An overview of the book of Zechariah
It contains more predictions of prophecy than do all the other Minor Prophets combined. – It is also the longest of the twelve minor prophets.
THEME: “A Supplement to Haggai”
ZECHARIAH, Haggai, and Malachi were prophets to the restored remnant of Israel after the seventy years of captivity under Babylon. Cyrus the Persian allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple. Haggai preached practical messages to exhort and motivate the Jews in the immediate task of rebuilding the temple. Zechariah prophesied more from a doctrinal viewpoint (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Zachariah’s name means Jehovah remembers. The Lord reveals the everlasting covenant with Israel during the kingdom of His Son as the greatest doctrine in the Scriptures. Zechariah prophesied of a few strange doctrines associated with the glorious return of the Lord Jesus. These doctrines are recorded through symbolism. They are designated by the words like or as. These two vital words occur over 50 times in the 14 chapters of the book. These strange doctrines reveal the human identity of Jehovah and the antichrist. They reveal some strange beings of the Devil also (5:1-11; 9:9; 11:10-17; 12:10). A phrase of the second coming of Christ, the Lord of hosts, is also recorded over 50 times. The prophecies of Zechariah are closely associated with the prophecies in the book of Daniel and the book of John the Apostle, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah was not the leader; rather, he was a supplement to the prophet Haggai. In our lesson last week we found that the Jews who had returned from Babylon after the captivity to build the temple had ceased their building. This was due to discouragement brought about by Sanballat and Tobiah and the Samaritans. God raised up two prophets who encouraged them to recommence their work. One was Haggai, about whom we studied last week. The other was Zechariah, the subject of this week’s lesson. Zechariah was, in a sense, an assistant to Haggai. Many, many wonderful men were assistants before they became great leaders. Elisha was an assistant to Elijah before he rose to power himself. Joshua was an assistant to Moses before he rose to power. Paul was an assistant to Barnabas before he took over. Billy Sunday was an assistant to J. Wilbur Chapman before he became the great evangelist. Zechariah was a great supplement to Haggai. He blended with him to make a complete ministry. Neither was complete without the other. Each needed the other. Such is always the case in the Lord’s work. Zechariah prophesied more from a doctrinal viewpoint rather than an instructional or practical viewpoint.
THE TEN VISIONS
Here we have an appearance of Christ Himself, along with some angels, keeping watch over Jerusalem.
These may represent the four world powers of Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Rome.
Probably these are the first four sealed judgments of Revelation Six.
This refers to the measuring of Jerusalem during the Millennium.
Joshua is standing before the Angel of the Lord with Satan at his right hand resisting.
This, historically, refers to Zerubbabel and Joshua; prophetically, it refers to Elijah and Moses (see Revelation 11:3-12).
This represents God’s judgment upon the land for breaking the moral law of God.
This represents a type of sin and rebellion that began in Genesis Eleven and ended in Revelation Eighteen.
Four heavenly spirits or angels driving four chariots coming from two brass mountains…probably represents four plagues of Revelation Six from the mountain of God’s judgment.
This act illustrates the three-fold ministry of the coming Messiah. He will build the temple, minister as a Priest, and rule as a King.
There are some twenty-eight Zechariah’s in the Bible. This one followed his grandfather in the priestly office. Undoubtedly, his father, Berechiah, died, and Zechariah became a priest after Iddo, his grand-father. He is mentioned in Ezra 5:1; 6:14, as the “son of Iddo” for that reason.
ZECHARIAH SPEAKS OF THE FOLLOWING MESSIANIC PASSAGES:
HE WORKED WITH HAGGAI IN ENCOURAGING THE ISRAELITES TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE. Read about this in Zechariah 8:9.
HIS YOUTH PERFECTLY SUPPLEMENTED HAGGAI’S AGE AND EXPERIENCE. Notice Zechariah 2:4. God realized that there were young Jews and old Jews. He also realized that they needed the zeal of youth as well as the wisdom of age. In order to get the job done, God called an older man, Haggai, and a younger man, Zechariah, to work with each other. It is wise that age realizes its need for the zeal of youth and that youth realizes its need for the wisdom of age. This is always the wisest and best situation. (Teacher, teach the pupils who are young that they need the wisdom of the old. Teach them also that they are needed by the old. Teachers who teach older people, encourage them to realize they are needed by the young and to realize that they also need the young.)
ZECHARIAH OFFERED AN ENCOURAGING MINISTRY TO GO WITH THE REBUKING MINISTRY OF HAGGAI. Though Haggai also encouraged people and though Zechariah also rebuked, nevertheless, the strongest point about Haggai was that he rebuked people. He needed someone with an encouraging ministry to balance his. There are those who say that we should not rebuke, but that people will respond better to encouragement. Then there are those who say that people will respond better to rebuke and there should be no encouragement. God sees both as being vital, so in order to get the work begun again, He called a strong, hard, harsh Haggai. His rebuking was necessary. He also called an optimistic Zechariah to encourage the people. Zechariah looked out to the future and saw things that would help the people realize that it would not always be as bad as it was then. Hence, he blended perfectly with Haggai.
ZECHARIAH WAS A DREAMER TO GO ALONG WITH THE PRACTICAL HAGGAI. Zechariah saw dreams, visions and spoken symbols, whereas Haggai was more practical. For example, it is much easier to read the book of Haggai than it is to read the book of Zechariah. God wanted a practical Haggai, but He also needed a theoretical Zechariah to get the job done. Zechariah was more the inspirer. Haggai was more the instructor. Zechariah encouraged them to do what they ought to do and kept them looking toward the future with optimism, whereas Haggai told them how to do what they ought to do and was more down-to-earth and practical. Each needed the other, and each was needed by the other. Once again, God needs both types in order to get His work done.
ZECHARIAH WAS A TRAINED YOUNG MAN TO GO WITH THE MORE RUGGED HAGGAI. Zechariah was the grandson of a prophet. He came to the ministry honestly. In other words, it was just natural that he be a prophet. On the other hand, Haggai had no such background. God needs both kinds. He needs the seminary graduate, but He also needs the called man who goes to the “school of hard knocks.” God uses preachers who are trained, polished and prepared. He also uses self-made men to reach a certain element of society. Both are needed. For the self-made man to criticize the man who has seminary training is folly; for the seminary-trained man to discount the value of a man who does not have it is also folly.
ZECHARIAH LOOKED TO THE FUTURE AS HE ENCOURAGED THE PEOPLE, WHEREAS HAGGAI LOOKED AT THE PAST. Haggai, for example, looked back at the old temple and encouraged them to build the temple because there had been one. Zechariah looked forward to the coming temple in the Kingdom Age and encouraged them to build a temple because there will be one. Haggai looked back; Zechariah looked forward. Both are needed—the man who leads the people by the wisdom gained in the past and the man who leads the people by the optimism gained by looking toward the future. As Zechariah looked toward the future, he saw in Zechariah 9:9 the first coming of Jesus in Bethlehem. He saw the end-time battle in Zechariah 14:1, 2. He saw the coming of Christ in glory in Zechariah 14:3, 4. He saw the Millennium in Zechariah 14:9.
Zechariah 1:2-4 The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.
4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.
Repentance is commanded by God, but it is not forced by God through the false doctrines of Calvinism (Hosea 14:1). God commands it and convicts, but man must yield to the words of the commands and the convicting work of the Holy Ghost before God accepts and adopts the sinner by grace (John 16:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-7).
The repentance recorded by Zechariah was aimed at the remnant of Israel after the captivity of Babylon (Micah 7:18-20; Malachi 3:7; James 4:8).
Zechariah 1:8-11 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
11 And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
They appear to be unclean spirits who are sent executable of God in regards to the destruction of the rebellious (1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Ezek. 14:9; 2 Thess. 2:9-12). They appear to be ministers of death and destruction (Hebrews 2:14; rev. 6:7-8; 9:13-21).
Zechariah 2:6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.
The universal God of pagans is Santa Claus. The famous words of Santa/Satan came from the Bible. The Satanic counterfeiters arrayed in red (blood) and white (purity). He is hailed to be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent as he travels the world giving gifts to children. His sleigh is supposed to be pulled by flying reindeer (Song. 2:8-9) with a drunken, red nose reindeer in the lead. His little green elves are defined as wandering spirits (Rev. 16:13); evil spirits; and Devils in Noah Webster’s 1828 American dictionary of the English language. Santa (feminine) Clause (masculine) is an unisex freak of Satan (Jer. 10:2; Dan. 11:37).
Zechariah 4:11-14 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
The two witnesses of God during the tribulation will be Enoch and Elijah. (see Revelation 11:3-7)
Zechariah 5:1-11 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.
4 I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
5 Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.
6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.
7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.
9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.
The scholars claim the flying scroll is a scroll that symbolizes the written word of God, but this sure is a large copy of a scroll. It is around 30 feet long and 15 feet in diameter. It is also called the curse and it is wickedness. This flying object strangely has two female pilots who land the flying magic carpet upon a military base and Shinar (Babylon). The scholars sure had envisioned a whopper in their private interpretation of this vision. Another interpretation of this passage is that two storks bring the baby at birth. An honest interpretation of the flying role is it is an unidentified flying object (UFO). The mother-ship of the smaller saucer shaped UFOs is usually shaped like a cylinder. The evil occupants of UFOs are infatuated with blood (Gen. 6;1-9), electricity (Luke 10:18), magnesium (Isaiah 28:16-22), and sulfur (Rev. 9:17-18). Historical documents refer to UFOs is fireballs are strange flashes of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15). UFO’s are counterfeits of the visions of God (Ezek. 1:15-25). The demonic occupants claim to be aliens or gods from outer space (Gen. 6:1-4; Ps. 82; Matt. 24:36-38; Acts 14:11-12), but they are deceivers from the underworld (Ezekiel 32:24) and they will have worldwide influence during the Tribulation. They are also called spiritual wickedness in high places because world leaders make agreements with these evil beings in exchange for fame and fortune (Isaiah 28:15; Matthew 4:8-9; Ephesians 6:12). The spiritual weapons to fight these beings are prayer and fasting, the word of God, and the blood of Jesus Christ (Mark 9:29; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 12:11).
Zechariah 8:20-23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.
22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.
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 Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
The number 10 represents Gentiles (Dan. 7:7). Genesis 10 records the first world ruler of the Gentiles. Psalm 10 records the worldwide dictator at the end of the times of the Gentiles. Acts 10 records the conversion of a Gentile. Romans 10 records the plan of salvation that is received of the Gentiles. 10 demonic kings will rule 10 federated nations of the Islamic fascism during the Tribulation (Dan. 2:41-42; 7:24; Rev. 17:12). The Gentile nations during the millennium will wisely seek the approval and blessing of the Jewish people and the Lord God Almighty (Matt. 25:31-40; Rev. 21:26).
Zechariah 11:15-17 And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Historically, the idol Shepherd was Judas Iscariot is the one who betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 27:3-9), but the idol Shepherd refers to the Antichrist of the Son of Perdition (2 Thess. 2:3-4). The Son of Perdition appears to be the second coming of the Spirit of Judas Iscariot (John 17:12; Rev. 17:8). Judas was a devil who went to his place in hell upon death (Matt. 25:41; John 6:70-71; Acts 1:25; Rev. 9:11). Spiritually, Judas pictures and healing evangelist two goes to hell (Matt. 7:21-23; 10:5-8), but he portrays the antichrist is the foolish up or who counterfeits the Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:12-13; 2 Cor. 11:4, 13-15; 12:12; Rev. 2:2; 13:13-14). The Antichrist’s recovery from wounds to his head and arm will mesmerize the world into conformity (2 Thess. 2:9-12; Rev. 13:12-15). The outcome of the wounds will be a bad ride I and possibly a named right arm. The medical terminology for left –eyed is sinistrocular (sinister vision), which results in the common saying for the Evil eye. An evil eye is given when one squints or closes the right eye and looks sternly through the left die. The evil eye is also used to represent the wicked conspiracy of the New World order and world domination (Prov. 23:1-8; 28:22). If the wound mutilates the right arm of the Son of Perdition, he will be left-handed. Sinistromanual is the medical term for left-handed (Eccl. 10:2; Matt. 25:41). A left-handed compliment is a sinister compliment (Ps. 55:21; Rom. 16:18). A left-handed person is also called a South Paw, which represents cats and dogs. The canine species pictures false prophets and the evil workers of iniquity (Ps. 22:20; 59:1-15; Isaiah 59:9-12; Ezek. 22;27; Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29; Phil. 3:2; Rev. 22:15). The word cat is not found in the Scriptures, but it represents Satan and his pride of lions (1 Peter 5:8). Fanatics of the cat can be called cat-holics who have developed spiritual cataracts through the catechism, which causes them to be cataleptic when challenged by a true witness. A cat’s-paw is a dupe of the Cato of Rome and his ex cathedra statements or papal bulls from his kingly cathedra in his luxurious cathedral. His method of deception is called catachresis or the incorrect use of the word or words (Rom. 1:25; 16:18; 2 Cor. 2:17). Catalysts of the Mother Church over a large catamount of people catch catechumen of Catholicism through deception and threats. Faithful protesters against the Babylonian whore have been whipped with a cat-o’-nine-tails and their followers have fled the catacombs for protection (Rev. 17:6; 18:24).
Zechariah 12:1-3 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Jerusalem is the most controversial piece of ground on the earth. It is the focal point of all world history. Jerusalem is desired by three major religious beliefs: Catholicism, Judaism, and Mohammedanism. Born-again believers pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6-9), but this will not occur until the second coming of the Lord Jesus. The Middle East strife will annoy every nation during the tribulation and every nation will be against Jerusalem. Anyone who aids to Jews will be cut off by the antichrist and anyone who fights against Israel will be cut off by God. The phenomenon of Jerusalem proves the Bible is the word of God.
Zechariah 14:1-9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Islamic militants routinely rape and enslave captured girls and women. (Daniel 11:37)
3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
The day of the Lord is the greatest doctrine of the Scriptures. It is the glorious return of the Lord Jesus to destroy the enemies of the nation of Israel and establishes worldwide kingdom on earth (Isaiah 2:1-5; 63:1-6; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21).
CONCLUSION: Teacher, look around the class. Pick out the different types of people in the class. One talks a lot; another is quiet. One is aggressive; another is more retiring. One is optimistic; another is a little pessimistic. One looks toward the future; another looks back at the past. One is athletic and muscular; another is smart and slight of build. Show the pupils that God needs everybody. Each of us has a place in His service. Show your pupils that each of us is needed by the rest of us, and each of us needs the rest of us.