I AM RETURNED
Zechariah 8:1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. 3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will 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. 4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. 6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts. 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; 8 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. 9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words 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.
What a wonderful determination by our Eternal, Glorious Savior! I am returned! I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem! The Lord God started out to dwell among his human family, but the first Adam was not to provide Him his dwelling place! For In Adam all die! It is only in Christ that all shall be made alive! (1 Corin. 15:22) For the first Adam caused death to reign! It is only in Christ, the last Adam, in which grace reigns eternally!
Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
And to just what Zion and Jerusalem is the Lord referring? Let the scriptures tell us. Heb. 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
The heavenly Jerusalem is where believers, who still physically dwell on earth, but yet they sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephes. 2:6)! They are not just members of a religious organization, but of a spiritual organism – the church, the Body of Christ!
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The holy city, new Jerusalem, is comprised of living stones! Christ, the foundational stone is said to have eyes! Zech. 3:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. No literal stone has eyes! This is clearly said to be Christ with his universal observation over his church!
Zech. 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. 2 Chron. 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
And these are found in the Holy Lamb in the Revelation of Jesus Christ! Rev. 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
And we well know that each and every elect believer is said to also be a living stone, built into the very Body of the Bride of Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Where Was He Gone?
Where was God returned from? Where had he gone, and what drove him away? If we follow the trail of the glory of God being removed from Jerusalem in the Book of Ezekiel, we can see God being driven out from this people due to their determined iniquities! (Read Ezekiel 8:4-5, 9:3, 10:4, 18, & 11:23. Then see Ez. 43:4-5 for his return.) The law provided no satisfaction for God! He was not pleased with the sacrifices and offerings it afforded him! Satisfaction was not provided the Father until the Eternal Son came and completed redemption! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Therefore we read that Israel’s continual transgressions drove God out from them, like a lion back to his lair, after he has successfully hunted. Hosea 5:14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
Only the complete and full atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ can return God to dwell in Zion! Dan. 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. And this he did at Calvary! John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Listen to these verses revealing God’s present dwelling place, noting especially the word, “in!” John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Col. 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Indeed, God shall dwell IN Zion!
And this was done at God’s determination to provide a new covenant; a covenant of grace, changing the hearts of man, so that old things passed away and all things became new! For it is no more, as under the law, “Do this and live!” But it is now, “Christ has fulfilled all righteousness! Believe in his finished work for you and enter into eternal life!” Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
2 Corin. 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
God dwelling in Zion is now by imputation! 2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The Aged and Youths
In verses four and five of our text, listed above, we find both the very aged, and boys and girls who are said to be in the streets of Jerusalem where God shall dwell. These are two provisions now realized in the heavenly Jerusalem, the Church. For whereas we read in Genesis chapter five of the heritage of death in Adam’s line, (note how many verses end with the words, and he died), the last Adam provides, not just physical, but eternal, everlasting life! John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
And as these aged citizens reveal to us our being brought into eternal life and unto the Person of the Ancient of days (Dan. 7:9, 13, 22), so these youths set before us just how this shall come to be! For their only means of becoming boys and girls is provided by a birth! The Lord commanded the little children to be brought unto him, for he stated, of such is the kingdom of heaven! (Matt. 19:14). For none can even see the spiritual kingdom, much less enter into it, except by spiritual birth! (John 3:3,5,8).
In verse six of our text we see God dealing with how all of this overwhelms the minds of his people! But he let them know that these things were not marvelous to him! For he does not see as man sees! (1 Sam. 16:7). He had earlier directed their minds that it would not be by human might, nor by collective human power, but its accomplishment would only be by his Spirit! (Zech 4:6).
This same Lord continues his teachings to us in the days of his earthly ministry. For he instructs us in John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
And in John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
For those dwelling in the new Jerusalem with God’s Spirit within them see now as God sees! 2 Corin. 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Then one certain day they shall see him as he is, in his personal, glorious appearing, which sight shall eternally glorify them! (1 John 3:2).
Pastor Gene Breed
February 4, 2011