Zechariah Lesson 35, Chapter 14: 16-21
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
“This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. In that day ‘HOLINESS TO THE LORD’ shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.”
They say that all good things will come to an end. This is true for some things but not all.
When we look at books like Zechariah, we get to the end as far as reading or maybe studying is concerned, but there is no end. These prophets spoke of things that are yet to come, so this good thing has not come to an end. As children of God, we need to realize that it is actually the opposite for us. All bad things will come to an end; soon Jesus will return and make all things good and right. He will take away the bad things forever.
During this week of April 2018, we find that the USA and Russia are at odds over Syria. Israel has already attacked Syrian military bases and there is a lot of posturing around war. Well, we know that, according to Ezekiel 38, a great army led by Russia tries to invade Israel. Right now, all of the players in the war except the USA (they are not mentioned as far as we can tell) are in place, and it would seem that the fuse is lit or about to be lit in the Middle East.
We are told in Isaiah 17:1 and in Jeremiah 49: 24-27 that the day is coming when Damascus (in Syria) will be destroyed and left as a ruinous heap. Right now, the armies of Israel, USA and the UK are focused on Syria; and we are not sure what the military action will be, but it is coming.
The Bible tells us the end and the beginning; it tells us the middle and prepares us to see the glory, majesty and power of the Lord in every generation. Our loving God still extends mercy to the whole world. We still live in the age of grace, and the love of God is still evident in the death of His Son for our sins.
The Feast of Tabernacles, verse 16
The war is ended, the total destruction of the armies of the Anti-Christ is complete, and the rest of the world comes to their senses and decides to worship Jesus. It is amazing what it will take for some people to submit to God. But, make no mistake; the whole world, or what is left, will submit to Jesus. I cannot imagine what the earth will look like after 7 years of God’s wrath – multiple earthquakes, falling brimstone and falling meteors, war after war, drought, the oceans and rivers destroyed.
The earth will look like one global, nuclear wasteland. But there will be people; we are not sure how many. Right now, we have about 7,000,000,000 people living on our planet. What percentage will be left is unknown, but it will be way, way less than the current number. It is with this reduced number that Jesus will form the new world.
These people will come to their senses and begin to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the 7th and final feast that the Jews were required to observe each year. This feast is also called the ‘feast of booths.’
The Jews were required to appear before the Lord three times a year, and this was the final appearance each year. They would build temporary shelters called ‘booths’ and live in Jerusalem. According to Deuteronomy 16:16, they were not to come empty-handed; they were required to bring a gift to the Lord. The feast is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month (in Sept-Oct) and runs for 7 days. We see this feast celebrated in Nehemiah 8. These people will see Jesus face to face and celebrate with Him.
The Rebellious Remnant, verses 17-19
Some people are just stiff-necked; no matter how hard they get hit, they will refuse to submit to God. There was this guy called Pharaoh in the days of Moses who was the same way. Well, in every generation God has clearly revealed himself in a way that the people of that time can understand. Yet, even when they know for sure that there is a God, the true all-powerful God, they still refuse to submit and obey.
These folks just witnessed the total destruction of one of the world’s largest armies. No doubt the invasion of Israel was on CNN, ABC, NBC, the Drudge Report and all the international channels. These people saw Jesus step out of Heaven; they saw the armies of the world melt before Him. Yet, still they refused to submit. God refuses to let it rain on them, and they suffer drought. On top of the drought, there is also a plague that He sends on them.
Some people will go to Hell looking Jesus in the face as they go.
This is hard for us because we really believe if they could just see Jesus, just look Him in the face and see His love, they will melt and repent. But man is evil to the core, and some would rather burn in Hell than humble themselves before God. We are surrounded by people like this. It is not that they don’t know; they just don’t care and will not, under any circumstances, bow to Jesus. The Bible calls these people fools. Well, fools will exist even in the aftermath of the Tribulation, even after having a front-row seat to the wrath, power and majesty of God. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
The Holiness of Judah and Jerusalem, verse 21
I am just about finished with the complete reading through the Old Testament, and one of the things that struck me as I read about the nation of Israel and her relationship to the Lord is how often she ran off to worship other gods – gods made of stone and wood, covered in gold and silver, gods that could not hear, walk, talk, or act on their behalf. They would sacrifice their firstborn children to a false god rather than dedicate them to the true and living God.
But, in the last few verses of the book of Zechariah, all that is gone. That foolishness and rebellion is passed. In the nation of Israel and, in particular, the areas of Judah and especially in Jerusalem, there is no question as to who God is. Jesus is worshipped as God, He is the unquestioned leader of the world, and holiness is the standard of operations in the new global government, to the very bowls used at the altar.
Oh yes, there is an altar again in Jerusalem. There is a new Temple and worship that goes on like it did in the Old Testament. We are told at the end of verse 21 that there are sacrifices again in Jerusalem. People will be using the pots for the meat, to cook in the pots when they come to Jerusalem.
There is a lot about the Jerusalem that Jesus rules that make us rub our heads. But what is a fact is that Jesus will rule the world and, even with Him being seen, there will be rebellious persons and maybe even entire nations who will not come to honor Him. The world will begin to have a time of peace like it has never known before, and righteousness will be the predominant driving force.
There will be lots of work to do for those of us that have come through the church age. We, the Bible tells us in Revelation 1:6—He has made us to be ‘kings and priests,’ having washed us in His blood, to God the Father. There will be work in the Kingdom, the work of governance from Jerusalem to the uttermost ends of the earth. Without war, the population of the world will begin to grow very quickly, and there will be people to manage and countries to rule for about 1,000 years.
Can you imagine what 1,000 years of Holiness will look like? We can’t imagine that for a day, furthermore, a millennium.
All around us there are prophecies being fulfilled, and the pieces of God’s chess set are falling into place. Soon He will ‘checkmate’ Satan, and evil will come to an end. Are you blind to the truths of the scriptures? Only the Holy Spirit can open your eyes and help you see. You need to be born again to have the Holy Spirit in you, showing you the Word of God.
Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready to meet Him?
2 Corinthians 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation).”