Wednesday, December 31, 2014

May The LORD JESUS Be With You In The New Year!

Dear Readers,

I pray that you will have a happy, healthy New Year in The LORD JESUS and will keep growing in the Knowledge of His WORD and Grace until HE Comes to earth as KING of kings and LORD of lords.

See you in 2015, anno Domoni!

Greetings from a unworthy servant of JESUS

JESUS Says, "I AM Coming And I Will Live Among You"

Zechariah 2:1-13 NIV

A Man With a Measuring Line

1Then I looked up, and there before me was a Man with a measuring line in HIS Hand. 2I asked, “Where are you going?”

HE Answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”

3While The ANGEL Who Was Speaking to me Was Leaving, Another ANGEL Came to meet Him 4 and Said to Him:

Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I MYSELF Will be a wall of fire around it,’ Declares The LORD, ‘and I Will Be Its Glory within.’

6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” Declares The LORD, “for I Have Scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” Declares The LORD.

7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” 8 For This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

“After The Glorious ONE Has Sent ME Against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches The Apple of His Eye 9 I Will Surely Raise MY Hand Against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that The LORD ALMIGHTY Has Sent ME.

10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I AM Coming, and I Will Live Among you,” Declares The LORD11 “Many nations will be joined with The LORD in that day and will become MY people. 

I Will Live among you and you will know that The LORD ALMIGHTY Has Sent ME to you. 12 The LORD Will Inherit Judah as HIS Portion in the Holy Land and Will Again Choose Jerusalem.  

13 Be still Before The LORD, all mankind, because HE Has Roused HIMSELF from HIS HOLY Dwelling.”

Zechariah 2

A Man with a measuring line in HIS Hand -  The ANGEL of The LORD, of Whom Ezekiel has a like vision. "He who before, when he lift up his eyes, had seen in the four horns things mournful, now again lifts up his eyes to see a Man, of whom it is written, "Behold a Man WHOSE Name Is The Branch" Zechariah 6:12; of whom we read above, "Behold a Man riding upon a red horse, and HE stood among the myrtle trees, which were in the bottom" Zechariah 1:8.

Of WHOM too The FATHER Says, “HE Built MY City, whose Builder and Maker Is GOD" Hebrews 11:10. HE Too Is Seen by Ezekiel in a description like this, "a Man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass" Ezekiel 40:3, that is, "burnished and shining as fire, with a line of flax in HIS Hand and a measuring reed." 

The office also seems to be one of authority, not to measure the actual length and breadth of Jerusalem, but to lay down what it should be "to mark it out broad and very long."

A Man with a measuring line in HIS Hand, by WHOM is meant, not Nehemiah, nor Zerubbabel; see Zechariah 4:10 who were concerned in the building of Jerusalem; nor any mere man, nor even a created angel; for, though HE May Be the same with the other angel, who did not talk with the prophet, Zechariah 2:3, Seeing HE Seems to be superior to him that did; yet not a ministering spirit, but The MESSIAH, WHO in this book is often spoken of as a man.

See Zechariah 1:8 and by "the measuring line in HIS Hand" may be meant eternal predestination, The LAMB'S Book of Life, which is in His Keeping; and is the measure and rule by which HE Proceeds in the calling, justification, and glorification of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven; or the Scriptures of Truth, the measure and rule of doctrine, discipline, worship, and conversation; and according to which CHRIST Forms, Constitutes, and Regulates Gospel churches; see Ezekiel 40:3.

2:1-5 The SON of David, even The Man CHRIST JESUS, WHOM the prophet sees with a measuring line in HIS Hand, is the Master-Builder of HIS church. GOD Notices the extent of HIS church, and Will Take Care that whatever number of guests are brought to the wedding-supper, there shall be room. This vision means well to Jerusalem. The walls of a city, as they defend it, so they straiten its inhabitants; but Jerusalem shall be extended as freely as if it had no walls at all, yet shall be as safe as if it had the strongest walls.

In the church of GOD there yet is room for other multitudes, more than man can number. None shall be refused who trust in CHRIST; and HE Never Shuts Out from heaven one true member of the church on earth. GOD Will Be a Wall of fire round them, which can neither be broken through nor undermined, nor can it be assailed without danger to those who attack. This vision was to have its full accomplishment in the Gospel church, which is extended by admitting the Gentiles into it; and which has The SON of GOD for its Prince and Protector; especially in the glorious times yet to come.

2:6-9 If GOD Will Build Jerusalem for the people and their comfort; they must inhabit it for HIM and HIS Glory. The promises and privileges with which GOD'S people are blessed, should engage us to join them, whatever it costs us. When Zion is enlarged to make room for all GOD'S Israel, it is the greatest madness for any of them to stay in Babylon. The captivity of a sinful state is by no means to be continued in, though a man may be easy in worldly matters.

Escape for thy life, look not behind you! CHRIST Has Proclaimed that deliverance to the captives, which HE Has HIMSELF Wrought Out, and it concerns everyone to resolve that sin shall not have dominion over him. Those who would be found among GOD'S children, must save themselves from this world, see Acts 2:40.

What CHRIST Will Do for HIS church, shall be an evident proof of GOD'S Care and Affection. HE that touches you touches The Apple of HIS Eye. This is a strong expression of GOD'S Love to HIS church. HE Takes what is done against her as done against the tenderest part of HIS Eye, to which the least touch is a great offence. CHRIST Is Sent To Be the Protector of HIS church.

2:10-13 Here is a prediction of the Coming of CHRIST in human nature. Many nations in that day would renounce idolatry, and GOD Will Own those for HIS people who join HIM with purpose of heart. Glorious times are foretold as a prophecy of our LORD'S Coming and KINGDOM. GOD Is About To Do something unexpected, and very surprising, and to plead HIS people's cause, which had long seemed neglected. Silently submit to HIS Holy Will, and patiently wait the event; assured that GOD Will Complete all HIS Work. HE Will before long Come To Judge, to Complete the salvation of HIS people, and to Punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sins.

JEHOVAH Says, "Return To ME, And I Will Return To You"

Zechariah 1:1-20 NIV

A Call to Return to The LORD

1In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, The WORD of The LORD Came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:

2“The LORD Was Very Angry With your ancestors. 3Therefore tell the people: 

This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

‘Return to ME,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY, ‘And I Will Return to you,’ Says The LORD ALMIGHTY. 

4Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: 

This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to ME, Declares The LORD. 5Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6But Did Not MY WORDS and My Decrees, which I Commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?

“Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD ALMIGHTY Has Done To us what our ways and practices deserve, Just As HE Determined To Do.’ ”

The Man Among the Myrtle Trees

7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, The WORD of The LORD Came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.

8During the night I had a vision, and there before me Was A Man Mounted On a red horse. HE Was Standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind HIM were red, brown and white horses.

9I asked, “What are these, my LORD?”

The ANGEL Who Was Talking With me Answered, “I Will Show you what they are.”

10Then The Man Standing among the myrtle trees Explained, “They are the ones The LORD Has Sent to go throughout the earth.”

11And they reported to The ANGEL of The LORD WHO Was Standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”

12Then The ANGEL of The LORD Said, “LORD ALMIGHTY, How Long Will YOU Withhold Mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which YOU Have Been Angry with these seventy years?” 13So The LORD Spoke Kind and Comforting WORDS to The ANGEL Who Talked With me.

14Then The ANGEL WHO Was Speaking To me Said, “Proclaim This WORD: This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: ‘I AM Very Jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15And I AM Very Angry With the nations that feel secure. I Was Only A Little Angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’

16“Therefore This Is What The LORD Says: ‘I Will Return to Jerusalem with Mercy, and there MY House Will Be Rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY.

17“Proclaim further: This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: ‘My Towns Will Again Overflow with prosperity, and The LORD Will Again Comfort Zion and Choose Jerusalem.’ ”

Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

18Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19I asked The ANGEL WHO Was Speaking To me, “What are these?”

HE Answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

20Then The LORD Showed me four craftsmen. 21I asked, “What are these coming to do?”

HE Answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”

Zechariah 1

The date joins on Zechariah's prophecy to those of Haggai. Two months before, "in the sixth month" Haggai 1:1, had Haggai, conjointly with Zechariah Ezra 5:1-2, exhorted Zerubbabel and the people to resume the intermitted building of The Temple.

These had used such diligence, notwithstanding the partial discouragement of the Persian Government, that GOD Gave them "in the seventh month" Ezra 5:3-5, the magnificent promise of the later Glory of The Temple through The Coming of CHRIST Haggai 2:1-9.

Still, as Haggai too warned them, the conversion was not complete. So Zechariah in the eighth, as Haggai in the ninth Haggai 2:10-14 month, urges upon them the necessity of thorough and inward repentance, as the condition of partaking of those promises.

1:1-6 GOD's Almighty Power and Sovereign Dominion, should engage and encourage sinners to repent and turn to HIM. It is very desirable to have The LORD of hosts for our friend, and very dreadful to have HIM for our enemy.

Review what is past, and observe The Message GOD Sent by HIS servants, the prophets, to your fathers. Turn now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings. Be persuaded to leave your sins, as the only way to prevent approaching ruin. What is become of our fathers, and of the prophets that preached to them? They are all dead and gone. But where are they? When they died, there was not an end of them; they are in eternity, in the world of spirits, the unchangeable world to which we hasten quickly. Where are they? Those of them who lived and died in sin, are in torment. Those who lived and died in CHRIST, are in heaven; and if we live and die as they did, we shall be with them shortly and eternally.

The prophets are gone. CHRIST Is a Prophet WHO Lives Forever, therefore in another world, both we and our prophets shall live forever: to prepare for that world ought to be our great care in this life. The preachers died, and the hearers died, but The WORD of GOD Does Not Die; not one jot or title of it fell to the ground; For HE Is ETERNAL ONE.

1:7-17 The prophet saw a dark, shady grove, hidden by hills. This represented the low, melancholy condition of the Jewish nation. A Man like a warrior sat on a red horse, in the midst of this shady myrtle-grove. Though the church was in a low condition, CHRIST Was Present in the midst, ready to appear for the relief of HIS people. Behind HIM were angels ready to be employed by HIM, some in acts of Judgment, others of Mercy, others in mixed events. Would we know something of the mysteries of The KINGDOM of Heaven, we must apply, not to angels, for they are themselves learners, but to CHRIST HIMSELF. HE Is Ready To Teach those humbly desirous to learn the things of GOD.

The nations near Judea enjoyed peace at that time, but the state of the Jews was unsettled, which gave rise to the pleading that followed; but mercy must only be hoped for through CHRIST. HIS intercession for HIS church prevails. The LORD Answered The ANGEL, This ANGEL of The Covenant, with Promises of Mercy and Deliverance. All the good words and comfortable words of the Gospel we receive from JESUS CHRIST, As HE Received them from The FATHER, in answer to the prayer of HIS Blood; and HIS ministers are to preach them to all the world.

The earth sat still, and was at rest. It is not uncommon for the enemies of GOD to be at rest in sin, while HIS people are enduring correction, harassed by temptation, disquieted by fears of wrath, or groaning under oppression and persecution. Here are predictions which had reference to the revival of the Jews after the captivity, but those events were shadows of what shall take place in the church, after the oppression of the New Testament Babylon is ended.

1:18-21 The enemies of the church threaten to cut off the name of Israel. They are horns, emblems of power, strength, and violence. The prophet saw them so formidable that he began to despair of the safety of every good man, and the success of every good work; but The LORD Showed him four workmen empowered to cut off these horns.

With an eye of sense we see the power of the enemies of the church; but it is only with an eye of faith that we see it safe. The LORD Shows us that. When GOD Has Work To Do, HE Will Raise Up some to do it, and others to defend it, and to protect those employed in doing it.

Did You Know That The Silver And The Gold On Earth Is All JEHOVAH'S?

Haggai 2:1-23 NIV

1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, The WORD of The LORD Came through the prophet Haggai:

2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,a the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3‘Who of you is left who saw this House in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ Declares The LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ Declares The LORD, ‘and work. For I AM With you,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY. 5‘This Is What I Covenanted With you when you came out of Egypt. And MY SPIRIT Remains among you. Do not fear.’

6“This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says: 

In a little while I Will once more Shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7I Will Shake all nations, and What Is Desired by all nations Will Come, and I Will Fill this House with Glory,’ Says The LORD ALMIGHTY. 8The silver is MINE and the gold is MI,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY. 

 9‘The Glory of this present House will be greater than the Glory of the former house,’ Says The LORD ALMIGHTY. ‘And in this place I Will Grant peace,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY.”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, The WORD of The LORD Came to the prophet Haggai: 

11“This Is What The LORD ALMIGHTY Says:

‘Ask the priests what the Law says: 12If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”

The priests answered, “No.”

13Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”

“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”

14Then Haggai said, “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in MY Sight,’ Declares The LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.

15“ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day onb —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in The LORD'S Temple. 16When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17I Struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to ME,’ Declares The LORD. 18‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of The LORD'S Temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.

“ ‘From this day on I Will Bless you.’ ”

Zerubbabel The LORD'S Signet Ring

20The WORD of The LORD Came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I AM Going To Shake the heavens and the earth. 22I Will Overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I Will Overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.

23“ ‘On that day,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY, ‘I Will Take you, MY servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ Declares The LORD, ‘and I Will Make you like MY Signet Ring, for I Have Chosen you,’ Declares The LORD ALMIGHTY.”

When and Who?

 In the seventh month: This message came in October of 520 B.C. It was feast time in Israel, celebrating both the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? Haggai spoke some 66 years after the Temple was destroyed. Certainly there were some old men who had seen Solomon’s temple in its splendor.

But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this Temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off. (Ezra 3:12-13)

The men in Ezra 3 wept because they saw this Temple in its former glory. When Solomon built the first temple, he spared no expense in materials, and hired the best talent he could find to do the work.

In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing: These kinds of comparisons between “the good old days” and the present day - or between the work of GOD in various places and times - are rarely beneficial. It didn’t do the people of Haggai’s day any good to think of how magnificent Solomon’s temple was compared to their own rebuilding work.

Be strong . . . and work . . . do not fear: GOD gives the leaders and people of Israel three clear commands. Each of these three is essential to getting The Work of GOD done. Great things are not accomplished without action.

I AM With you . . . according to The Word that I Covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt: The same God that did great things in the past is among them today, so be encouraged.

My SPIRIT Remains among you: Under the Old Covenant The HOLY SPIRIT Was among the people. Under the New Covenant HE Is in GOD’S people.

Why the rebuilt Temple will be more glorious than the Temple of Solomon?

Once more . . . I Will Shake heaven and earth: This is the only portion of Haggai quoted in the New Testament (Hebrews 12:26).

They shall come to the Desire of All Nations: Through the centuries, most see this as a prophecy of The MESSIAH Coming to this Temple rebuilt in the days of Haggai and Ezra. Some point out that this word for Desire can also be translated treasures. We know that the Gentiles will bring tribute to the LORD in the Millennium (Isaiah 60:5) - but that won’t bring treasure to this Temple that was rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Haggai.

The True Desire of All Nations Is JESUS, even if the nations themselves do not know it. “HE Is The One, The True Reformer, The True Rectifier of all wrong, and in this respect the desire of all nations. Oh! if the world could gather up all her right desire; if she could condense in one cry all her wild wishes; if all true lovers of mankind could condense their theories and extract the true wine of wisdom from them; it would just come to this, we want an Incarnate GOD, and you have got the Incarnate GOD! (Spurgeon)

Knowing that JESUS Is the Desire of All Nations also encourages our missionary work. “Brethren, I may add, CHRIST is certainly the Desire of all nations in this respect, that we desire Him for all nations. (Spurgeon)

“The silver is MINE, and the gold is MINE,” says The LORD of hosts: They didn’t need to be discouraged if they didn’t have money for the building project. They had to boldly trust The GOD Who owned every resource, and then give generously.

The Glory of this latter Temple shall be greater than the former: The Glory of this Temple was in fact greater. The LORD of Glory - JESUS - personally visited it and worshiped there.

“Because CHRIST Shall Appear and Preach in it, Who Is The Brightness of His FATHER’S Glory.”

Some scholars speculate that Herod remodeled the Temple with the intent of fulfilling the Glory of this latter Temple shall be greater than the former, so that he might fulfill it instead of The MESSIAH.

And in this place I Will Give peace: The promised peace is shalom. It means far more than stopping conflict - it is the establishment of a lasting, righteous, good.