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Consummation of All Things

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2020 8:00 am

Consummation of All Things

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 25, 2020 8:00 am

The book of Zechariah is the fascinating account of a priest who had visions. Discover the lessons these visions teach and see how they relate to issues about religion today, such as what true religion is, what the significance of cleanliness is, and when you should fast. See also the unique picture that Zechariah gives of the Messiah as the shepherd-king. Youll be both enlightened and inspired as you study this thought-provoking book.

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Welcome to the Bible studio reviewing ministry convincing you to join featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repairing you to think and act biblically. It's not very often that a person can catch Martin Luther had a loss for words. Something very much like that happens in Luther's treatment of the 14th chapter of Zachariah. Luther wrote two commentaries on this book. First one in Latin and the second one, which many people think was probably his definitive treatments and improvement on the first commentary in German interesting feature of the lack of commentary that it just ends with Zachariah 13 nine with no explanation whatsoever there's is no commentary on chapter 14 the German commentary does have a very brief treatment of this last chapter, but it begins with these words. I quote here in this chapter is Luther I give up, but I'm not sure what the prophet is talking about.

That may explain why there was no commentary on the 14th chapter in the earlier Latin version of his treatment of the book. Not all commentators have admitted to being quite as baffled as Luther seems to of been but even among commentators who provide at times very lengthy commentary on this chapter.

There is a general acknowledgment that in the book which most acknowledged to be among the most difficult of the Old Testament.

This is perhaps the most difficult chapter of all. At least the last three chapters last auricle of the book are among the most difficult problem you see is that it's impossible to relate what is said in this chapter to anything that has happened historically earlier in the book are places where you can do that you can compare certain things that Zachariah says to a fulfillment through the invasion of Alexander the great wars of the Maccabees or the coming death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But you can't do that with this chapter.

So either this chapter is talking about things that are still in the future but haven't happened yet, but will one day happen in a literal sense or else the chapter has to be taken as figurative language is describing things that are currently going on in this age. A lot of commentators taken second of those two possibilities loopholes whom I have mentioned favorably on other occasions, takes chapter 14 in a figurative sense rights are verses do not apply to any one situation. They do not apply to a siege capture in captivity which actually occurred means of a figure they describe a situation which obtains continually through New Testament times, God's people shall continually be antagonized and suffered bitter adversity at the hands of their foes, and shall, in consequence, he brought low, but there shall always be an imperishable remnant and that not so extremely small. My judgment that kind of interpretation just won't do posts commentators who want to preach this 14th chapter in the figurative sense to do so because sin their judgment. It's possible to take Old Testament references to Israel as referring to the true Israel or the Church of God that perhaps is true in some places, and certainly the languages used that way in the New Testament difficulty however is that the same commentators. Commentators want to take. Chapter 14 as referring in a figurative way to things that are happening now. Nevertheless, when they come to portions of the prophecy that a pattern historical fulfillment. Take those sections literally again when you have a reference things that have happened in the case of Jesus Christ to his being pierced by his clothes for example, or to the sheep being scattered when the shepherd is struck, they apply that quite literally again even when in chapter 13. We have references to a real judgment upon Israel conference on the nation perishing in one third being say they apply that literally Israel within these portions of don't seem to relate any past history. They want to treat figuratively. That's just utterly inconsistent. The other portions are to be taken literally, and we believe they are because of their fulfillment in this should be taken literally to I think David Baron is on the right track when he says in one place we have here a great and solemn prophecy which will yet be literally fulfilled in the future when is objected by some of the modern writers that the literal film. It is impossible because it would involve not only national upheavals but physical convolutions of nature are answer is that this is just what the prophet declares is most certainly to take place. I think is right and that ended my judgment the way to take this chapter is literally and to leave the possibility or impossibility are what's described here in the hands of God, with whom we are told in Scripture all things are possible. I think the place to begin is to recognize that this chapter relates to the verses immediately before it described judgment on Israel and also to those verses, which began the Oracle that is a first-line verses of chapter 12. Both of them described judgment and describe God's saving of a remnant. Certainly the description of that in the first verses of chapter 14 are consistent. What is been said earlier, the battle described here in the opening portion of this chapter is also consistent with the battle you find at the beginning of chapter 12 what we say by this really is that these three chapters, all applied to the same time in the same people in the same place of roughly speaking to the same events, something we've already noted, because of the presence of this phrase. On that day just found 16 times in these chapters literally throughout the chapters on that day. On that day.

On that day it all belongs together. One portion is to be taken in a literal way. Well, the other is to so we look at it we say now what does it teach what specific events presumably now in the future.

Is this chapter talking about. Let me list a few. First of all, when you come to chapter 14 and you find a description of the nations gathering together to fight against Jerusalem. You have presuppose there are regathering of the Jewish people and their ancient land today.

When this is happened. This doesn't seem to be quite so remarkable because the Jews have been back in Israel since 1948 as the Jewish state was reestablished, but this wasn't always the case in the were thousands of years of church history when the most improbable thing of all world seem to be that the Jewish people would be regathered in their ancient homeland. I noticed that even as early as the early portion of this century, there were scholars literally ridiculed that idea to take a passage as prophesying that in entering literal way, was regarded as being foolish. I like David Barrett you can tell from the way I've quoted him when I note that David Baron wrote his commentary in 1918 that is between the wars before Israel was reestablished as a nation and get on the basis of this chapter and other portions of Scripture. He concluded that this is exactly what was going to happen. Baron wrote in one place. It seems from Scripture that in relation Israel in the land. There will be a restoration before the second admin of the Lord is very much the same state of things is existed at the time of his first coming in the threads of God's dealings with them nationally were finally dropped. Not to be taken up again until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled that goes into describing how that might happen. He says it will probably happen that the representative minority of the Jews will be established in Palestine and the Jewish state will before probably under the protection of one of the great powers are under international protection and any ads around this nucleus a large number more from all parts of the world will in all probability soon gather is happened that's happened.

It encourages us to think that the other things that are described here, should be taken in the literal sense as well. Let's first thing a regathering of the Jews in Israel. Second thing that's describing you have an inverse to explicitly as a gathering of the nations together to fight against the Jews in Jerusalem.

I quote I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it. City will be captured, the houses ransacked, the women raped.

Half of the city will go in exile.

The rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

This is the last great battle in the end times and this is the only chapter in the Bible talks about it. You have it. Several times in the book of Ezekiel lengthy descriptions.

In some places at the same battle described in the 11th chapter of Daniel and there are references the revelation would probably apply to the same thing we say is that's improbable that gathering of nations united military force might move into the near East, not at all. It's very easy to understand that in terms of present world politics but saying by that this is what's going to happen next year the year after that.

It could be that the offense prophesied here yet in the far distant future.

Certainly the kind of thing that is described here is understandable in terms of current politics we can write a number of scenarios to suggest how it would happen. As a matter of fact, I believe there even on the market, secular books, novels written about the war taking place in the near East. Obviously, based on probability that might become even a pattern for the kind of thing could happen. That's the second item a great united force coming together against Israel. The third thing is this first three after the powers are gathered together against the nation when Jerusalem is overthrown of the people are fleeing at the crucial moment the nadir of the misery of the people were told that the Lord will go out and fight against those nations do it in this way, that day his feet will stand on the Mount of olives east of Jerusalem on the Mount of olives will be split into from east to west, forming a great valley.

The people were there, will flee through the valley as they escape the city was more who very good commentator in the book of Zechariah has a puzzling comment at this point. He says it's impossible for us to take this whole passage, literally, because God cannot literally place his feet on the Mount of olives really misses the fact that God is already done that once, at least in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, it's interesting that the angels shall appear to the time of price ascension and spoke to explain his departure.

The disciples are quoted in acts as saying men of Galilee, this same Jesus who is been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way as you have seen him go into heaven. I don't think that verse in itself prophesies that when the Lord returns to return to the Mount of olives, but it certainly is not inconsistent with that interpretation of the book of Zechariah, what would be more natural and that the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ should be at this place and be at the moment of desperate need. On behalf of the Jewish people describes the battle in the intervention of God on behalf of his people in the first verses of the chapter, Zechariah goes on beginning with verse six to speak about the blessings on the land or of some of this may involve figurative language. He talks about it being a day of light, speaks of water flowing out from Jerusalem. He speaks of the Lord being king over the whole earth, and that day and finally he speaks of special blessings to the city Whitewater King in the city those of the focal points of what he has to say.

We read in verse six in that day there will be no light, no coal nor frosted will be a unique day without daytime or nighttime day known to the Lord when evening comes, it will be light very least, that is saying use figurative language that the darkest moment of Israel's history. God was the source of light will appear may well be because the imagery is used elsewhere, particularly in the book of Revelation that this is actually talking about some kind of physical change know that in the last chapters of Revelation where heaven is described. It said quite explicitly that there be no son there are lamp any artificial light, because God himself will be the light of the place.

Maybe not is what Zachariah is talking about figurative yes because God being the source of light is the source of all illumination and blessing, but perhaps literal demonstration of what that means as well. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem after the eastern city and have to the Western Sea in summer and in winter I can think to places in the Bible with that's developed a blank Ezekiel had a vision of a great river flowing out of Jerusalem from the throne of the Lord who dwells in the city and those same chapters of the book of Revelation to which I referred earlier, the apostle John sees a great river flowing out the throne of God. What River River. The blessing yes river salvation.

Yes, perhaps you're also a literal blessing upon the earth, and the land in that time. My favorite verse in this entire chapter is verse nine, the Lord will be king over the whole earth. That day there will be one Lord in his name the only night says it will be one Lord in that day. Does that mean that he becomes Lord. For the first time, then no, not at all.

God is Lord God is King. There is one Lord, there is one king. There is one God does mean that is going to be recognized as such and acknowledged as such in that day you know how Paul writes about it in the second chapter of Philippians. He describes how the Lord in obedience to the father humbled himself submitting to the cross by wherefore it says God hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow is not what Zachariah is describing our Lord raining every knee bowing every knee acknowledging him to be the king next versus talk about the city actually a blessing upon the land is to become like the Arab that is a flat fertile plane like the plane of the Jordan which that word describes, but there's an emphasis particularly upon Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is going to be raised up going to be inhabited. Never again to be destroyed.

This is the new Jerusalem of the book of Revelation. It's the source of blessing, it's that point upon earth to which the nations will be gathered where the law will be heard and where justice will go forth like a mighty stream.

When you read the description of the blessing upon the earth, and that day are led to think in the next versus of those who resist God's leading and here beginning with verse 12 we have a description of God's judgment upon the nations it falls into two parts.

First of all, the plague judgment upon those who have resisted the Lord perhaps these verses go back to the battle. These are the ones who are united against Jerusalem.

They've tried to overthrow it.

God is intervene. The forces are scattered that seems to be what it's describing the second portion of this beginning with verse 16 talks about the millennial age, the Golden age in which the nations go up to Jerusalem. It is in the picture of heaven because as we read it the hearts of the nations are not in every case changed.

Apparently there nations and people of the nations. I don't want to go up to Jerusalem people over resisting the glory of Jesus Christ that age they have to do it, God prevails justice is done, I believe, as I understand profit say that after this Thursday. In which Satan is released and there's an opportunity for evil to flourish once again on the nations, and that day is the devil reappears will say thank God for the devil.

Now we have an alternative.

We don't have to go up to Jerusalem to worship anymore, but at least during this age. God gives punishment to those who don't and he keeps rule of Jesus Christ. Even in the world such as ours time. I think that's what it scribing any rate result warning here for those who would resist the authority of him was the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. Prophecy ends with an emphasis upon holiness.

On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed in the bells of the horses and the cooking pots in the Lord's house would be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. What's he talking about their my cooking pots and bells.

Those are insignificant things you say anything and I day silliness will prevail so greatly in Jerusalem that even the bells of the horses, even the cooking pots in the homes will be holy to the Lord. That's true, the insignificant things are most certainly will be true of the hearts of God's people, holy, holy, holy to the Lord every thought about in terms of what you are what your destiny is as a child of God. What we are sinful we know that the longer we live, the more were aware of that when our destiny is holiness because God has determined that we will be holy through the work of Jesus Christ. That's a great emphasis of Scripture you find it four times in the book of Leviticus being therefore holy, even as I am only says the Lord, you find that picked up by first Peter the first chapter verse 15. Be ye therefore holy, even as I am holy, says the Lord, the author of Hebrews writes without holiness no one will see the Lord.

That's our destiny to be holy to be like the Lord Jesus Christ to be like him. The image of God's holiness with anything so relationally today is not entirely bad.

As part of it were made in the image of God were made persons as God is a person you know is God evaluates these things and emphasizes these things in his word.

What he emphasizes is not primarily the fact that because were person can relate to him though that is true. I primarily that there's going to be a love relationship between ourselves and God, which in that day will be perfect and will nevermore be broken though that is also true when God emphasizes that which is the basis of all the other experiences.

Why don't we have a relationship with God because were simple in his holy. Why don't we love God as we ought, because were simple in his holy. How was I going to be established when God makes us holy as he is whole at Sardis today and that's our destiny and we should be holy now emphasize the money.

Other things we are so unconcerned about being holy yet that's what were to be on that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on us and we believe the Lord's people forever more. Let us pray our father, we thank you for the teaching of your word and the challenge it presents. Even in our unholy state to strive for holiness and to be like you are father leaders in that way, convict us of sin cleanse us all our transgressions and teach us to be like Jesus prayed in his you have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study our featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse.

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