INTRO: The Old Testament books of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are occasionally called books of prophecy of the Persian Period. That simply means that they are books written after the Babylonian exile and during the period of Persian kings. The three books do have a different tone when compared to earlier prophets. The little books of Haggai and Zechariah are virtually partners in purpose. But when you compare them, you see the styles are very different. Especially in the opening chapters of Zechariah can we see that this prophet is filled with apocalyptic pictures. So, we hear the prophet asking, What are these, my Lord? What do the pictures mean? Background? The exiles have returned to Jerusalem, but the temple is not built!
I. BEGIN WITH SOME TEXTS FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. Zech 10:9 - The king riding on a donkey - Mt 21:1-5
B. Zech 11:12 - The betrayal price - Mt 26:15
C. Zech 11:13 - The 30 pieces of silver purchase a potters field - Mt 27:5-7
D. Zech 12:10 - Looking upon him whom they have pierced - Jno 19:37
E. Familiar symbols from this book are remembered in Revelation
II. THE BOOK OPENS WITH A CALL TO REPENTANCE
A. Zech 1:3 - Turn ye unto me...
1. the prophet reminds these people why there had been a Babylonian captivity
2. v. 2 - The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers
B. Zech 1:4 - Be ye not as your fathers...
1. the returnees had a new life, a new opportunity
2. had they learned the lessons of the captivity?
C. Zech 1:5,6 - ...according to our ways....hath he dealt with us
1. the principle of Gods judgment is remembered here
2. He has given commandments ... and He expects His people to conform
III. A BRIEF LOOK AT THE VISIONS OF ZECHARIAH
A. Zech 1:8 - Of the man riding upon a red horse
1. notice vv. 12,13 - remember, Zechariah is the encourager
2. so, in the vision there are the 70 years mentioned - ...how long...
3. at vv. 14-16 described the Lords intention - my house shall be built in it
4. people who were struggling to rebuild the land and the temple needed to hear that this was Gods plan ... and the prosperity was ahead
B. Zech 2:1,2 - Of the man with a measuring line in his hand
1. on some occasions the measuring line was a symbol for judgment - on others, as in this case, it was a symbol of construction
2. what was the message? v.4 - ...Jerusalem shall be inhabited...
3. and notice v. 8 - Jerusalem was the apple of Gods eye!
4. further, v. 10 - all of this is wonderful news for the struggling returnees!
C. Zech 3:1.2 - Joshua and Satan
1. why was the work not being done? why was progress on the temple slow?
2. here is the answer ... Satan was hindering Joshuas work!
3. but the Lords answer is, Joshua is my man, my high priest - vv. 7,8
4. this chapter should help us understand why the Lords work is hindered, troubled even today ... Satan is not ready to give up!
D. Zech 4:1-3 - The candlestick, the bowl, the pipes, the two olive trees
1. this vision pertains primarily to Zerubbabel - the governor of Judah
2. by Gods power (v. 6) he would accomplish Gods purpose! no obstacle would be able to stand in Zerubbabels way (v. 7)
3. look at v. 9 - Zerubbabel will finish the temple
4. the two olive trees? - v. 14 can be none other than Joshua & Zerubbabel
E. Zech 5:1,6,7 - The flying scroll, the woman in the basket
1. the scroll was Gods curse upon wickedness (v. 3)
2. the woman in the basket? v. 8 - This is wickedness
3. at v. 11 the basket of wickedness was carried far away from Judah to a worldly place suitable for such
4. wickedness and the house of God have no compatibility!
F. Zech 6:1 - The four chariots and the crowning of Joshua
1. v. 5 tells us these are the four spirits of the heavens...
2. the entire 70+ years of captivity, deliverance and restoration had been the work of God ... the four spirits go forth to accomplish Gods purposes on the earth
3. with the restoration and rebuilding under way, Joshua is crowned (v. 11)
4. but we begin to look much further into the future ... the Messianic future at vv. 13,15
CLOSE: The final chapters of Zechariah speak of Jerusalems wonderful future. They represent a message of great hope to the struggling returnees. Chapter 14 is a magnificent chapter filled with Messianic hope. And these words need our attention: HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. Are we?
Cecil A. Hutson
22 June 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)