THE DAY OF THE LORD
Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
It is difficult for the natural minded religionist to perceive that these verses pertain unto the days of the sending forth of the gospel after the coming of the Holy Spirit! But these are the dark sayings and difficult passages that fall out from the shadowy law. Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
The scriptural way of knowing what the prophets meant is to have an apostle interpret them for you! For our spiritual growth is built up on the foundation of the prophets and apostles. Ephesians 2:20 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:
And the Apostle Peter clearly reveals that this was most certainly the understanding given him as an apostle by the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Therefore we come to realize that these verses in our text regard the advancement of the gospel kingdom.
Before looking into these verses, let us observe another very dark and most difficult passage that the Apostle Peter interprets for us, by the Spirit, at Pentecost. For there he quotes the Prophet Joel and reveals that Joel’s prophecies are a revelation of what is happening on that very day of Pentecost! Listen to him in Acts 2:16-21.
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Now do you see that my beginning statement really understated the difficulty of the natural mind to rightly interpret the Holy Scriptures? For we must see them, not as merely literal, but as literally spiritual! John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Therefore the Spirit’s ‘description’ of the coming of the Holy Spirit was given in a language of a mighty upheaval! It has to be spoken of in the shadow-language of the law as wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath! Peter is actually saying that while I am preaching to you this first Christian gospel message, after a completed atonement, the promise of the Father having been received, it is as if the sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood! Peter was not preaching about the end of the gospel age! He was preaching about the beginning of the gospel kingdom!
Just as in Revelation chapter four where we read of the Spirit’s invitation in verse one to come up hither! That is not the end of the gospel kingdom, with some fancied physical ‘rapture!’ This is the Spirit effectually raising up the church from it’s poor condition under the law to the glorious, spiritual condition under a completed and applied redemption!
Dear soul, once the redemption was completed and the Father was satisfied (Isa. 53:11), the glorious walk by faith in an applied redemption has begun! Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
So the Apostle Peter is actually stating, This Is That! Pentecost IS such a devastation of the spiritual realm with Satan, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, being cast out, that it was as dramatic an upheaval in the invisible, spiritual realm as if the sun was darkened, and the moon turned to blood!
And so it was! Christ, the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2), was forsaken by the Father, and entered into the darkness of death! And by His being made sin, the church, like the moon which only reflects light (Rev. 12:1), was covered by His blood! (Rev. 1:5).
Let us look now at our verses in Zechariah 14. In verse one we read that God, the Spirit, will be sovereignly powerful in his gospel warfare! For his word shall never return unto him void! But as natural warriors remove themselves from the scene of the battle to some safe and quiet place to divide the spoils of warfare, it shall not be so with God! His warfare in the delivery of souls held captive by Satan shall be so powerful, he shall have no regard for the enemy, whom he has vanquished at the cross! (Heb. 2:14,15). The mighty Christ shall just divide the spoils right in the middle of the streets of the hearts from which Satan was cast out by grace!
Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
Isaiah 42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Then in verses two and three we read of the new beginning of gospel warfare, not possible under the provisions afforded by bulls and goats blood. Only with the accomplished redemption, which provided the opened fountain of Zechariah 13:1, can the command come forth, “Go ye into all the world!” For the provision of bulls and goats blood could never take away one single sin! Therefore it could never support world wide evangelism! Under the provision of animals blood they could only go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel! (Matt. 10:6).
But under the provision of the blood of God’s Holy Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, every nation shall be addressed and brought back under the sovereign power of the last Adam, which Satan had stolen from the first Adam! Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The Holy Ghost shall come and restore the world unto God’s order, and unto God’s righteous judgment. John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Satan was cast out at the cross! The scriptures state that he was cast out at the time of God’s salvation being completed. Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
My! My! How the poor literalistic millennialists have wrongly butchered the next two verses! (Zech. 14:4,5). Some seem to have rather make the effort to climb a tree to believe a lie, rather than stand on the ground and believe the truth! For here we have the precious verses of Christ, the faithful Shepherd, providing a glorious valley of direction and protection for his church where there used to be only mountainous hinderances!
The literalistic religionists consign these verses to a reshaping of real estate down at the end time! And they are but robbers of God’s flock’s present blessings in doing so! For one of the Spirit’s gifts from Christ to his church in the gospel day, is the faith to remove mountains! (1 Cor. 13:2). Did not Christ himself set this forth?
Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. God grants even mountain sized problems in order for the church to exercise her faith in their removal!
And this is the Spirit’s work in the bringing the spirituality of the believer to a better prepared heart for the increased entrance of the King! Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: We are to bring down the inordinate affections that tend towards worldly excitement. We are to exalt those tendencies toward despair that cause us to sorrow as others who have no hope. And we are to straighten out those cooked tendencies of sinful habits, making a higher and more even plain for the Spirit to make inroads for Christ’s more holy life in us!
The natural mountain that was the protection of natural Jerusalem would be a hinderance to the spiritual Jews. (Romans 2:28-29) For the true believer is never to place trust in the arm of the flesh. He is to fully trust in Christ alone! Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Therefore the Lord restructures those natural distractions which would impede spiritual growth, forming that very thing into a way of escape. Consider these verses where the Lord refers to my mountains. That is, those former natural obstructions which, by his dealings, are made to be pathways of escape. Isaiah 49:11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. 10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
And verse five of our passage informs us that all those liberated from sin and Satan’s power shall flee from the wrath to come (Matt. 3:7) through the passage way the Lord Christ’s atonement has made for them as from a mighty earthquake! Hebrews 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 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:
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Pastor Gene Breed
July 27, 2011