Zechariah 14:16-21

A. This chapter of Zechariah has been the subject of much discussion, even controversy, as to its correct interpretation: when, who, how are these things to be understood? What I offer here is according to the degree of light I have at present. Some qualifying markers I use in sorting through such prophecies are: 1. Apostolic revelation and explanation prevails. 1JO 4:6. 2. The church of Jesus Christ under the New Testament is superior to the church of Moses under the Old Testament and has displaced it by a prevailing and durable order. HEB 9:13; EPH 3:21. 3. The terms “Jerusalem, Israel” etc. are not restricted to the earthly or the natural, but are also applicable to the heavenly and the spiritual. GAL 4:26; 6:16. 4. All O.T. feasts and ordinances were shadows of Christ. COL 2:16-17. 5. There can be no heavenly authorized return to O.T. Levitical ordinances of service since such would negate the superior priesthood of Jesus Christ (HEB 7:12; 8:4) and make a mockery of Paul’s detailed weaning of (Jewish) believers from Moses. HEB 13:12-13.

B. The O.T. prophets did in fact speak of the sufferings of Christ and His resurrection unto the glorious heavenly throne to reign over the church in this age. 1PE 1:10-12; ACT 3:24-26. 1. Gospel times were in view in this chapter of Zechariah. ZEC 14:8 c/w JOH 7:37-39. 2. Living waters indeed did flow out from Jerusalem: the Spirit from heavenly Jerusalem which filled the Jerusalem church in ACT 2 for the spread of the gospel spirit of liberty in Christ. LUK 24:47. 3. Christ’s utterance was actually made during the feast of tabernacles. JOH 7:2. 4. It should be remembered that Christ was/is God tabernacled in flesh. JOH 1:14 c/w 2CO 5:1, 4.

C. The O.T. feast of tabernacles set forth contempt of the world, joy in God, and continual engagement of the scriptures. LEV 23:39-43; NEH 8:18. 1. These elements are critical aspects of gospel submission to which men are called by the resurrected Son of God Who is Lord. ACT 2:36-47; 17:30-31; PHIL 3:1-3; 4:4. 2. Those who by faith follow Christ joyfully have a continual feast. PRO 15:15; JAM 1:2-3. 3. The punishments sworn against the resisters in ZEC 14:16-21 are best understood as being against those who refuse to confess and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ by gospel repentance, faith, joy and duty. 1JO 2:15; JAM 4:4; ROM 2:4-9. 4. Rain is blessing from God (HEB 6:7) and one will not receive spiritual blessing by refractory disobedience but rather receive rejection and wrath. HEB 6:8. 5. It is more important to joyfully follow Christ always then to joyfully camp out in the Hamptons for a few days, or make an annual pilgrimage to earthly Jerusalem for a campout. 6. Those, who like Egypt (vs. 18-19) think they are insulated against judgment (because they do have the faith of Christ but do not employ it), they will not escape. JAM 2:26.

D. Another gospel theme in the text is holiness. vs. 20-21. 1. The capitalized phrase was engraved in Aaron’s mitre “...that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD” (EXO 28:36-38). Holiness made gifts acceptable to God. 2. In Zechariah’s vision, that high title would apply to even insignificant things like horse bells and pots. Holiness overwrote all. a. Horses had no role in O.T. tabernacle service (and I doubt that Jesus’ command to “love our neigh-bor” implies that they should have been included). b. The big picture here is that long-standing protocols and order would be set aside and universal holiness would be the presiding principle. c. Holiness under Christ is no longer a rare title or ceremonial: it touches upon even the least of the elements of our lives and of our service to God in worship. 3. This should remind us of our indebtedness to our High Priest Jesus Christ in Whom God chose us who were lowly vessels of wrath once fitted to destruction to be vessels of mercy prepared unto glory, whether Jew or Gentile. ROM 9:22-24. a. His election was meant to make us holy and accepted in Christ Who presented us thus to God. COL 1:21-22. b. He called us with an holy calling unto eternal glory. 2TI 1:9; 1PE 5:10. c. Like the bells and pots, the least of saints are included. EPH 3:8. 4. Believing saints are constituted a holy priesthood. 1PE 2:5. a. Thus, our corporate worship should be a presentation of holy people whom God will accept who are not conformed to this world. ROM 12:1-2. b. Absence of holiness pollutes this goal and bars us. HEB 12:14 c/w 2CO 7:1. 5. The theme of universal holiness should remind us that whatever we say or do should be unto the Lord, overwritten with holiness. 1CO 10:31; 1PE 4:11.

E. “...in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (v. 21). 1. No known unclean or ungodly person (Canaanite qualities) shall have a place in the gospel church. 1CO 5:1, 13; EPH 5:3. 2. In the final purge, nothing defiling enters glory. REV 21:27; 22:15.

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