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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 6: Burdens and Bastards

 
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The opening notes for tonight’s program are found below, as an appendix to the notes for this presentation. They are also posted at the Christogenea Forum in a thread titled What is a Bastard?

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 6: Burdens and Bastards

Discussing the previous 8 chapters of this prophecy of Zechariah, we hope to have established that they are actually a series of rather profound but complex prophetic visions which have two purposes. First, in the interpretation which we call the near vision, they are a prophecy of the immediate circumstances of the building of the temple and the founding of the 70-weeks kingdom. But more importantly, in the interpretation which we call the far vision, they are prophetic of the ministry of the Christ and the building of the Body of Christ which is the true temple of Yahweh. As we also hope to have seen, this true temple was to be built in the captivity of the woman in judgment, in the gathering of scattered Israel through Yahshua Christ in order to reconcile them to Yahweh their God. The purpose of the second temple and the 70-weeks Kingdom was to produce and herald the Messiah, and the overall purpose of Zechariah’s prophecy was to foretell some of the events. Circumstances and the purpose of His coming.

These prophecies of the scattering and subsequent gathering of Israel and the reconciliation of the children of God through Christ culminated in the last passage of Zechariah chapter 8. There we see a clear prophecy of the spread of the Gospel of Christ where it says “23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a [Judahite], saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” We have asserted that the ten men must be representative of the scattered so-called “ten lost tribes”, and he who is a Judaean (not a Jew, but a Judahite) must be a reference to the apostles of Christ.

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 5: Scattering and Gathering

 
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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 5: Scattering and Gathering

In the last segment of this presentation of the prophecy of Zechariah, we left off part way through chapter 8. The theme of that segment, which began with Zechariah chapter 7, we identified as Sin and Punishment. We are calling this segment Scattering and Gathering. In the Biblical context, the two concepts cannot be separated from one another. A major underlying theme of all the Biblical prophets, which is often expressed in very explicit terms, is the scattering of Israel in punishment for their sin, and the gathering of Israel in mercy and reconciliation. Yahweh did not scatter Israel without a purpose, and He promised to gather Israel explicitly and exclusively. By the time of the prophet Zechariah, the scattering of Israel was an accomplished fact. But even before the scattering was accomplished, through the more ancient prophets Yahweh had set forth these exclusive plans by which He would both reconcile Himself to Israel, and gather them together once again (at least allegorically), while at the same time the promises to the patriarchs in relation to the destiny of their seed would be fulfilled. This plan is illustrated in prophecy as early as the books of Moses, so it was a part of Yahweh’s Law and it is His Divine Will for Israel from the very beginning. This is the entire purpose of God set forth in Scripture, and there is no other purpose for the coming of Christ outside of this purpose.

For this precise reason, Paul of Tarsus had written in Romans chapter 8, where he was speaking to some of the descendants of those same scattered Israelites: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Those brethren are the children of Israel, as Paul had explained in chapter 2 of his epistle to the Hebrews, “16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 4: Sin and Punishment

 
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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 4: Sin and Punishment

We have already presented six chapters of this book of the prophecy of Zechariah, and we hope to have fully established that Zechariah was a Christian prophet in many scriptural aspects. First, he prophesied the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem as a type for the rebuilding of the house of God in His people Israel, which is the ultimate purpose of the 70-weeks Kingdom in Judaea. Then, his prophecy uses the first high priest of that rebuilt temple, Jeshua, or Joshua, as a type for Yahshua Christ, the coming Messiah who would be the ultimate high priest of His people. Furthermore, he used Zerubbabel, the first governor of Jerusalem as it was going to be rebuilt, as a type for Christ as Governor over His people. The seven-branched candlestick of Zechariah’s vision was a prophecy foreshadowing the messages to the seven Christian assemblies of the Revelation, and the vision of the two witnesses, or olive trees, which feed their oil to those candlesticks informs us that those assemblies consist of the people of the houses of Israel and Judah. The very purpose of the 70-weeks Kingdom was to achieve the reconciliation of Yahweh God with Israel, and all of these circumstances in its founding were employed by the prophet as allegories representing that purpose, which was ultimately fulfilled in Christ.

An underlying theme of these first few chapters is found in the references to the tribes of Israel. In chapter 1 there is a reference to “the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” In chapter 2 there is a plea to scattered Israel, where it says “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon”, and in this case Babylon is symbolic for the captivity of all Israel. That plea is followed by a promise: “10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. 11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.” This was fulfilled in Yahshua Christ, who told His opponents that “I am He”. The proof is found in the fact that scattered Israel turned to Christ, proving that “thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” From similar visions in the words of other prophets we have explained that this too is a prophecy of Christ and the deliverance of His people Israel from captivity: that the many nations joined to Yahweh are the nations which the children of Israel were prophesied to become in the course of their captivity, and that they were joined to Yahweh in Christ when the nations of Europe, the descendants of the ancient Israelites, ultimately accepted Christianity.

Reflections on the Whorlando Homocaust, with Pastor Mark Downey

 
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Reflections on the alleged Whorlando Homocaust [the supposed recent mass shooting of sodomites in Orlando] and the state of Christendom today, with Pastor Mark Downey. Finck's comments were based on his more recent article, There is no Pulse. Mark read from his recent sermon, Whorlando Changes Nothing

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 3, The House of God

 
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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 3, The House of God

Having presented the first three chapters of Zechariah, we hope to have established the fact that there are two perspectives to fully interpreting the words of the prophet and realizing the fulfillment of his prophecy. These we have termed the near vision, which is the immediate application of his prophecy to the rebuilding of the second temple and the initiation of the 70-weeks Kingdom, and the far vision, or the transcendental fulfillment of the prophecy to the birth and ministry of the Christ and the building of His House, which is both His temporal body and the body of His collective people Israel. We would also assert that the entire purpose of the 70-weeks Kingdom was to realize the fulfillment of the far vision, as the Word of God establishes for us both here and in Daniel chapter 9.

Now in Zechariah chapter 4, Zerubbabel, the governor of Jerusalem during the building of the second temple and the high priesthood of Joshua, is only mentioned several times. His name means sown in Babel, or Babylon, and that is important in relation to what we hope to demonstrate is the meaning of this chapter. Especially since the Hebrew word babel also means confusion, and more specifically confusion by mixing. This in itself is a prophecy of ancient Judaea, the birth of Christ and the modern understanding of the origins of both the Gospel and the people of Christ. So the redemption of the children of Israel was sown in confusion.

On a personal note, while Zerubbabel was the rightful heir to the throne of David, he could never himself sit as a king, because of the curse of Jeconiah found in Jeremiah chapter 32 where it says “Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” Zerubbabel was also an ancestor of Christ according to both genealogies, however Christ is not affected by the curse of Jeconiah since He inherits the throne of David as an adopted son of Joseph of Nazareth, who was apparently the last living heir to the throne. The wicked king Jeconiah was the grandfather of this Zerubbabel.

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 2, Jesus and Satan

 
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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 2, Jesus and Satan

Presenting the first two chapters of Zechariah, we saw that the prophet began writing around the start of the building of the second temple in the days of Zerubbabel, about 520 BC. While his prophecy had a meaning with an immediate application in his own time, regarding the building of the temple, it also has far-reaching implications related to the very purpose of the 70-weeks kingdom, which is what we call Judaea as it was in the inter-testamental period. We hope to further establish the proofs of that assertion here, presenting Zechariah chapter 3.

This period which we prefer to describe as the 70-weeks kingdom, from another prophecy which describes it in Daniel chapter 9, is also referred to as the second temple period. However that label is not quite accurate. According to Ezra, the second temple took only four years to build. The temple of the time of Christ was actually the third temple, Herod’s temple, as the second temple was rebuilt from the foundations up. That is how the Judaean historian Flavius Josephus described it, and the building of that third temple is mentioned in John chapter 2 where it is said that the project took 46 years to complete.

As Josephus wrote in Book 15 of his Antiquities of the Judaeans, “391 So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits, and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero. 392 Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve; 393 and the whole structure, as also the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower, but the middle was much higher, till they were visible to those who dwelt in the country for a great many miles, but chiefly to such as lived opposite them, and those who approached to them.” The building project having taken 46 years, and the foundations of the second temple being completely replaced, where Josephus said that new foundations were laid and Herod then “erected the temple upon them”, we cannot imagine that the resulting edifice was still the second temple. Rather, it could only be counted as a third temple, and that is a fact ignored by both Jews and Judaized Christians alike.

The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 1, Visions Near and Far

 
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The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 1, Visions Near and Far

The writing of the book of Zechariah the prophet can be dated rather accurately to begin about 520 BC, during the reign of the Persian king known as Darius the Great. Zechariah was one of three post-captivity prophets whose writing we have in our Bibles. The others are Haggai and Malachi. According to Haggai himself, the written records of his prophecy were initiated just over two months before those of Zechariah, at the very beginning of the sixth month in the second year of Darius. While the book of Malachi is not dated, from internal evidence it was clearly written some time after both Haggai and Zechariah, as the Levitical priesthood which was reestablished in the time of the first two second-temple prophets was being corrupted in the time of Malachi. Therefore Malachi may have been written as late as the events described in Ezra chapters 9 and 10, and possibly even later.

As we more fully demonstrate in an article at Christogenea entitled Notes Concerning Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy, the mission of Nehemiah preceded that of Ezra by many decades. The first captives, unrecorded by Scripture, may have returned to Jerusalem some time after 539 BC, when Cyrus had conquered Babylon. Evidently, some time during this period, some rebuilding in Jerusalem may have begun but was never completely finished. Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus who ruled from 529 to 522 BC, was a difficult man. Upon complaints from the Samaritans and others, he had ordered any building activity at Jerusalem to cease. This was recorded by Flavius Josephus. After Cambyses had died from a wound in battle, Darius became King of Persia, in 522 or 521 BC, and by 520 the rebuilding in Jerusalem had commenced. The opening verses of Haggai the prophet records that the temple was rebuilt at this very time.

When Nehemiah first returned to Jerusalem, as it is related in chapter 2 of his writing, the walls were broken down, and at least some of the entrances into the city were impassable because of the debris which resulted when the city was destroyed by the Babylonians. In our notes on the period, it has been established that where the English versions of Nehemiah have Artaxerxes, the reference is a mere title which Nehemiah used for that same king Darius, in spite of the fact that the Greeks commonly used their form of that title in reference to the Artaxerxes who ruled Persia from 465 BC, which was during the time of Ezra.

Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 3: The Faith is not for All

 
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Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 3: The Faith is not for All (οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ πίστις)

In his first epistle to the Thessalonians Paul had discussed the persecution of Christians by those Jews who stood in opposition to the Gospel of Christ. In the last chapter of that epistle he mentioned the promise of the ultimate destruction of those enemies of Christ. Here in his second epistle Paul has elaborated on that very theme, and has more accurately identified the nature of those enemies whom he had mentioned in the first letter, “those who killed both Prince Yahshua and the prophets, and banished us, and are not pleasing to Yahweh, and contrary to all men”, as he had described them in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Here in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul has explicitly stated that, as he was writing this epistle, that apostasy had already come, that there was already a “man of lawlessness”, which he characterized as the “son of destruction”, operating “in accordance with the operation of the Adversary”, or Satan. We know that this was Paul’s intended meaning because, as we have explained at length, while he described these things he had used present tense verbs, verbs which describe presently occurring phenomena, as well as aorist tense verbs describing actions which were already initiated relative to that presently occurring phenomena.

The grammar of Paul’s statements do not permit one to imagine that the men and actions which he had described would materialize at some point far off in the future. Using present tense verbs, Paul was speaking of someone who already at his own time was “opposing and exalting himself above everything said to be a god or an object of worship, and so he is seated in the temple of Yahweh, representing himself that he is a god.”

Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 2: Satan Revealed

 
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Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 2: Satan Revealed

The writing of book of Zechariah the prophet can be dated rather accurately to begin about 520 BC, during the reign of the Persian king known as Darius the Great. On the surface, the subject of Zechariah’s prophecy appears to be the rebuilding of Jerusalem in Judaea, as it is presented at the time of the building of the second temple where there is also an actual high priest with the name of Joshua. His is the same name, in its common Medieval English form, as Joshua the son of Nun from the time of Moses. But it is also the same name as the personal name of Yahshua the Messiah, who is more commonly known as Jesus Christ. Zerubbabel is also mentioned in Zechariah’s prophecy, several times in chapter 4. His name means sown in Babel, or Babylon, and he was the governor of Jerusalem at the time of the return of the remnant and the building of the second temple.

While the immediate subject in Zechariah appears to be Jerusalem in Judaea, that is not at all the ultimate purpose of the prophecy. Such is the nature of dual prophecies, that they are given in a manner which has both an immediate application and an ultimate meaning, The ultimate purpose of these early chapters of the prophecy of Zechariah is to describe the reconciliation of the people of Israel in their dispersions, the condition of their true High Priest before their sins are removed, and the propitiation which that Priest, Yahshua Christ, makes on their behalf. Joshua, the high priest of Zechariah’s time, is only a type for Yahshua Christ. Jerusalem, the actual city, is only a type for the true Jerusalem, the City of God come down from heaven, and the rebuilt temple is a type for the restored Body of Christ found in those of His people who are willing to hearken in obedience to Him.

Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 1: The Righteousness of God

 
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Many little details and much of the seemingly innocuous language which Paul of Tarsus used in his epistles actually serves to sew together the historic context of the Old Testament with the stated purpose of the Gospel. Denominational Christians remain ignorant, not even conceiving what Paul had actually meant by many of the statements which he had made. So while it may seem that we often spend an inordinate amount of time on paltry details, those details are as necessary to a firm understanding of Scripture as each of ten thousand little nails are to the structural integrity of a house.

Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Part 1: The Righteousness of God

As we had demonstrated from the circumstances provided in 1 Thessalonians 3:6 when compared with Acts 18:5, where it says “And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ”, Paul had written the first epistle to the Thessalonians shortly after he began to preach the Gospel in Corinth. Timothy and Silas were originally sent to Thessalonika by Paul from Athens, and they were evidently reunited with Paul in Corinth, as we are informed in Acts 18:5, where they reported to him the state of the Christian assembly in Thessalonika, as we are informed in 1 Thessalonians chapter 3. It was that report, along with apparent inquiries that the Thessalonians had made of Paul, which had given him the motivation to write that first epistle to the Thessalonians.

Now there is no definite statement to inform us who had delivered the first epistle to the Thessalonians, whether it was Timothy and Silas who had again made the journey, or whether it was delivered by another. However here as Paul writes this second epistle, Timothy and Silas are with him once again, and they are included in his salutation as they had been in the first epistle. There is also no direct evidence as to when this second epistle to the Thessalonians was written. However since the major theme of the epistle is an elaboration of things which Paul had said in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, it is evident that the first epistle must have compelled the Thessalonians to send Paul further inquiries which he answers here. So it is also evident that this second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Corinth a short time after Paul had sent them his first epistle.

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