A PRIEST UPON HIS THRONE
Zechariah 6:9 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 10 Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah; 11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; 12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD. 15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
What a glorious passage! Here the brilliance of the types and shadows of the Old Economy, revealing Christ, shine most brightly! Here we see the eternal mind of God in his purposes through the holy Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ! For he establishes here, once and for all that he shall reign, not primarily through the office of the king, but through the office and officer of the priest! For it is his mercy that he emphasizes shall endure forever! (Psa. 136) And it is in the forgiveness of sin and the benefit of having our names written in heaven in which we are told to rejoice! (Luke 10:20). The glory of God in the highest is his bringing on earth peace, good will toward men! (Luke 2:14).
Make no mistake, however! He reigns as the King Priest! He shall never be divested of his sovereignty and omnipotence! For him to bear the glory (v.13 above) includes both the Sovereignty of the King, and the Mediation of the Priest! Rev. 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Remember the two anointed ones of Zechariah 4:15? They represented the kingly office exacting discipline, and the priestly office affording worship. And these are the two criteria for the identity of the true church – discipline and worship! Recorded in Revelation seventeen John was amazed at the appearance of the Whore church with her outward show of finery. And she is shown to him to be THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (17:5). But in chapter eleven of Christ’s Revelation, John is given instruction as to the proper identification of the true church. Rev. 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. He came to understand that only those that were within the limits of the measuring reed of the rod (same word sceptre in Hebrews 1:8), and those that worship at the altar were then identified as the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We have also quoted above Revelation 1:6 wherein we are shown to be formed by regeneration to be both kings and priests, for we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son!. (Rom. 8:29). And he is Prophet, Priest and King! And he being King of Kings, that is, prince of these believer kings, they are caused to have a glory by which to adorn his church, which is his Body, the holy city! Rev. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
For those who are suffering with him in the fellowship of his sufferings (Phil. 3:10), are also reigning with him in their present sojourn on earth! 2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
By their gospel witness in voice and conduct, and by their prayers they have sway over the matters of providence! Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (not her speech, but her manner of life), of the wives;
We see the effectual power of the righteous man’s prayers clearly set forth in this passage: Rev. 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
This earthquake represents the shaking down of the purposes and the projects of man in order to make way for the spiritual and eternal kingdom of Christ! Hebrews 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
No National Crown!
The king’s crown in Israel was eliminated, not to appear again until it rested on the blessed head of the Lord Jesus Christ! In this next passage we have a reprobate Moabite (Sanballat), declaring that there is a king in Israel. Then we have a Spirit led Israelite (Nehemiah), stating that this is a lie made up in the mind of that Moabite! (We have the same thing going on today with those who are determined to have a national king in national Israel, while true spiritual believers know that there is no national king! For Christ, the King of all kings must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet! – 1Cor. 15:25.)
Nehemiah 6:6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words. 7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
Now listen to the words of the Lord God concerning this subject! Ezekiel 21:26 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
And the Father has given it to his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Behold the Man!
In verse eleven of our passage it is commanded to have the crowns set on the head of Joshua, the high priest. And then in verse twelve Zechariah, the prophet is commanded to say, Behold the man, turning the minds of all present to the Messiah, who is there identified, as he is in numerous bible passages as, The BRANCH! Would you believe that these same words were spoken by Pilate when he brought forth the Lord Jesus wearing his crown of thorns? John 19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! God will have his dear Son recognized as reigning Lord in whatever presentation he is set forth! For whether crowned with glory, or crowned with sufferings, he is seen as exalted over all! Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Bear the Glory!
One thing that man has never been able to handle, either before or after the fall, has been to bear the glory of God! That indeed, is his sin! That is the point at which he first fell short! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And until that is remedied, he cannot return into the presence of the Lord God! 1Cor. 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Every man who has been exalted and praised by others has been caught up in pride, which always goes before a fall! Whether it be an entertainer, a sports figure, or a politician, every last one, without Christ, has been ruined in attempting to bear the glory! But wonderful news! For we read in verse thirteen of our passage that our reigning high priest shall be able to do that on behalf of those for whom he mediates! …and he shall bear the glory!
The true believers know assuredly that they can only glory in the implement that restricts the flesh in its desire to exalt itself – the effectual workings of the cross of Christ! Gal. 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
And listen to what glory he bears as our one Mediator! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Therefore all shall praise him, ascribing all glory to him! Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Listen at Daniel 7:14 which gives us the scene of the Son’s ascension into heaven, where he is received by the Ancient of days (God, the Father): And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
And by him alone the saints are brought back into a higher degree of glory than ever they had in the first Adam! 1Thess. 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
They That Are Far Off!
In verse fifteen of our Zechariah passage we read that the prophet authenticates his mission and his message by stating that when they that are far off shall be involved in building the temple all would know that the Lord had sent him. And we readily know that those three Jews who had just arrived from far off Babylon are included in this confirmation. But still more confirmation is received in another Jew’s writing, many years from that day. His name was Saul of Tarsus. But after his regeneration his new name became Paul, the Apostle! And he used these same words in setting forth the ingathering of the Gentile believers, who would themselves be built into the living organism of the church, God’s temple. And they actually become builded on the foundation of Jesus Christ, who comes to dwell in them!
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Therefore, those of you reading this, who are born of the Spirit, are actual proof that Zechariah was sent of God to deliver this message that long ago day!
Pastor Gene Breed
January 21, 2011