Thursday, October 4, 2012

4 October 2012: Zechariah 14: 1-21

14:1 Behold, the days of the Lord come, and thy spoils shall be divided in thee. 2 And I will gather all the Gentiles to Jerusalem to war, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the rest of my people shall not be utterly cut off from the city.
3 And the Lord shall go forth, and fight with those Gentiles as when he fought in the day of war. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave asunder, half of it toward the east and the west, a very great division; and half the mountain shall lean to the north, and half of it to the south. 5 And the valley of my mountains shall be closed up, and the valley of the mountains shall be joined on to Jasod, and shall be blocked up as it was blocked up in the days of the earthquake, in the days of Ozias king of Juda; and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with him. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day that there shall be no light, 7 and there shall be for one day cold and frost, and that day shall be known to the Lord, and it shall not be day nor night: but towards evening it shall be light.
8 And in that day living water shall come forth out of Jerusalem; half of it toward the former sea, and half of it toward the latter sea: and so shall it be in summer and spring. 9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one, 10 compassing all the earth, and the wilderness from Gabe unto Remmon south of Jerusalem. And Rama shall remain in its place. From the gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, to the gate of the corners, and to the tower of Anameel, as far as the king’s winepresses, 11 they shall dwell in the city; and there shall be no more any curse, and Jerusalem shall dwell securely.
12 And this shall be the overthrow with which the Lord will smite all the nations, as many as have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they are standing upon their feet, and their eyes shall melt out of their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And there shall be in that day a great panic from the Lord upon them; and they shall lay hold every man of the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall be clasped with the hand of his neighbour. 14 Juda also shall fight in Jerusalem; and God shall gather the strength of all the nations round about, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 15 And this shall be the overthrow of the horses, and mules, and camels, and asses, and all the beasts that are in those camps, according to this overthrow.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall be left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem, shall even come up every year to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever of all the families of the earth shall not come up to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, even these shall be added to the others. 18 And if the family of Egypt shall not go up, nor come; then upon them shall be the overthrow with which the Lord shall smite all the nations, whichever of them shall not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the sin of Egypt, and the sin of all the nations, whosoever shall not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day there shall be upon the bridle of every horse Holiness to the Lord Almighty; and the caldrons in the house of the Lord shall be as bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and in Juda shall be holy to the Lord Almighty: and all that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and shall seethe meat in them: and in that day there shall be no more the Chananite in the house of the Lord Almighty.

This is one of those lessons that make Christians and others uncomfortable, or that causes churches to pick and choose what part of scriptures to use.  But we cannot do that.  We are told in I or II Timothy that "...all scripture   is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good we cannot ignore this scripture.  One of the things we note here is that to our way of thinking, this scripture is very carnal, not at all very spiritual.  Now this is important for Christians.  Christianity is not a religion where we obtain salvation by contemplating God.   Salvation comes to us by very carnal acts.  Yeshua died on the cross for us.  We in turn must "trust and be immersed to be saved; for whoever does not trust will be condemned. (Mark 16:16).  So Christianity, by the world's definition is not very spiritual, but a religion that serves us for life in this world.  We are told, that at some point in the future, all the enemies of the Jews will be wiped out.  Jews will be restored to Israel and Jerusalem.  While this passage does not bring this up, we believe these to be Messianic Jews who have come to know Yeshua as their Lord and Messiah.  All the nations will come to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the feast of tabernacles (Sukkoth), and that everything in Jerusalem will be holy, and the city will be a holy place to be.  

Why tabernacles.  Tabernacles represents God's protection.  The lessons from Sunday and during these days of Sukkoth remind us that Yah provided manna, water, and that the peoples clothing and shoes did not wear. out.  By celebrating tabernacles, we are celebrating that we have learned to completely depend on God, which is a mark of a true Christian.  The new Heaven and Earth, while different, will still be places where we have a body.  We won't be ghosts wandering around, nor will we be angels with wings, but new creatures living a new life.  But that new life must begin here on the old Earth.  We do this by allowing he who "tabernacled" among us to tabernacle in our heart.  We are to depend on him 100% and to obey him 100%.  Baptism, or going to church guarantees nothing, unless there is complete faith in the Messiah.

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