The Future Salvation of Israel
“Zechariah’s Visions” # 2 Zechariah 1:7-21
The Future Salvation of Israel # 5
“Zechariah’s Visions” # 2
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
In Romans 15:4, the Apostle Paul said, “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we, through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.”
- Many of God’s people appear hopeless today because they haven’t developed the patience to study the Scriptures so as to learn the will of God, the ways of God, and the wisdom of God – i.e., a “biblical worldview.”
- The truth is we are where God has ordained us to be on His prophetic calendar, which means, while the future is unknown to us, it is certainly not unknown to our omniscient God.
- W. Tozer entitled one of his many books, “We Travel an Appointed Way.” There is no such thing as “coincidence,” or “chance” for the child of God. The paths we walk today were marked out by our Heavenly Father, according to His perfect will for our lives.
- Therefore, to achieve God’s purpose for our lives, we must learn to trust in Him with all of our heart, lean not upon our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways, and allow Him to continue to direct our paths.
Our God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is the only One who can stand at the very beginning of time and declare what shall be at the end of the age. (Isaiah 49:9-10)
- God has revealed what He wants us to know about the future through the 2,500 prophecies in the Bible.
- According to those who study biblical prophecies, 2000 have already been fulfilled and some of the remaining 500 are being fulfilled in our day.
- Sadly, most of God’s people are unaware of them, which is why they are discouraged and without hope for the future.
This was the message God gave His people through the voice of His prophet, Zechariah 2600 years ago.
- Because of their disobedience to God, and their rejection of God’s warnings through the prophets, God allowed the Jews to be exiled to Babylon for 70 years. Why 70 years? Because God had told them to let their land lay fallow every seventh year, and the Jews had violated God’s law for 490 years.
- God also allowed the Babylonian armies to tear down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem, burn the Temple, and take the Temple treasures to Babylon.
- However, God moved the heart of King Cyrus of Babylon to allow His people to return to Israel, and 50,000 returned to repair their homes, restore the walls around the City of Jerusalem, and rebuild the Temple.
- However, due to the lack of finances and workers and the random attacks from their enemies, discouragement had set in, and work had ceased. They were so dismayed they began to doubt God’s presence in their lives.
- God sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to assure them of His presence in their lives as well as His eternal purpose for their work, which would be revealed in generations to come, for they were not only restoring the place where their people could gather and worship God, they were also restoring the place where God would return and bless the people.
- Zechariah challenged the men to view what they were doing in light of what God was going to do for the people of Israel in the future; a prophecy that will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to this earth as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
God’s message of encouragement for His people in that day, as well as for His people in our day, is found in the eight visions of the future that God gave to Zechariah, beginning with the Man who sat upon a red horse, among the myrtle trees in the hollow, with several other horses behind Him.
- The Man who sat on the red horse was the Angel of the Lord, the Pre-incarnate Son of God. The red horse was a symbol of a great battle, the other multi-colored horses represented the host of heaven, and the myrtle trees represented the Jews who were down in the Kidron valley just outside the City of Jerusalem.
- The picture here is the Lord Jesus, who is ready to lead His followers into battle, win the victory over Israel’s enemies, and rebuild the City of Jerusalem, so they can, once again, inhabit those hallowed walls.
- The angel in verse 9 is not the Angel of the Lord, but rather an “interpreting angel” God sent to help Zechariah understand all the Angel of the Lord had revealed unto him.
- The interpreting angel identified the riders on the multi-colored horses as those who had gone throughout the earth to ascertain the spiritual condition of God’s people, and they told the Rider on the red horse, “the earth is sitting still, and is at rest.”
- God said what the people of the world considered “rest” was, in fact, “righteous indifference” – they had closed their eyes to the suffering going on in the world, especially regarding Israel.
- Here were these Jewish workers who needed the help of other nations to accomplish the assignment God had given them, but rather than helping them, their neighboring nations were doing all they could to keep these workers from succeeding.
- In verse 12, The Angel of the Lord came to Israel’s defense, and interceded with God the Father regarding their plight.
- In verse 13, God the Father answered God the Son with “good and comforting words.”
- “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion.” (Israel)
- “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy.”
- “My house shall be built in it, and a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”
- “My cities shall again spread out through prosperity, for God will again comfort Zion.”
Why God chose the nation of Israel as His people.
- God is sovereign – He can do what He pleases.
- God didn’t “choose” the nation of Israel; He “birthed” it through the loins of Abraham.
- God needed a people through whom He could reveal Himself to the world.
- God needed a nation through whom He could channel the “Seed” of Eve to become the Savior in Mary’s womb.
- God needed a kingdom of priests, a people who would represent Him to the world and show the world how to worship God.
- God needed a nation to receive, document, preserve, and maintain His Holy Word for the future generations.
- God birthed the nation of Israel to show the rest of the world that He was a God who kept His promises.
- Israel is still the nation through which God is working to bring this age to an end and to usher in the Millennial Kingdom.
In many ways, the nation of Israel is down in that hollow again.
- Israel is surrounded by the very nations the Bible says will come against Israel in the last days, and prophecy watchers believe we are beginning to see the final wars that lead to the end of the age.
- Not only are the Jews in bondage to the false religion of Judaism, but God Himself has veiled their eyes to the truth about Jesus until that small remnant of the Jews sees Him as their Messiah and receives Him as their Savior and Lord.
- Out of the nine million people living in Israel, less than 2% are Christians, and 76% are Jewish.
- So, the fact that Israel remains as God’s chosen people does not mean they are godlier than any other nation, or that He will save them all.
- In fact, during the Tribulation, 2/3rds of the Jews living in the day will be killed in some way – only 1/3rd will escape to Petra.
- Through His relationship with the nation of Israel, God has revealed to the rest of the world His promises, His blessings, His severe chastisements, His judgments, His unconditional love, His unlimited mercy, and His amazing grace,
The nation of Israel is still the channel through which God is bringing this age to an end, and will usher in the Millennial Kingdom. The Bible says:
- There will be a mass return of Jews to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:1-14).
- The Antichrist will make a 7-year covenant of “peace” with Israel (Isaiah 28:18; Daniel 9:27).
- The temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1).
- The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel, and worldwide persecution of Israel will result (Daniel 9:27; 12:1, 11; Zechariah 11:16; Matthew 24:15, 21; Revelation 12:13).
- Israel will be invaded (Ezekiel chapters 38-39).
- Israel will recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10).
- Israel will be regenerated, restored, and regathered (Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 11:17; Romans 11:26).
- In Romans 11:26-29, Paul made it very clear to his readers, “In the end, a remnant of the Jews will be saved.”
In many ways, the Church is down in that hollow, looking up and wondering if our day of deliverance will ever come.
- Not only are we hated by unbelievers, but we are being humiliated by those who have a different concept of God, Jesus Christ, and our understanding of salvation. In effect, we are outcasts among Christians.
- However, the Lord Jesus will soon return to rule and reign over the earth for 1,000 years as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and those who believed in Him and received Him as their Savior and Lord will come with Him.
- The future of Israel is settled forever!
- The future Temple will be rebuilt in the City of Jerusalem!
One day soon, those of us who received Jesus Christ as their Savior during the Church age, and those who will receive Christ as their Savior and Lord during the Tribulation, and those Jews that will be redeemed in Petra will gather together at Jesus’ feet, and we will reign with Him on this earth for 1,000 years, and in the new heaven and new earth forever, world without end.