Zechariah 6:1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
We have now entered into an account that records the wrath and anger of God focused against those who have afflicted Jerusalem. But this wrath abides within the exact same Sovereign wherein also abides his great love for his elect people. (See Romans 11:22) For in chapter one, verses fourteen through sixteen we read of them both co-mingled as being of one spirit! Zechariah 1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. 16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. His great jealously for Jerusalem is coupled with his sore displeasure with the heathen! For (whether in love or in wrath), our God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12:29.
But wait! Was it not this same God who sent the Assyrians against his hypocritical nation? Absolutely! Then how can he judge them in such wrath? Well, would you want Judas to be given a metal? It is understood that his role in the denial of our Lord was essential to Christ’s crucifixion and therefore our salvation! We expect Judas to be sent to Hell for his hands were included as part of the wicked hands that accomplished the death of the Lord!
For although it could only have been done by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, the hands that brought it about didn’t do so for the glory of God, nor for the salvation of God’s people! Sin is a coming short of the glory of God! (Rom. 3:23) Therefore the hands of Judas and all who participated in Christ’s death, even though it was predestinated by God, were said to have done so with wicked hands! Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Judas did it for that which is the very root of all evil – the love of money!
Also in our above printed verse of Zechariah 1:15 we read of the cause of God’s just wrath against the Assyrians – they helped forward the affliction! The Interlinear Bible reads that they, gave help for evil!
Let us go to Isaiah as he writes of this very thing! Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
Just in these verses we see that it was, indeed, the design of God to use Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar to be his rod of correction against his disobedient people. But also in these verses we find the reason why God will then turn and punish them for doing so. Look at that seventh verse! Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; The Lord God, who looks upon the hearts of man, sees their sinful motivation! They are not afflicting Israel for the purpose of the Lord to make them holy! They are afflicting Israel for the same reason Judas denied Christ! – the desire of gain! Now listen at God’s Wherefore!
Isaiah 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
It is very clear in these verses that once the Lord has accomplished his whole work of correction upon his people, he must, for the sake of his holiness, bring down judgment upon Assyria who exalted itself above God! For God says that what they did is like an ax boasting itself against the woodsman that cuts with it! They were but the rod of mine anger, but they presumed to be just in whatever they pleased to exact against any nation! – That has gotten many nations and individuals in serious trouble down through the centuries.
God’s Strange Work
We should also notice that this judgment against Babylon had to be interceded for by the angel of the Lord, who is a pre-Incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ! Zechariah 1:12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
This brings up the question that since God is jealous for Zion with a great jealousy, then why would this Intercessor be needed to plead with him to aid them? It is because that wrath and judgment are God’s strange work! Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
Some religionists say that God is always and only a God of love! Therefore they need to exalt the Devil to attribute to him all human tragedy! But the Devil is a created being! He in no way is equal with God!
Other religionists say that God is a God of wrath. They cannot bear the verses stating any godly compassion falling upon the evil and unjust as well as upon the good and just! But we know that his rain falls, and his sun shines without discrimination on both! (See Matt. 5:45). But the truth is that God must both love righteous and hate evil in maintaining his holiness!
Mountains of Brass
Our Four Chariots are said to come forth from between two mountains of brass. And we know that to Israel the mountains represented the Lord God in his sovereignty and immutable decrees. Their psalmist states that they look unto the hills for help, but that they knew their help only came from the Lord! (Psa. 121:1,2). And they used the majestic mountains, and other glorious splendors of creation to reflect the character of God. (Psa. 36:5,6).
God, in his infinite wisdom and absolute sovereignty needs no erasers on his pencils! He makes no mistakes. All that he thinks is perfect. Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: 25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. 27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
And he, being the Eternal One, laid it all out before the world began! Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
These then, were not only majestic mountains, representing the glory of God’s Person, but they were also brass, in order to show the unalterable counsel of his will! And the Lord Jesus is said to walk in this age among his true churches with feet of brass! Revelation 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And although this is not preached in our day, it is something he wants his church to know! For hardly any in todays religion will allow any accountability to God exacted upon them! Rev. 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works,… Whether admitted or not, the fiery, all seeing eyes and the feet of brass, reducing all things to be done decently and in order are effectual in this present day. See Revelation 6:1-8 for the horsemen’s effect today.
This is not the first time we have seen horses used in the visions of Zechariah. In chapter one, verses eight, ten and eleven we have seen horsemen under the myrtle trees sent forth to bring back a report of the situation of all mankind. But these had no chariots! Our chariots represent the agencies of the warfare of God, sent to accomplish his will in wrath and judgment. For their measure of iniquity is now full and they have sinned away the day of His visitation among them for their good! (Gen. 15:16, Matt 23:32. Luke 19:41-44, 1 Thes. 2:15,16).
These unseen, often times called, “secret” counsels of God were understood by the ancient church as their sole protection! And only when today’s true church comes to understand that it is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord, will she ever be returned to her glory and power!
Listen to these verses that show God and his agents alone were Israel’s protection! For in both of these passages it was the prophet of God that was called God’s protecting horsemen and chariots! 2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
Dear reader, it is at the point of obedience to God that nations have fallen or been sustained! America, like other nations before her, were made strong in her faith in God! But she, also like others before her has fallen due to her casting the word from her pulpits and from her heart! Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Here are two verses, one showing the positive and the other the negative, to prove this truth. Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 42:24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
And to whom shall the Lord Jesus appear in fiery vengeance against at his next coming? 2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
You will notice in our text that the Lord omits the first chariot with the red horses when he speaks of their going forth. He actually begins in verse six with the black horses of the second chariot. This is clear proof that these matters are strongly effectual in the realm of God’s governing of human affairs! For the first verse of the first chapter of Zechariah’s writing speaks of Darius, not Nebuchadnezzar! Darius was a Mede! The red horses of the first chariot had already done their work. They had already brought down Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. And Darius need be careful, for the black horse chariot is moving! Be careful America!
Pastor Gene Breed
January 12, 2011