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Founder and Pastor General of The Restored Church of God, Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth magazine, and voice of The World to Come program, David C. Pack has reached many millions around the globe with the most powerful truths of the Bible—unknown to almost all. He has authored 80 books and booklets, personally established over 50 congregations, and appeared as a guest on The History Channel. Mr. Pack attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, entered the Worldwide Church of God ministry in 1971, and was personally trained by its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.Learn more
The Greatest Untold Story!
By Mr. David C. Pack
Author’s Introductory Note
The following transcripts contain a written record of dramatic new understanding given to God’s Church within a 50-plus-part sermon series titled “The Greatest Untold Story!” The series starts slow, but leads to knowledge so fascinating, powerful and life-changing that readers will find they are unable to stop reading. Because every sermon builds on the previous one, you are urged to review them in their proper order. Those who skip ahead to future parts will be utterly lost and will have no chance of understanding what they are reading, or where the series is going because they don’t know where it has been. Be patient and watch the inspiring picture unfold!
A longer ellipsis in a transcript (……) denotes sections that were cut due to the Church having outgrown early understanding. The ellipses will help the reader understand why the messages might not flow as smoothly as you would expect. Certain areas that somewhat changed in focus or importance were generally left in so the reader could at least partially appreciate the development of thinking. The enormity of what God’s Word says grew bigger and bigger, and the sermons contained material that was later seen to be incorrect.
For example, the following two all-important points were not seen at the time the series began. The areas that are ellipsed reflect no knowledge of the two points below, which leavened the Church’s understanding in ways that took a long time to “deleaven.” Eventually that happened, making the series explode with excitement and meaning in its later segments. The last segments, which of course will be released last, will likely not have any deleted material. Thus, they will appear to “flow” more smoothly. The reader must understand the complexity of removing what the two points below explain. Eventually, a new and true “simplicity in Christ” emerged that will change your life forever regarding events just over the horizon if you read every part. Here then are the biggest things that changed. Obviously, there were many other things within them that necessarily “moved” (a little or a lot) as well.
(1) The Kingdom of God initially comes as a “mustard seed” and “leaven” that is “hid,” with Christ reigning, away from Jerusalem, on David’s throne as He and some of the saints restore the Kingdom to Israel during the time of Jacob’s trouble, all before He relocates to Jerusalem to establish a world government from His own throne. (The series opens with an enormous focus on God converting the Jews.)
(2) Revelation 4 through Chapter 22, verse 6 describes punishment (destruction) and testing on all nations centuries after the Kingdom arrived, and just before Christ’s 1,000-year reign. This is an early parallel of what happens when Satan is “loosed” again after the 1,000 years for a “little season.” God tests who will remain loyal to Him and destroys all those who do not.
Note that these transcripts reflect the spoken word, without the subtle emphasis, pauses, gestures, facial expressions and other elements that seeing or hearing a speaker bring. So they do not read like the written word. Also, some sentences may have unusual structure but would be clearer on audio or video.
Finally, the reader will be greatly helped by seeing this visually represented through use of the Timeline (released November 3). Consider reading all 50-plus parts with this additional tool in front of you. Some of the material retained could be categorized as “toss up”—it could have been cut, but it can be properly understood if readers keep the timeline in front of them. Slowly, slowly, slowly—and then eventually at a point in the series very rapidly—everything will fall into place and make the whole picture of Bible prophecy literally EASY to understand.
Good afternoon everyone!
First, I will tell you that far from any kind of abating on the “Signal” video, it continues to be a powerful response. Many, many hundreds…way over a thousand people in the splinters, apparently,) per week, are watching it. We will probably go over 29,000 late tomorrow, or no later than Monday. The number that is watching the Bands video is consistently staying in the area of 3,000 or more, sometimes 3100 or 3200, per day. That’s not counting our other sites—that is just on YouTube. So we are somewhere…we’re approaching a third of a million and that is booming along, and I thought you would want to hear that.
Now, I was, at a certain point in the series, going to bring together two verses, and I have decided there is no better time to do it. We actually read over one, but I was going to emphasize it when we got to another verse in Zechariah. Let’s turn over there. Then I’ll get into some unfinished business, following our pattern from last week, just tying up some loose ends.
For the moment, I want all of God’s people around the world to understand something. It is fundamental, and it speaks directly to why not a hair of a faithful member’s head can be lost in the years ahead…how will God protect His people?
Well, first, you will recall in Zechariah chapter 2, when God begins to work with Jerusalem, He says something very plain. Remember, we are the people that just believe God—we don’t add to His words—we don’t subtract from His words. I want you to hear something enormously encouraging that I intended to bring in, but it just fits the introduction for reasons you understand.
“For I, says the LORD [Zechariah 2:5], will be unto her [Jerusalem is the context] a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” Imagine that a physical city is more important to God than the Church that is spiritual Jerusalem.
This is not a sermon to tell you how God is going to protect you, but I want to hint at it. If God is going to protect a physical city, those in whom are His Spirit—who are part of Jerusalem above—are infinitely more important. I am going quickly, because we have so much to cover. There is no way that wall of fire will not be around God’s people…though not literal. I will show you literal fire is involved in Israel. Not as an actual wall, like the one that Donald Trump wants to build on our southern border, or the walls that are there. I will show you more about that. I want you to just take that in for a moment…
Now turn, for a moment, to chapter 9 and verse 8…It’s important that all of us come to grips with what God says.
“And I will encamp about My house…” (Zech. 9:8) and He gives several reasons in the rest of the verse…but just stop for a moment. God says He will camp around His house… The one being referred to there, directly, is the coming temple, the House of God. But, we are the Temple of God now—we are the House of God now, as well as Jerusalem above. Try to imagine that God says a building—or a small mountain—is more important than a building of living stones.
Brethren, when you understand this whole prophecy…and it will take me a long time to…it doesn’t mean there won’t be persecution. There will be some persecution. But you will be amazed at how many people will want to be associated with you…when I show you from the Scriptures…because you are part of this. There is no way God would not “camp round about.” I can show you in the psalms that He does that. He camps round about the camp of the saints.
There is no way He would do that with a physical house, on a physical mountain, and yet, we are “Jerusalem above” connected to “Mount Zion above” where the Temple of God in heaven resides—we are living stones in a spiritual house and temple—and God doesn’t camp around us? He’s more interested in buildings…or a rock? Not a chance. It just seemed like the fitting thing to say, because, as this prophecy develops, all of God’s people—the few that are here and the many, many thousands more that will come with us—I think I explained this, but I will repeat it…
There is no way in the world God is going to add spiritual Jews—converting the house of Judah and bring it to a fractured spiritual house, bring it to a fractured spiritual Judah, where spiritual Jews are, whose hearts are circumcised. He has to…and this is one of the connections, again, between Bands and Grace…He has to unify His spiritual house. Meaning, many more thousands will immediately come into a situation where they won’t even know all these verses. They will have to learn them, and God is going to have to put a wall of fire and camp around about them, as well.
So I wanted us to all be absolutely clear. This prophecy—stunning as it is—has wonderful news inside it in that regard. Though it doesn’t mean that we are going to hop on a carpet and take a magic carpet ride. It is always difficult. There is much more to that, but it is the fitting way to open.
Now, I would like to mention something that a few of you heard yesterday, when I was talking at the annual college meeting in the other side of the building there. What we are going to cover and have been covering relates to the concept of a long journey, where we get off the road at various places, where there are “overlooks” and we stop the car, go to the guardrail and look at these magnificent vistas.
If we are, let’s say, a family or a church—we’ll call it the church-family—traveling from New York to Los Angeles, there is a lot of majestic scenery and you can’t appreciate it unless you stop at what men, in a physical sense, would say—“You should pull over and look at this majestic, or this vast, expanse or overlook.” It could be mountains. It could be lakes, or a gorge, or a river, or something like the Grand Canyon, or what have you. So we are going to, periodically, stop and take the car over to the railing, and look over before we come back to the journey.
There is any number of overlooks. Some, I guess, bigger and more expansive than others. Some will invite more time there before everybody is ready to get back in the car and drive on. There are also times when we will speculate on what we see in the distance, but you have to stay behind the guardrail and you can’t get closer. We will be able, at times, through various scriptures, to pull out some binoculars and look more closely in the distance. Other times, it is in the distance. But most of the time, you will find, in this awesome prophecy, that God gives us details. In fact, the way I like to describe it is… He, in some cases—many actually—brings details to the details, if you can appreciate that. So, I could go on and on and on in this “Greatest Untold Story” that’s now partly told……
Now, there is tremendous disagreement between rabbis in Israel. There are three groups of thinkers about a temple. There is one group of rabbis that says a temple should not be built yet. Others say one should be built. They are very much opposed to one another. The third group doesn’t know, doesn’t care and doesn’t think about it, because they are secular. They just see it as “Look, all the rabbis are fighting over this…I’m going to the beach” and wild sin prevails, because there is division in the world of Judaism.
Judaism is a religion. It is as false, in many regards, as Christianity of this world, or Islam, or other religions. The religion of Judaism is not the religion of God. It has a strong basis in the religion of God that other religions don’t have. They keep the Sabbath. They don’t have to be taught about tithing. They are not keeping Christmas and Easter; they do not keep Halloween or New Year’s. They keep the annual holy days. They don’t believe in being “born again.” They don’t follow a false trinity, and they don’t eat unclean meat, and so forth—those who are stricter. So they have a stronger basis, but Judaism is a false religion and sometimes we don’t think of that. It is an utterly false religion so when the secular Jews of Israel and the world—of which there are millions—look at the division in Judaism, they are turned off.
One of the great divides is you do or you don’t build a temple and I wanted you to understand this. We might say “Wow! That’s great. There are some who want to build a temple. They want to build a temple. They are on the right track.” Then there is the other group that says, “No! You don’t build a temple—and here is their belief—until the Messiah comes.” Hmmm… That’s interesting.
So which group is right? The people who are pushing to take the Temple Mount on their own authority…the ones who are getting the news or who are upsetting the Muslims? Or the ones who are saying “No, stand down. The Messiah comes and builds a temple.” A lot of rabbis—hundreds—say “We have to have a temple waiting for Him, because He “comes to His temple”—Malachi 3:1. Now God referred to His House as “His House,” in Haggai, when there was just a foundation there. My “house lies waste,” not “My house is gone, there is nothing there.” It was just a foundation and He called it “His House.” So when Christ comes and camps around His House, we are talking about, essentially, at the beginning, a foundation.
So some look at that and say, “We Jews have to build the temple”—Malachi 3:1—and He comes to a completed temple. Others say, “No, no, no. He has to come and…build it.” So which one is right? And the answer, of course, is the latter. In a way, the first group is reading Malachi 3:1 the wrong way. So I wanted you to understand there is a division there……
Obviously Malachi involves at some level and at some point in time physical Jerusalem, physical Judah, physical Levites, because there is a temple involved. But we understand that Malachi involves a great fire in the Church. That’s why the apostle Paul interpreted Malachi 3 and the fire, and the temple in I Corinthians 3, so we would know it had a church application. We would go bounding past that. We would just dismiss it and go right to physical understanding if God had not marinated us in certain things that we needed to understand first.
Now, because we didn’t understand giant component parts of what God had in mind for the House of Judah…that meant we got certain things wrong. But He couldn’t show us that, until we got a whole lot of other things laid down as bedrock and right…and then He could show it and it would be real easy to correct the things that are wrong—real easy. “Oh, okay, we have to add this, and look at that, and look at the other things,” and so forth. I wanted you to be aware of that. That’s important.
We never saw Malachi 3:1, for instance. How could I have known that I have to prepare the way before Christ coming to Mount Zion and Jerusalem when I was teaching and explaining the book of Malachi? How could I know that…if all I have in mind is spiritual Judah…“He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly in the flesh… [Romans 2:28 and 29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly [in the heart] circumcision is of the heart.”
I know every one of you in this room are spiritual Jews and you form a temple, and like the Jews of the world with the genetic bloodline, we are scattered all over the world. We are exactly like them. But we are a completely different spiritual house and we are spiritual Jews, and so forth. It does not make any difference if you were born a Gentile, has nothing to do with anything. God said—and I will show this later—any Gentile or stranger, He says, regarding Judah, “that takes hold of My covenant shall be as though he was born in the land” and there are many verses in the law that show God makes no difference—none—zero between one born into Israel or Judah, and one born outside, but who converts……
I will just say, I understand why I served in New York City. There are many reasons…and did so twice. I have worked with and have known a great many Jews. But I have gone to college with many of them, and I have seen them in the Work of God…not very many, because primarily, God was not calling Jews, until He does it all at once. I don’t know if we have any physical Jews in the Church. I am descended from David, so how that’s counted is kind of interesting…Paul was a Benjamite, but reared as a Jew, and so forth.
…Another great reason God couldn’t have spiritual Judah—the Church—fractured when He is bringing Jews to salvation and they understand, “What is all this?” We would have to explain. It would be complicated. So it’s a whole lot better that it is just behind us, and they will understand that. So there is spiritual and physical Judah—both are divided and confused. God is about to fix both, and you can understand, yet again, another reason why Bands and Grace have to happen together.
God works with the House of Judah, by the way, not the land of Judea. God is going to save Judah. Most Jews don’t live in Judea. So you think of the terms, you have Judea where the Jews lived, you have Judah, either the original man named ‘Judah’ or all those called the “house of Judah” who came from him who are individually called “Jews,” who today practice a religion called “Judaism.” So you have to sort out those things out and that will help you. When God works with the house of Judah, meaning Jews, not the Jews that live in Judea, the implications are awesome when you consider most Jews don’t live in Israel. What does that mean? I am planting a seed… but you will find that it has awesome implications. So of course, God could not ever bring many from physical Judah into a fractured spiritual Judah… a reason that both occur together……
Those Jews, who want to see a temple built before Christ comes, or after, have a great dilemma. This is a very interesting thing, and I share it with you now. Where will the high priest come from? This is a big question. There are different views about it, and I wanted to share some things with you. How is a high priest selected?
This would be the answer that the Jews would give…So for now, we know God selects them, but let’s look at what the Jews are thinking, because it is very relevant and is interesting…I would say fascinating. It opens with a question:
“When the third Holy Temple is built—may it be soon—how, and by what criteria, will the new high priest be chosen?
“Our sages tell us that he has to be the most holy individual. [Now that’s subjective. That’s like who is most suited to be president? You walk into that discussion—you have a war. Just look at our country today.]
“The high priesthood [isn’t] merely a technical position, but one of great holiness. [This is the way they would look at it. The first criterion is you have to directly descend from Aaron. Now that is a high hill to climb—a direct descendent—male descendent—of Aaron, Moses’ older brother.]
“The Torah [and they cite Leviticus 21:10] describes the high priest as…‘the greatest from among his brethren’ [greatest in authority. They would say the greatest man, but they define it strangely. Through the years they have said he has to be four things: wise, handsome, wealthy and strong.] Though the ideal candidate for high priest has all these qualities—in fact, he should be greater than all his priestly brethren in all these areas—the two most important are wisdom and piety. [Piety is whatever they can agree on, I guess.]
There is this thought that, when the high priest dies, his son takes over. Well, there is no high priest today, so—as they all acknowledge—we can’t go by the obvious. We can’t just give his son the task. They have even, down through the years, the high priesthood, through the centuries—way back before Christ’s time—was up for sale. You could bribe your way into it. You could do all kinds of corrupt things.
They have come up with certain rules, because if the high priest has a son, as long as he is a pious person—which means he studies the law a lot and he is a good Levite—if he doesn’t have knowledge of the Torah, he is provided a teacher to instruct him. Now, how you could be living the Torah and you are a pious individual, but you don’t have knowledge of it…It’s a miracle! I don’t know how they do it. We’ll just call it a miracle. Actually, what that is, is a ludicrous statement. So you teach him…You take this man and teach him to be the high priest…because he doesn’t study the Bible much…or at all.
So, you come down and there are two great ways that a high priest is picked. You don’t have one, and you don’t have a son of one, and there is nobody on the horizon. You have two groups of people…sort of like whether to build a temple…You have one group that says “The Sanhedrin picks it—that is the top 71 sages of the day. The problem there…there is no Sanhedrin. In other words, they take the view the Catholics take with their college of cardinals. That is the popular view—that 71 wise men come together, in their piety, and they install one—but there is no Sanhedrin, so that’s out. Others say the king does it. There is no king in Judah today. Are you seeing the problem?
See the problem? Jews want a temple. They have no idea where one will come from, because all the paths today are blocked to them. So others have said the king that could do it is the Messiah Himself and that is what they conclude. It has to be done. The Messiah has to come and do it Himself. They’re right. That’s exactly what happens. They miss it because they see Joshua as this high priest who already exists, whose garments are filthy, so they don’t see Christ, in Zechariah 3, installing the high priest. They sort of see Him there cleansing one and they don’t understand that verse. We do.
But it is a fascinating thing to consider. You cannot reinstate the Temple service—you cannot have morning and evening sacrifices—there isn’t a Jew, who can find the book of Genesis, who doesn’t know this—without a high priest. So the question then is only are they going to come up with one? They have said, we have no way of doing it, but sort of, in their own blind Jewish faith, they’re going ahead, believing that somehow—with no sitting high priest today—it will be fixed, and there will either be a Sanhedrin established, or Christ will install him. I thought you’d find that interesting…
If we’re waiting for the Jews to pick one, they are saying, impossible. We cannot do it, and here are all the reasons. So there is none today, and no possibility of one, unless you see a Sanhedrin. We know we won’t. There has not been one for thousands of years, or Christ comes, the Messiah, and He appoints him.” All right, that gets us through Zechariah chapter 3…
Now, God always lived in the Temple, but He was never there as the High Priest of a spiritual people, who could seek Him, in the spirit of Hebrews chapter 4. The Jews don’t know what I’m going to read to you, and they’ll have to learn this. This is part of the conversion process. We know this. They don’t. They want a physical high priest…
Hebrews 4:14: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest [that isn’t a human being. They want to attach too much to the high priest] that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God [they simply reject this verse in the New Testament], let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin [we have the ultimate, the absolute, high priest for the ages, the Alpha and the Omega High Priest, brethren, if I could put it that way—Jesus Christ—and as a result…] let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).
That’s a foreign concept to Jews. Part of God converting Judah is they’re going to have to learn they have a great High Priest…
I hope I have piqued your interest for one of those “turnouts,” one of those “overlooks” that will be coming, but let’s just summarize Zechariah, chapter 3, for a moment. We have just gone through four separate visions. There are eight visions that take us through the first half of chapter 6.
When you get through chapter 3, you have arrived at the fifth vision. Now, let’s read this chapter fairly quickly, because, yet again, as Joshua shown in the fourth vision of chapter 3 with the Two Witnesses, called the men of wonder there—the two that stand at the end of verse 7, that work with this Joshua…the fifth vision in chapter 4 shows two witnesses in a single picture—the Two Witnesses working with a man named Zerubbabel. Now, that’s an interesting thing. We’ve got to come to understand that. We have to take another look at the concept of Zerubbabel.
The Church never knew who Joshua was. We believed Mr. Armstrong was Zerubbabel. As we start to look at this, we have to recognize we’re looking at a single picture and in that picture where the three men are shown, because it’s a vision. The prophet Zechariah, being talked to and instructed by an angel, sees a single picture and in that picture he sees three people. Two are prophets…called the sons of oil, the olive trees, the Two Witnesses…and Zerubbabel. It’s a composite picture…Presents a real problem, in a way, if Zerubbabel died 30 years ago, six weeks from today…We have to come to understand it.
Don’t try to assume you know where I’m going on this. I’m throwing it out there, and you have to come to understand it. I think I’m going to show you before it’s over, Mr. Armstrong’s office was greater than we thought. Bear with me. When I explained that he was not the Elijah, we found out his office was greater than we thought—with 130 proofs. Moses would be a greater office than Elijah; however, we’ll come back to that many times…in things that are so fascinating that you’ll be on the edge of your seat, with goosebumps, as I explain to you how God is going to do all of this.
Because once the code’s broken, brethren…this man who’s been studying prophecy for 50 years up here…Next June, it will be 50 years I’ve studied it, and learned it, and buried myself in it more than any man who has ever lived. I know that, and I’ve said it. I happen to know that whoever is in this position would have to be that way, and there are various reasons. I’ve explained it. Until God breaks certain codes, vast areas are locked out of understanding that in these weeks we’re going to see. For instance, nobody could see verses that were screaming obvious about the House of God being built in Jerusalem this side of the Tribulation. Nobody could see... I couldn’t…that God saves Judah first and that doesn’t just mean deliver them—it includes salvation.
I’m going to show you so many verses. Time, after time, after time, after time, you’re going to find yourself saying…I can throw in a few more “time, after times”…You’re going to find yourself saying, how in the world did we miss this? How do we miss that? How did we miss the other? How did we…? And the answer is, it was locked away from us. If God locks up Daniel, and says it’s sealed to the time of the end, that’s what He does, for instance. He did not want this understood until it was getting close…
I have filmed Part 1…of the World To Come series on this. Really it’s Part 2, if you count Bands. Eventually, I’m going to explain exactly how Bands happens. I’ll explain it, and why it can never be fixed until David fixes it. Why? Why would that be? You’re even going to come to wonder more yourself, why is that…why wouldn’t it be fixed when God is working with Judah? Why wouldn’t it be fixed? I will show you exactly why it’s impossible…but you have to wait to understand all of that.
Now, one reason I didn’t get as far last week as I thought I would…is the same reason I am not getting as far this week [laughter] as I thought I would…is because I’m doing “turnouts” that weren’t here. The last time I took this journey I didn’t see these “overlooks”…I’m having a little fun with you. But, I will say, that last week, what I did was I actually got further than I thought, and in some ways, I’ll probably do the same today. Because I just think God has inspired me, I’m so filled with stuff, brethren; I’m exploding with hundreds of scriptures. I just can’t get them all out at once.
Chapter 4 says…“And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me… [Because the question would arise in chapter 3, who are the men of wonder that sit in front of Joshua?]…as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What see you? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick…of gold…bowl on the top of it, and [the] seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it… [Revelation 7 plainly says these are the two prophets; Revelation 11:4, very plain.]… one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
“So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? [And] the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Know you not what these be? And I said [this is Zechariah], No, my lord” (Zech. 4:1-5). What are they? They’d never been mentioned anywhere in the Bible. So, here’s a prophet who says, “What are these?”
So in a very curious thing, after five verses about the Two Witnesses, the subject of Zerubbabel is mentioned. But making it even more curious, you come down to Verse 11, after those verses, and it picks up with the Two Witnesses again. So Zerubbabel is seen to be inextricably bound into the Two Witnesses. Let’s read it…
“Then answered I, and said unto him… [after we talked about Zerubbabel for five verses]… What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said to him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Know you not… [“I thought we went through this.” But it’s a very dramatic moment.]… And I said, No, my lord [“I don’t know who they are”].
“[And he said], These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth” (vs. 11-14). Now, you have a great question, and it arises—why does God present an office alongside Joshua…a civil ruler…Zerubbabel was the governor of Jerusalem…right in the middle of this—in a single composite picture—if that man died 30 years ago. It’s a problem.
It’s like one of those movies where you see things that belong in the past. I watched one, a year or so ago, with my wife, and I forget even the name of it…but I remember this moment where this person keeps appearing in the picture, but they were gone. They somehow traveled in time. I mean, I can see why Zechariah would have no interest. He’d say, “I know who Zerubbabel is. He lives right over there. He’s up the street, so, I’m not really interested in that. Who are these other two guys? Who are they?”
So, we need to understand what Zechariah thought he understood. He believed that God was talking about the original Zerubbabel, who helped build the second temple. Now, the second temple—a fairly small project—required a civil ruler. Let’s read here. Jeshua, Haggai, and Zechariah, who all live right there, we might say they were Israeli citizens—they were Jews in Jerusalem—needed a civil ruler to pull this off, even with 50,000 helpers, and that was a small temple…not 153,600 people building for seven years—not four—an infinitely bigger temple……
“Then he answered and spoke to me… [Why would you do this? Why would you suddenly change the subject of the Two Witnesses, and introduce Zerubbabel?]… This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6)……
“Who are you, O great mountain?…[There is a great mountain, a great government, that will soon appear on the world stage. You might think about that. But of this great mountain God says, “You’re going to become a plain. Right now, you look like Pike’s Peak. I’m going to turn you into Kansas. Bang! I’m going to flatten you.” You can just take that for what it’s worth, but let’s just keep reading…]… and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (vs. 7).
You know, Mr. Armstrong never really explained that. I, sort of, looked at that and thought, “Well…okay, Mr. Armstrong began to explain salvation”... Who is the headstone? Who is he? It’s Jesus Christ. “With shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it”—grace is a picture of salvation. In Chapter 12 God says He’s going to pour out the spirit of grace and supplications.
“Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house… There is a Zerubbabel working—alongside a Joshua… It’s impossible to read it any other way, and I’m going to continue to prove it…But, let me keep reading.]… his hands shall also finish it… [Now look. Can I just tell you? The second temple was half done at this point. The foundation was laid, and it was beginning to go up. Here it says he]... shall finish it; and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me unto you” (Zech. 4:8-9).
That makes no sense if you’re describing a temple that’s…already the superstructures appearing…50,000 people had been building for five months on a foundation, and a partial structure that was waiting for them, already. This is a future “shall” happen, and you “shall” know…But I believe Mr. Armstrong fulfilled it—in type—with a spiritual house that looked awesome when it was done. Amazing things happened under that great man. My father in the gospel till the day I die... the same with some of you.
“For who has despised the day of small things… [There hadn’t been a temple for 2,000 years. “We don’t know where the high priest is going to come from. We don’t have a Sanhedrin. We don’t have a king. How’s this going to work? We have no son to look to. There are no candidates.” They want to build a temple, and I guess they just believe God will show them.]… for they shall rejoice… [You know what? I always read that. I could never understand that verse. God is going to reward people for not despising the day of small things. We always said the Church was small in the 1930s,’ 40s and’ 50s; then RCG, of course, God’s Church today, was small again—has been for years.]… and shall see the plummet [that’s the “plumb line”] in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; [Now’s here the seven eyes of God.] they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth” (vs. 10).
None of us doubt that there is a Joshua at the end, with the seven eyes of the Lord going in front of him (Chapter 3, verse 9). How is Zerubbabel, with the same eyes of God, working with the same two witnesses going before him, also not involved? What it is showing is, without Jesus Christ’s help—camping around about this house—building a wall of fire around Judah—we would never get anywhere…So, here are some thoughts.
Joshua and the men of wonder are part of one vision. Nobody doubts they’re all right there together. Zerubbabel and those who will much later go on to be the Two Witnesses are also part of one vision. They are both integrated—both men are integrated—with the Two Witnesses, but are shown separately for emphasis, to show there are two different men, following the pattern of the second temple—which is God’s way. It fits.
The message suggests that this man should trust God, not human forces or armies, power or might, but His Spirit…It’s interesting. The greatest mountain on earth at that time, back when the second temple was being built, was on their side. He wasn’t resisting Zerubbabel. This is a Zerubbabel that is resisted by a great mountain, not assisted by one, as Cyrus and Darius did. See the difference?
One of the problems, Mr. Armstrong never, a single time, ever attempted to explain…who the great mountain was, I never heard him do it, that resisted him. He never did. He just left it alone. He never tried to explain the headstone/grace-grace thing. And remember “finish” can mean “break off,” so, it could have an application to Mr. Armstrong. With the spiritual house, Mr. Armstrong’s hands did break off 30 years ago. But God, in His infinite wisdom, picked a word that can mean “finish,” or “break off” because you’re finished. Mr. Armstrong broke off—but also, this Zerubbabel will finish the house, because it has to get done, and that’s the amazing thing. Go back, and review the word “finish.”
Mr. Armstrong finished the spiritual house, in a certain way. Then came an apostasy, and his hands “broke off,” the other way “finish” can be translated there in verse 9…It has to be done. It’s not going to be left unfinished, or lying waste. You’ll never doubt that, at the end of this series.
Headstone comes from two words. “Head” is eben, and “stone” means “build.” So the “headstone” is the Great Builder, the Great Carpenter Jesus Christ. There’s no doubt about that. And “grace” is talking about salvation…
Now, here’s another great proof. All eight visions in Zechariah, 1‒2‒3‒4‒5‒6‒7‒8, through chapters one to the first half of six, are all future. Why is the fifth one suddenly looking backward 30 years? See the problem, brethren? They are all future. These are the words a prophet was recording, not a historian. There are many, many, many elements of how even the Arabs fit into all of this.
…One of the interesting things that you ought to consider—and it’s fascinating—is found in Haggai 2 and verse 23. God said this…Mr. Armstrong never spoke of this. I never heard him even take a shot at what it might mean. So here we go…Haggai 2 and verse 23…
“In that day, says the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel…my servant, the son of Shealtiel, [Okay, it was a type.] says the LORD, and will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts.” The Hebrew for “signet” means a signature ring, or a seal, a signet.
Often the king would take his ring, he had this seal on his ring, and would seal something with his fist coming down in wax. It’s not just a ring, and it’s not a signature. It’s a ring that serves as a signature. It’s a signature ring—called a “signet.” You seal something with the king’s seal—or the king’s signet.
Jeremiah 22:24: “As I live, says the LORD, though Coniah [Jehoiachin] the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand… [This is God Who says this.]… yet would I pluck you thence”…
Daniel 6:17: “And a stone was brought, and laid on the mouth of the den… [Daniel is in the lions’ den] and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”
So, by now, I think you understand what a signet is. This is an unusual thing that God says He’s going to do with whoever this man is, named Zerubbabel…… [Author’s Note: The series later covers in much more detail Zerubbabel’s role in the end time.]
All right, let’s pick up. Chapter 5 is an extraordinary sixth vision…“Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. And he said unto me, What see you? And I answered, I see a flying roll… [“That’s what I see.”] the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth…ten. [So, that’s 15 by 30 feet. It’s a big roll, like a scroll roll.]
“Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth. [What? A curse over the whole earth for people who do one of two things. Notice.]… for every one that steals shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that swears shall be cut off as on that side according to it. [One more verse explains it.] I will bring it forth [God], says the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that swears 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” (Zech. 5:1-4).
Anybody who tries to steal from God, against His purpose, or tries to scam anybody with false religious messaging—in His Name—God says, I will curse you. And this curse goes over the entire earth. The gold and silver is mine. Nobody is going to steal it, or they die big and hard. This is one of the verses the Jews use, by the way, to bulldoze houses of people who attack. They just bulldoze the house.
Now, notably absent is, this curse says nothing about adultery, homosexuality, covetousness, idolatry, worshipping a false god, fornication, lying, and all kinds of other sins, but it covers, specifically, this unique curse in all history and all through the Bible……
No mountain, I don’t care how great a mountain it is, is going to get in the way of this…“Don’t you scam anybody, under any circumstances, not a soul anywhere on earth. Don’t you pretend, in any way, to represent Me when you don’t, or you’ll die big and hard. That’s why there’s no other sins involved, and that’s why it follows, immediately, after God introduced Joshua, Zerubbabel and the Two Witnesses building a great house. Now, think long and hard over that, and keep asking yourself, why aren’t other terrible sins listed, and why does it come right there? And I’m telling you on God’s authority, that’s what it is. It’s a sequential picture, here, laying it all out.
Now, I’m not going to get into vision seven. We’re just going to skip over it…It’s fascinating. And Shinar is almost certainly Rome there in verse 11, and so forth. Our purpose does not allow us to go there; the same with the eighth vision.
What God is doing, so that there is no excuse for anyone to misunderstand, when He’s going to take charge of Jerusalem and take charge of Judah, and build His house, He throws in several visions—this one and chapter 6—about things that are going on in the end time. So there’s no possible way to think this is some kind of historic thing having to do with 2,500 years ago when Zechariah lived.
Brethren, one of the reasons the world seems to know very little of prophecy—there are multiple reasons God cuts them off, and they see, but don’t perceive, and they hear, but don’t understand—but they typically will take Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and various other prophecies, and they reduce them to history—they are things that already happened—even though they’re in books written by prophets. They don’t understand them, so they find some duality in the past and say, “That’s already done. It’s over.”
Most people think Matthew 24—men I knew, in the ministry of the Worldwide Church of God, think Matthew 24, what’s the sign of your [Christ’s] coming and of the end of the world—all was fulfilled in the first century…by the Romans and the first century Church, and we’re not looking for it to happen. How could they believe that? And the answer is, they’re blind, and millions, who are blind, following them, they all fall in the ditch prophetically. They don’t understand any of this.
So God throws in chapter 5 and 6, plus He opened in chapter 1 with the four chariots, not the horsemen of Revelation, standing quiet. They ride at the end of the age, and clearly, Zechariah ends with Christ’s feet on the Mount of Olives. This is not a book about history. Prophets foretell the future, not the past. That’s the biggest reason—the whole setting—that the Zerubbabel being described in Zechariah 4 is one that is alive, but coming…
…If you think I’m ascribing too much to Mr. Armstrong, well then, that’s what I’m doing. I worked with him. I knew him. He was unique of all human beings I ever knew by far. He just was. People are going to have to learn he was Moses. Moses towers out of Scripture like Everest. He was a type of this Zerubbabel, a governor of spiritual Judah. I don’t doubt that, but he also led a royal priesthood. His signature is on both of my ordinations. Now, we weren’t priests; but yet, brethren, all of you are part of a royal priesthood. All of you are in training to be kings and priests. Is it a stretch to believe?.....
Verse 12…“…speak unto him [Joshua], saying, Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, [Now, what do you think this means in an end-time context? We already read about Joshua in chapter 3.]… Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH… [turn back a page to chapter 3, verse 8. The Branch comes forth under Joshua. The Branch is Jesus Christ. He comes to His Temple. Okay, now come back to chapter 6.]… and he shall grow up out of his place… [He just comes up from nowhere, so to speak:]… and he shall build the temple of the LORD…”
Who ultimately builds the temple? Ultimately, the author of this temple is Jesus Christ. “He shall build the temple of the LORD.”
“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD…[“Even” isn’t there. “Even” is added…He is building the spiritual house and He is building the physical house. It shows Jesus Christ—“He shall build the temple of the LORD”—“He shall build the temple of the LORD”—do you ever see that in other places in the Scriptures? Exact same, just back-to-back?
…He is not going to use Jews that don’t even know how to figure out where to get a high priest! He is just not going to do that!..He builds this house—“I will build My Church,” which is the House of God and the Temple of the LORD. Christ is building this Church. I am not. Mr. Armstrong did not. No man does. But also, this house in Jerusalem—which is the context here—clearly, Jesus Christ builds it, guides it. We found He puts a wall of fire around the nation. He puts an army of angels around the House—He guides it!
I know you are hearing a lot. Believe me, we have sooo much more to go. You cannot imagine how clear this picture will be. It will take many hours. Now, you read here…]
“…he [will] bear the glory…shall rule upon his throne…” What do you mean He is going to rule on His throne? Why would that be necessary, if it is just the Church? If He is coming into this house…Okay, His glory is there, but why would you describe Him as a ruler?
If He was taking charge of an entire nation as the king on earth—saving millions of Jews—offering them salvation… I will show you that great numbers take Him up on it, and much greater numbers don’t, but they do not resist. There are the wicked, they are taken off the scene. We will see that in a minute. There are the converted, and there are the compliant. That is the way it always is in the Church. There are tares, and there are people that just go along, and there are other people who are converted. We will see all of that.
“….and He shall be a priest upon His throne…[He is coming as a High Priest into the temple!…and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech. 6:13). Finally, I understand that. That it’s Jew and Gentile. That it is Jews and Arabs and Muslims. God is going to solve all such problems that exist.
Verse 15…“And they that are far off shall…[There are a lot of Jews on earth, but there are also a lot of people around the world.] come and build in the temple of the LORD….” There are two ways to look at this. Initially, in the early stages of the Kingdom, Israelites and other peoples will come into the Church and thus into the Kingdom—not yet into leadership positions.
Also there is the question of just Jews per se, and where they live as God addresses them (along with the other Israelite tribes). There are 186,000 Jews in Russia. There are 112,000 Jews in Australia, and 8,500 in New Zealand. There are 475,000 Jews in France; 385,000 Jews in Canada; 5.703, I think it is, million in the United States—that’s an astonishing number—I have also seen 6.7, so it is hard to know. There are different sources. There are 2,500 Jews in India and 5,000 in China. Just off the top of my head here…290,000 Jews in Britain.
Now, when God breaks relations between the nations of Israel, where millions and millions of Jews live…We ought to at least plant another seed…that is going to create a problem for them, isn’t it? When more Jews live in the United States and God has broken ties with the United States, what are those Jews going to do? Well, one thing they might want to do, we have already addressed. They are going to want to contribute to this great project, and they are going to want to be saved. How does that work? Lots of questions here, aren’t there? This is why I think in some ways, it has been the best approach to sometimes do what I called a “turn out,” and other times to just talk about turnouts that will be coming.
Now chapter 7 is very interesting. God talks about how this house has to be built. There is a history of people not listening to God. Let’s pick it up in Verse 8…
“And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying” (7:8).
There are fasts, by the way, that take place, on the fourth, the fifth, the seventh and the tenth months back then. They were waiting to build another house. The Babylonians had come in, and the Jews started an interesting tradition. That is what it is. Orthodox Jews, today, will fast on the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months…and you are going to find out that goes away. That’s an example of something that goes away—no longer happens. But let me just pick up in verse 9…
[vs. 9] “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, [God said, “I told them this!”] nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to [listen], and pulled away the shoulder… [You’ve seen people like that—they just pull away and will not listen to you] and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law… [That will be the case with some Jews, brethren.]… and the words which the LORD of Hosts has sent in His spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of Hosts. [This is in the past.] Therefore it is come to pass, that as He cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, says the LORD of Hosts: [and] I scattered them with a whirlwind… [In 135 A.D.…“I just sent them all over the world, exactly as prophecy and the end of Genesis said I would, and they have been there for centuries upon centuries, because they would never listen to Me.” Now since 1948 there has been a nation of Israel. God couldn’t very well come and build a house, if He had not started bringing them back at a point. Not all Jews were ever gone, but God scattered them…]… among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate” (vs. 9-14). That is the Romans.
Let me just stop for a moment and describe a little more about the Jews. In 1880, there were 7.8 million Jews on earth. Then by 1900, there were 10.6 million—20 years. They were really increasing. In 1922, there were 14.4. By 1939, remember Adolf Hitler?, the Jews had reached 16.728 million people on earth—that many Jews, in a much smaller population on earth, by the way. My mother graduated from high school that year. It was not that long ago.
Six years later, in 1945, there were 11 million. Some more had been born and were killed, but it was down by about 5.728 million—6 million actually died. Many were born in there, and it started coming back. By 1950, there were 11.3; 1955 ‒ 11.8; 1960 – 12.1; 1970 – 12.585; 1980 – 2.819; 1990 – 12.868. Steady, fairly steady. 2000 – 12.9; 2010 – 13.4, and today – 13.9 million. Some will say upwards of 14.2 million.
Here is a different article. The Guardian, came out this year in June. Interesting. It said there are 14.2 million Jews in the world. If you factor in all those that have one Jewish parent, or who identify as partially Jewish, the figure approaches 16.5 million…They are all over the place...believe me…and they are in awesome powerful positions. We are going to have to understand all of this.
The Ukraine has 63,000; South Africa – 70,000; Belgium – 30,000; Mexico – 40,000; Hungary – 48,000; Guatemala ‒ 900; Puerto Rico – 1,500. Panama has 10,000 Jews; Chile – 18,500; Argentina – 181,000; Brazil – 95,000; the Philippines – 100; South Korea – 100; Japan–100; 10,000 Jews in Iran. The world has not been allowed to lay their fingers on them. They want to wipe out every Jew on the face of the earth…and there are 10,000 Jews in Iran—and they never touch them. Why do you think that is? I will just leave you to think about it.
Uzbekistan ‒ 3,800; Yemen – 200, and on and on...Egypt – 100; Morocco – 2,400; Tunisia – 900; Botswana – 100; Namibia – 100; Nigeria – 100; Zimbabwe – 400; South Africa – 70,000, and on and on it goes…Germany – 118,000; Italy – 28,000…
The Netherlands – 29,900, and so on and so forth.
These are huge questions. Here’s an interesting aside. Why are there so many in Russia? That is an interesting story. Great numbers of Russian Jews have moved to Israel, more than any other place. A lot of poverty there…Vladimir Putin holds Jews in an extremely high regard. How interesting, with this sermon about to be prepared…three days ago, Wednesday, came out this article…“As Putin becomes one of the world’s most powerful players [Gentile country], his surprising Jewish connection is revealed”…
Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar, is often referred to as “Putin’s Rabbi.” Why? When Vladimir Putin grew up…I want you to think about these things. I am going to show you the awesome hand of God in so many ways before we are done…when he grew up, he was as poor as the proverbial church mouse. His parents were often unemployed, he had no food, and they happened to live next door to a Jewish family…who fed him continually, as a little boy, so he wasn’t hungry. He knew he could always go next door to this Jewish family who took care of him much of his childhood. When they died he went to their funeral and wept on national television.
His four closest friends, on earth, are Jews… Avnerovich Leviev, Moshe Kantor, Roman Abramovich and Victor Vekselberg. Putin donates one month of his salary every year to the Jewish museum in Moscow. None of us knew this about Putin. He is who he is. I’m not trying to get us all to vote him in for another term in Russia. We don’t have to do that. He uses billionaire contractors who are Jewish. He has been to Israel; he has had Netanyahu come visit him. They have an agreement.
I am going to show you that God intends that Israel will use the Gentile nations of the world before this is all over. They will do things with Judah, because God has cut away the nations of the West…
The vast billions of dollars that are in this country—hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts, brilliant technology—they have affected the nations of the world. When God starts calling the Jews—they are not a tribe in Madagascar, brethren, they are an enormous people—it is a huge statement that accomplishes multiple purposes……
Let’s read some of chapter 8.
“Thus says the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus says the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and [shall] dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts the holy mountain [That is going to happen in our lifetime, and I mean soon!]… Thus says the LORD of hosts; There shall yet [be] old men and old women dwelling in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand…and boys and girls [playing in the streets]…” (Zech. 8:2-5). That is not a millennial prophecy! It is a “type” of the Millennium, brethren.
Verse 6: “If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people… [Here comes an extraordinary term.]… in these days… [The term “these days”…Not a term used regarding the Millennium, you’re going to find out it is a particular set of days. As a matter of fact, in Acts, when Peter spoke of the last days, he went on soon after and referred to “these days” (chapter 3).]… should it also be marvelous in My eyes?” [“Because it’s marvelous to you? No! I have been planning this.”]
Zech. 8:7: “Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country.” [The world is built on an east/west basis. Jews live either east of Jerusalem and Judah, or west.] “And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem…and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness... [That’s conversion.]… Let your hands be strong, you that hear in these days [that’s all of us, and that’s all of them] these words [the words I have just been reading] by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built” (vs. 8-9). Which two prophets?—Haggai and Zechariah. They both talk about a third temple. When these days come, that this temple should be built, be strong.
“For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction…[the siege, but also the affliction that had gone for a long, long time]: for I set all men every one against his neighbor” (vs. 10). God is doing that right now in Israel. I mean, it’s Jews against Jews; it’s Muslims against Muslims; Muslims against Jews. That’s the way it has been until God just enters and goes BOOM, and fixes it. I’ll show you exactly how He comes to Zion, meaning ultimately the Temple Mount…
“But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, says the LORD…For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things” (vs. 11-12). This is the kingdom of God on earth. Much of the rest of the series will have to amplify this in extraordinary detail…
By the way, I’m going to plant a little seed. You ought to be wondering in the back of your mind, “Hmmm, God calls the weak and foolish and base of the world to confound the wise and mighty and noble, after the flesh.” I wonder if that has something to do with now?” Because these people are going to run into a kind of a different bunch than the Jews. Not a lot of billionaires, not a lot of powerful, influential people eventually called into the Church. And when they see we’re the ones who come to help them learn salvation…there’s a word for what they’re going to be thinking—confounded! What?! Some of them will handle it wonderfully. Others…not so much. But anyway let’s keep going…
“And it shall come to pass, that as you were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah [Oh, look at this!] and house of Israel [Because, eventually, it’s Israel. Don’t be confused. Let’s keep reading…] so will I save you [Ultimately, He’s going to save Israel, too, but let’s watch] and you shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong” (vs. 13).
Brethren, all over the world, whoever you are, God tells you, “Fear not.” He says, “fear not little flock.” Anyway, we’re going to get a lot bigger and stronger—and we have certain promises that are awesome to us. No wonder in Haggai it says twice ‘fear not.’ No wonder Joshua was told when they entered the land ‘fear not’. No wonder, in Isaiah 40, Elijah is personally told, “lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid” when you speak to the cities of Judah telling them to behold their God and other things.
The last thing we need to do is be afraid. Perfect love casts out fear. If you love God’s Way, we do not have to fear anything—fear not and let your hands be strong—those that know God shall be strong, and do great exploits. Remember Daniel 11, late in the chapter? Little did we know…Little did we know.
Now he qualifies verse 13 where Israel got mentioned. “So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah… [Not yet Israel. He sprinkles it in a little bit, a few times in this book, “I’m not going to forget you Israel, but not yet.” And one more time…] fear you not” (Zech. 8:15)……
Let me read a little bit longer...
[Zech. 8:16] “These are the things that you shall do; Speak you every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates [not in the whole world yet]: and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, says the LORD. And the word of the LORD of Hosts came to me, saying…[these fasts] of the fourth…fifth…seventh, and…tenth [months] shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; [In other words, you’re not going to fast ever again about a house. You can’t have a feast and a fast on the same day. That’s like saying something is black and white, or red and blue at the same time. So no more fasts, it’s a time of joyous feasts.] therefore love the truth and peace. [This will be a place of peace. There’s tremendous war and turmoil and tension there today.]
“…It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: [Remember Isaiah and Micah? All nations flow to it.] and 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. Yes, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. 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… [it means “the wing” or “the extremity,” “the arm”] of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:16-23).
There are great numbers who are going to want to be part of this and I wanted you to understand that. Let me prove to you it’s not millennial. They’re of all languages of the world. In the Kingdom, Zephaniah 3:9 says everybody is speaking the same language. So it cannot yet be Christ ruling from Jerusalem. And God, in His infinite wisdom, put Jews all over the world so that people around them…“We’ve heard God is with you”…We read earlier that all the cities of Judah are going to prosper.
People all over the world are going to see this awesome blessing, and as God calls them, He’s going to throw open to various people, and throw open to all Jews, much like sanctified children of brethren. You can call on My Name and serve Me wherever you are in the world. He’s going to bring a lot of Jews back. It depends on the work therein and so forth. Now, let’s keep reading…
[Zech. 9:1] “The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD. [Now that’s interesting. “As of all the tribes of Israel”—eventually, it will be everyone. But let’s keep reading…] And Hamath [a Syrian city] also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise. And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets [now that was once upon a time] Behold, the Lord will cast her out… [These are coastal cities going up the coast up above Tel Aviv]… and He will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
“Ashkelon [central coast] shall see it, and fear; Gaza [brethren, let’s look at this. That’s a type of the Palestinians] shall also see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron [which is Akron—“summit”—20 miles west of Jerusalem, where the God of medicine lived. Kings would often go there when Judah was off track.] her expectation shall be ashamed [Palestinians are going to change their mind. Shocked! And look, brethren, my job is to read the Bible, not interpret it. Gaza represents the Palestinians. Here’s what it says…] and the king shall perish from Gaza [Take it as you will.]
“And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod [that’s outside the boundaries of Israel. Now, look at this…] and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines” (Zech. 9:1-6). That’s the Palestinians. Everybody knows that. That’s a well-known fact of history. You can look it up, when the Romans took the name of Judah and Judea and changed it to Palestina after the Philistines for 2,000 years. Believe me, brethren, the Philistines are the Palestinians.
God says, “I’m going to cut off the pride of the Palestinians.” Now, let’s understand something. I’ve got two more verses, but let’s understand. The Palestinians have little to be proud about. They’re a poor people. They’ve never had statehood. They’re poorly educated. They live in crowded conditions. They’re divided—bitter. I mean, even amongst each other, they’re terribly divided. That’s why Hamas and Fatah don’t get along. Gaza and the West Bank, and a third of them are over in Jordan. They feel occupied. They’re angry.
“And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth… [You know, the things that are done by a lot of radical thinkers and movements…“I’m going to take it out of his mouth, I’m just going to change him.”] but he that remains, even he, shall be for our God [Wow!! That’s amazing!] and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite [as though you lived in Jerusalem]” (Zech. 9:7). You know who the Jebusites are now. Remember how we started this?
“And I will encamp about My house… [right in the context of cutting off the pride of the Philistines. At this point, God tells us He’s going to camp around His house! Now, let me just read why, so we all know, and, brethren around the world, be greatly encouraged because this applies in a broader way to us.] because of the army [this army will be addressed near the end of the series] because of him that passes by [“I’m going to protect it.” Just anybody passing by. God’s attitude is, sort of, keep moving, keep moving now. Don’t stop here. It won’t go well for you. I’ll cut you in pieces, if you try to stop.] and because of him that returns [There are going to be people who are thrust out and want to come back and right this wrong—It’s upside down now—the Jews are running it. And God says, “No, you’re not going to return. I’m going to camp round about My House. Don’t come back. You’ll die big and hard. And finally, why?] and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now I have seen with my eyes” (vs. 8). God has the seven spirits that are His eyes. It picks up and starts to describe conversion where the Jews begin to understand who Christ was at His First Coming.
I wanted to just take this thing of “cut off the pride of the Philistines.” Turn to chapter 11 and verse 3: “There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds [We know that has to do with the Church.] for their glory is spoiled… [I just had so much trouble trying to understand this. Now I understand it perfectly. We never had chapter 9 verses 6-8 as a backdrop in our thinking because we had no idea it was related to this. So, let’s read…] a voice of the roaring of young lions for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.” There are three million Palestinians on either side of the Jordan River.
“For the pride of Jordan”—where the Palestinians are—who hold the Noble Sanctuary—is spoiled, because God cut it off and camped around it, and took it away from them! (Zech. 11:3). When I show you how Christ is coming back, it will blow your mind 20 times over…We have to stop somewhere. It appears this is that moment. And we’re a long way from done.