Morning Bible Study
Are you ready for Thanksgiving to be over?
Let’s practice sitting regularly in the
The historical background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of Ezra.
Zechariah lived during the time that the Jews had begun to return from
Babylon and rebuild their Temple.
The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the
years of 520-518 BC.
One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of
prophecy about the coming Messiah.
We now in section in Zechariah, when he gives a series of prophecies that
look far into his future.
Chapters 9-11 dealt primarily with the first coming of the Messiah.
Chapters 12-14 will deal with the second coming of the Messiah.
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,Against the Man who is My Companion,”Says the Lord
of hosts. the sheep will be scattered;Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
So this time, we are setting our DeLorean time machine once again for our own future. Buckle
up your seat belts…
:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the
house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for
:1 In that day
In what day?
The last chapter clearly put us in the time period
known as the “day of the LORD”. This is the day that Jesus returns and the nation of Israel
turns to Jesus and believes in Him.
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the
inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will
look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for
Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one
grieves for a firstborn.
:1 a fountain shall be opened
Ezekiel also records a fountain of sorts that first appears after Jesus
returns. It will be flowing from inside
(Ezekiel 47:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then he brought me back to the door of the
temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple
toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing
from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought
me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer
gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
As Ezekiel follows the river, it gets deeper and deeper as it flows from
(Ezekiel 47:8–9 NKJV) —8 Then he said to me:
“This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and
enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall
be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will
live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go
there; for they will be healed, and everything will
live wherever the river goes.
The waters eventually make their way to the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea gets its name from the high salt
content. Nothing grows or lives near the
The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, and it’s still dead.
Yet this river will have the ability of bringing life to
something that’s dead.
God wants to bring life to you as well.
(John 7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last
day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If
anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers
of living water.”
The living water Jesus was talking about is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Are there areas of your life that are about as fruitful as the “Dead Sea”?
Could it be your love for others?
Have you stopped caring about other people? Have you concluded that people cause too much
pain and you’d rather not connect with other people?
Could it be your love for your spouse?
Have you stopped caring about what happens in your
Could it be your love for God?
Is there a time in your life when you loved Jesus more
than you do now?
God wants to pour life into you.
But you need to want it. You need to recognize your “thirst”.
You need to come to Jesus.
Reading self-help books can help, but real life comes only
You need to simply receive it
(drink). You do this by believing in
Let God bring the dead things to life.
:1 for sin and for uncleanness
The river had a purpose. It was
supposed to cleanse.
The last chapter talked about the “mourning” that will go on in Jerusalem
when Jesus returns and the Jews see Him face to face.
(Zechariah 12:10 NKJV) “And I will pour on the house of David and on
the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they
will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will
mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him
as one grieves for a firstborn.
“Mourning” precedes cleansing.
Paul had some difficult things to say to the church in Corinth. Some of the things he pointed out to them
caused much grief in the church.
But the Corinthians weren’t just sorry they got
caught. Their “sorrow” was the right
kind of sorrow. Their sorrow led to an
actual change in behavior.
7:9 NKJV) Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For
you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might
suffer loss from us in nothing.
For you were made sorry in a godly
manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
Blessed are those who mourn,
Do you want to experience God’s cleansing?
Do you want to experience God’s forgiveness?
The Bible says,
John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
We often try to hide our sins.
God wants us to learn to “confess” them, or admit to them.
Sometimes there is even value in admitting to others that we have
sinned. James wrote,
5:16 NKJV) Confess your trespasses to
one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
When we’ve done something against
another person, we need to admit to them what we’ve done.
Sometimes the sin we are struggling with has us in such a
tight grip that we cannot break free from it.
The act of confessing that sin to a carefully chosen
person might be embarrassing, but sometimes that embarrassment of admitting our
sin is what it takes to break free from it.
Knowing that someone else is in the battle with you can
turn the tide. It’s
especially good when you are able to confess your sin to someone who has found
freedom from the very same sin.
It’s important to have people in
our lives who are a little further down the road than we are. We can learn a lot from them.
Video: Dear Kitten
We could all use an older “cat” in our lives.
:2 “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut
off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be
remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart
from the land.
:2 I will cut off the names of the idols
Forgiveness and change
God wants cleansing to go beyond just Him saying, “It’s
okay, you’re forgiven”.
God wants you to actually remove the things that
cause you to stumble.
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking
that when I do “that sin” of mine, that all God is looking for is me saying
God does want you to say “I’m sorry”.
And when you do, God promises to forgive.
Yet God wants us to go beyond the endless cycle of “sorry”, “forgiven”, “sorry”,
God longs for us to take steps to actually change.
God wants to see those “idols” in our lives removed so
they no longer have power over us.
:2 the prophets and the unclean spirit
The prophets that God is going to be addressing in the next couple verses are not “good” prophets.
They are “false prophets”.
They do not prophesy under the influence of the Holy Spirit, but under the
influence of the “unclean spirit”.
:3 It shall come to pass that if anyone
still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him,
‘You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his
father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.
:3 shall thrust him through
God told Moses that if someone was a false prophet, even if it was a
relative of yours, you were supposed to put them to death (Deut. 13:1-11)
But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to
death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of
the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you
from the way in which the Lord
your God commanded you to walk. you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he
sought to entice you away from the Lord
your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
:4 “And it shall be in that day that every
prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a
robe of coarse hair to deceive.
:5 But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am
a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’
:4 every prophet will be ashamed
The false prophets will be ashamed of what they’ve
:4 they will not wear a robe of coarse
hair to deceive
Some of the prophets would wear sackcloth.
(Daniel 9:3 NKJV) Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make
request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather
belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
False prophets would wear sackcloth to deceive people into thinking they
were the “good guys”. Jesus said,
(Matthew 7:15 NKJV) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
After Jesus returns, the false prophets will go into hiding and stop
pretending to be “prophets”.
:5 I am no prophet
When confronted by people, the false prophets will lie and claim that they
have never been prophets.
Notice that these prophets would be “driven from the land” (vs. 2).
Honesty and mourning over your sins brings cleansing.
Lying about your sins gets you removed from God’s land.
:6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these
wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was
wounded in the house of my friends.’
:6 wounded in the house of my friends
In context, it could be the false prophets who are saying they were wounded
in the house of their friends, as a false excuse as to why they have wounds.
Yet in reality, it might be because even their parents (vs. 3) will wound
Some have suggested that this might apply to Jesus.
In that case, this might be hinting at Jesus being betrayed
13:7-9 Shepherd Savior
:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against
the Man who is My Companion,” Says the Lord
of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be
scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
:7 Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will
We’ve talked about the subject of “prophetic
telescoping” before – how prophecies can take hop, skips, and leaps through
time without missing a beat.
We’ve just gone “back” to Zechariah’s future, but to
This verse was fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus said,
(Matthew 26:31 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be
made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is
written: ‘I will
strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Jesus quoted from Zechariah.
Jesus would be arrested, beaten, and
The disciples didn’t stick with
Jesus. They all scattered for a time.
But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets
might be fulfilled.”
Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him
with the palms of their hands,
:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord, “That
two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be
left in it:
:8 two-thirds in it shall be cut off
We believe that these last two verses jump back into our future, and speak
of what will have happened during the Great Tribulation period.
The Tribulation is also known as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7)
Alas! For that day is great,
The primary focus of God during the time of the Tribulation will be the
nation of Israel.
The Tribulation period is part of Daniel’s amazing prophecy of “seventy
The prophecy is found in Daniel 9, and is specifically
aimed at the Jewish people:
(Daniel 9:24 NKJV) “Seventy weeks are determined For your
people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting
To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
Notice phrases like “finish the transgression” and “make an
end of sins”. Just like the cleansing we’ve been studying.
Daniel’s prophecy is wrapped around “seventy
weeks”, or, seventy groups of seven years.
(For more details, look at the study in Daniel
The first 69 “weeks” give the actual dating of the rebuilding of the
Temple, and the coming of Messiah.
If you take Daniel’s starting date – the decree of
Artaxerxes to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and add 69 “weeks” of Jewish
prophetic years, you will end up at the day when Jesus enters Jerusalem riding
on a donkey, being hailed as the “Son of David”.
Daniel also records that after the 69 weeks, the Messiah would
be cut off, and the city would be destroyed.
We also believe that God’s “timeclock”
stops, and the 70th “week” of years doesn’t
start until the Tribulation, when God once again begins to work on the nation
During the Tribulation period, the antichrist is
initially embraced by Israel as their “messiah”, until he shows his true
nature in the middle of the Tribulation.
He will enter into a rebuilt Temple, and demand to be
worshipped as God.
It’s at this point that Israel wakes up and
realizes the antichrist is truly evil.
A great persecution of the Jews will follow, and the nation will flee into
the wilderness, towards southern Jordan, where God will protect them. (Rev.
But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its
mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had
spewed out of his mouth. And
In Zechariah we find out that two-thirds of the
Jews will be killed.
Currently there are over 7.5 million Jews living in Israel.
With today’s numbers, this would mean that almost 5 million Jews in Israel
would die, and 2.5 million would survive.
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
:9 I will bring the one-third through the
fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I
will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one
will say, ‘The Lord is my
:9 Will refine them
God’s refining process
Sometimes God’s allows difficulty in our lives for the sole purpose of
Refining is a process of removing the impurities from a metal.
God wants to work at removing the impurities in our lives.
Sometimes it’s great difficulty that causes us to
see our need for Christ in the first place.
I know that more than a few of you came to Christ during one of the dark
times in your life.
Sometimes it’s great difficulty that God will use
to further refine us, helping us to remove the impurities in our lives.
The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the
city was pure gold, like clear glass.
(1 Peter 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a
little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the
genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that
perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory
at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
When gold is dug out of the
ground, it is initially melted in a “smelter”.
The process of smelting only results in gold that is 80%
pure. Most gold is further refined until
it’s 99% pure.
That further refinement requires more heat, more melting, and
removing even more impurities.
It seems the key to refining is heat.
Are you going through a hard time right now?
Are you seeing impurities come to the surface in your
Are you struggling with anger? Impatience? Anxiety? Fear?
Recognize that these are the things God
wants to refine out of your life.
Sometimes the refining comes through difficult people,
even through scary people we might even call “wolves”.
Video: How Wolves Change Rivers
Do you have people in your life who are causing you great
God can use the difficulty to refine you, even change the
course of rivers – for the good.