, “Return to me and I will return to you.” Easier said than done, right? You see, the world, the culture and yes, even Satan, pull us back into their darkness. How do we fight it? The book of Zechariah will show us. Let’s dig in…
Zechariah 1 – A Call to Return to the Lord
In November of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo:
2 “I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ 4 Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices.’
5 “Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead. 6 But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, ‘We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He has done what he said he would do.’”
A Man among the Myrtle Trees
7 Three months later, on February 15, the Lord sent another message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo.
8 In a vision during the night, I saw a man sitting on a red horse that was standing among some myrtle trees in a small valley. Behind him were riders on red, brown, and white horses. 9 I asked the angel who was talking with me, “My lord, what do these horses mean?”
“I will show you,” the angel replied.
10 The rider standing among the myrtle trees then explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol the earth.”
11 Then the other riders reported to the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been patrolling the earth, and the whole earth is at peace.”
12 Upon hearing this, the angel of the Lord prayed this prayer: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, for seventy years now you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. How long until you again show mercy to them?” 13 And the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14 Then the angel said to me, “Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong. 15 But I am very angry with the other nations that are now enjoying peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations inflicted harm on them far beyond my intentions.
16 “‘Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I have returned to show mercy to Jerusalem. My Temple will be rebuilt, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and measurements will be taken for the reconstruction of Jerusalem.’
17 “Say this also: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem as his own.’”
Four Horns and Four Blacksmiths
18 Then I looked up and saw four animal horns. 19 “What are these?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.
He replied, “These horns represent the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four blacksmiths. 21 “What are these men coming to do?” I asked.
The angel replied, “These four horns—these nations—scattered and humbled Judah. Now these blacksmiths have come to terrify those nations and throw them down and destroy them.”Zechariah 1 NLT
Zechariah 2 – Future Prosperity of Jerusalem
When I looked again, I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 “Where are you going?” I asked.
He replied, “I am going to measure Jerusalem, to see how wide and how long it is.”
3 Then the angel who was with me went to meet a second angel who was coming toward him. 4 The other angel said, “Hurry, and say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls. 5 Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the Lord. And I will be the glory inside the city!’”
The Exiles Are Called Home
6 The Lord says, “Come away! Flee from Babylon in the land of the north, for I have scattered you to the four winds. 7 Come away, people of Zion, you who are exiled in Babylon!”
8 After a period of glory, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations who plundered you. For he said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession. 9 I will raise my fist to crush them, and their own slaves will plunder them.” Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me.
10 The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the Lord’s special possession in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”Zechariah 2 NLT
Zechariah 3 – Cleansing for the High Priest
Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”
3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”
5 Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.
6 Then the angel of the Lord spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, 7 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.
8 “Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 Now look at the jewel I have set before Jeshua, a single stone with seven facets. I will engrave an inscription on it, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and I will remove the sins of this land in a single day.
10 “And on that day, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, each of you will invite your neighbor to sit with you peacefully under your own grapevine and fig tree.”Zechariah 3 NLT
Come Back to God!
That’s the message as Zechariah opens his book. REPENT!
- Look up and repent
- Look back and repent
- Look forward and repent
- Look down and repent
We need to repent when we’ve traveled away from God’s ways. You need to repent before Jesus can save you. If you don’t realize that you’re going in the wrong direction, at one point it may be too late.
When you go on a road trip to a new destination, you look the address up in the map, and the app will give you the fastest or best route there. You may think that you know a better, faster route and end up lost, in a traffic jam or in the midst of a construction site. Has that ever happened to you?
It’s the same with life. Following Jesus is the right way to go. As soon as we start going our own way or follow some man-made ideology or religion, we will get lost.
The Good News is that we can ALWAYS return to God. We need to admit that our way didn’t work or was wrong.
A Pre-incarnate Jesus
The Man among the myrtle trees is another appearing of a pre-incarnate Jesus. Pastor Sandy Adams explains…
Notice, it’s the Angel of the Lord who stands in the myrtle trees. We’ve discovered
throughout the OT the expression “Angel of the Lord” often refers to Jesus in his pre-incarnate state. Here, Jesus directs four horsemen from the myrtles. Myrtle trees – or the “hadassah” in Hebrew – is a smallish evergreen. It’s more a shrub than a tree. It has green leaves and flowers. When the petals are crushed they emit a fragrance. The names “myrtle” and “Esther” come from the same Hebrew word. They’re synonyms.
The myrtle tree was a symbol for Israel. Check out Isaiah 55:13. The fact that it’s evergreen speaks of Israel’s longevity. That it’s small speaks of Israel’s stature and significance among the Gentile nations.
And that it emits a sweet aroma when crushed speaks of Israel’s propensity to grow from persecution. So here in this vision the Lord’s messenger appears in Israel to report on the nations. The horsemen have surveyed the world and found it resting quietly and complacently. The world is unaware of God’s concerns.
It’s interesting, in his first vision the Prophet Zechariah sees four horsemen who report to God. In his final vision, Zechariah sees four chariots pulled by horses who go out to execute vengeance for God.Sandy Adams
The Four Horns
Horns are an animal’s fighting tool. In Bible Prophecy they symbolize powerful nations with armies that invade.
- Assyria destroyed Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel
- Then came Babylon who destroyed and sacked Jerusalem and the temple
- Greece would be next
- Finally the Romans
This is the Time of the Gentiles. Each one of those destroyed the previous one. That’s what the four craftsmen signify. The final Roman Empire of the Antichrist will be destroyed by Yeshua Hamashiach. Remember the dream in the Book of Daniel?
The Glory in Jerusalem
Pastor Sandy Adams explains…
Here’s an amazing prophecy. Remember in Ezekiel 10, the prophet charted the
Shekinah’s (God’s Glory) slow, reluctant departure from the Holy of Holies to the door of the Holy Place, out to the door of the Temple, out to the top of the Mount of Olives, where the glory finally ascended into heaven.
As Ezekiel called it, “the brightness of the LORD’s glory” departed from the Temple. Yet throughout history God’s glory has come and gone along this same path.
The New Testament refers to Jesus as “the brightness of (God’s) glory” and guess how Jesus came up to the Temple? On Palm Sunday, He reversed the path the Glory took when it departed. From the top of the Mount of Olives, He came down its slope, and through the East Gate.
When Jesus ascended to heaven again He launched from the Mount of Olives… And when Messiah comes a second time, (which we’ll read in) Zechariah 14, He will touch down again on top of the Mount of Olives. From heaven to Olivet to the Temple Mount is the glory road.Sandy Adams
Jesus will Return!
He’s coming back and Jerusalem will be His home. Israel is the Lord’s special possession no matter what the Muslims and Palestinians say.
God is “springing into action”! We can see it all around. It may look like Satan’s in control, but he’s not. God is still in control. He’s just letting Satan have his way with the world.
Cleansing of Our Sins Forever
Chapter 3 illustrates how Jesus sanctifies us. Zechariah saw the high priest, Jesuha (Joshua or Jesus in Greek) in filthy (literally crap-covered) clothes. Jesus took away his sins and gave him fine new clothes and a clean turban.
The “Branch” is Jesus!
“On that day” — refers to a day in the far distance prophetic future. It’s a wonderful day when the New Heaven and the New Earth come down. That’s in Revelation 21!
The Purpose of Bible Prophecy
Bible prophecy is not meant to scare you, but to warn those who aren’t born again and to give hope to those who are. Which are you?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.