The Fate of Jerusalem, The Call of its Future Inhabitant
The Only Peace of Mind
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," beginning with the second paragraph of page 172.
M.B., pg. 172 -- "Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation; but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life....
"Thank God, we are not left alone. He who 'so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,' will not desert us in the battle with the adversary of God and man. 'Behold,' He says, 'I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.'
"Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. 'The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.'"
We should pray for faith to enable us to know for certain that Christ will never turn away from any of us, and that if we follow Him we shall never fail in our undertakings. We should praise Him for making it possible that though we may, as it were, come upon serpents and scorpions, they cannot hurt us.
THE CALL OF ITS FUTURE INHABITANTS
- Zechariah 14 -
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 14, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall study Zechariah 14.
Zech. 14:1 -- "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee."
As you know, the subject matter contained in this chapter actually begins in chapter twelve and runs through chapter fourteen. To ascertain who is referred to by the pronoun "thee" in this verse, we must go back to chapter thirteen. There we find that "thee" refers to Jerusalem. It is the spoil of Jerusalem, then, that shall be divided in the midst of her.
Zech. 14:2 -- "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."
In view of the fact that Jerusalem is to be protected by a wall of fire (Zech. 2:5) while the house of Judah reigns there, it is definite that the battle here described must be fought before the house of Judah is established. In that battle the nations will defeat the rulers of the Promised Land. Then it is that the house of Judah commences to be set up.
As the warring nations besiege the city, and rifle the houses, also ravish the women, they are by no means righteous nations, but since not all the inhabitants go into captivity, and since all are not cut off from the city, it must be that the wicked are taken away and the righteous left in to join the house of Judah.
Verses 3, 4—"Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. 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.!"
At the time Jerusalem, that now is, falls, the Lord's feet shall stand upon Mount of Olives and there make a very great valley; that is, remove the obstacles and hindrances, and thus prepare the land for the returning of His people. Then it is that the prophecy of Zechariah 10:8—that the Lord shall "hiss" for His people—will have met its fulfilment.
Verse 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."
Having thus opened the way for the re-establishment of the house of Judah, His people, who beforehand have been informed of it through present Truth, will flee to the valley, to where the Lord's feet stand, as quickly as if they were fleeing from an earthquake; and all the saints thereafter follow after them. There are several facts in this scripture itself which prove that this event is premillenial: (1) Note that the Lord's feet stand on the mount in the day of the war in which Jerusalem is taken by the wicked nations. (2) Those that flee to the valley do not descend from Heaven. (3) They cannot be the wicked for they do not flee away from the Lord, but flee to Him, to where His feet stand. (4) All the saints follow after them. "Early Writings," p. 53, makes a double application of this scripture, a post millennial one.
"In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness." Zech. 12:4.That is, God surprisingly confuses the wicked that they begin to act like mad men. At the time the Lord brings this to pass, He protects the house of Judah.
"In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem." Zech. 12:6.
When the Lord smites the armies of the nations, He also makes the rulers of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood. Thus shall they with the "everlasting gospel" devour all the heathen round about, and thus shall Jerusalem be inhabited safely by God's faithful people.
So it is that "in the days of these kings [not after their days] shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and It shall stand forever." Dan. 2:44.
Then it shall come to pass that "many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Mic. 4:2.
Verses 6, 7—"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light."
These verses imply that heretofore varying conditions, "clear" and "dark," have obtained, but that it shall no longer be so. For the word "clear," in the margin, you note, gives "precious," and for the word "dark,” it gives "thickness,” indicating that the light is not to be alternately sparing and abundant, thick and thin, light and dark. Instead, it is to be steady, constant. The scripture, of course, is speaking of spiritual light–the Light of Truth, knowledge from God. For example, in the days before Christ's first advent, there was spiritual darkness. Then His presence gave light for a time, after which followed the Dark Ages of religion. Later, through the Reformation, light again began to shine but very sparingly. Then by the proclamation of the First, Second, and Third Angels' Messages, the light became brighter. At this time, though, through the prophet Zechariah the Lord promises constant and adequate light.
Verse 8—"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be,"
The "living waters" must represent living knowledge, living Truth–that is, those who drink, so to speak, of It shall never die.
The "mountains" on the north and on the south cause the "waters" to run only east and west from Jerusalem. Thus shall it be as long as there is summer and winter—as long as this old and worn out earth lasts.
Therefore Jerusalem, the place where the feet of the Lord shall stand, will become the great international and spiritual divide for the everlasting gospel. From the Jerusalem in the valley of the mountains will the angel anew proclaim with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment [for the living] is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Rev.
14:7. Then the gathering of the people begins with the plea:
"Come out of her [Babylon who then rides the beast– rules the world], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4. So shall the earth be "lightened" with the glory of the angel, and so shall the saints be gathered from the four corners of the earth.
Verse 9—"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one."
The Lord reigns first over Jerusalem, and finally after the saints are gathered in from the four corners of the earth He reigns over the whole earth.
Verses 10,11—"All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited."
These verses need no comment, save that the old popular idea of the establishment of the Kingdom, as you now see, is not God's idea. We had better take His ideas, and forgo ours.
Inasmuch as time will not permit us to cover the entire chapter today, we shall leave the remaining verses for next week, the Lord willing.
Before closing, though, let us in a few words summarize what we have studied this afternoon. Just before the kingdom of Judah is established in Jerusalem, the city shall be besieged, the houses shall be rifled and women ravished. Not all, though, shall go into captivity. The residue are not cut off from the city, they obviously become a part of the house of Judah. At that time, when Jerusalem has fallen and the Lord has removed all obstacles and hindrances for the gathering of His people, then it is that the house of Judah is reestablished. God's people shall flee to the "valley" as quickly as though they were fleeing from an earthquake. The Lord smites the armies of the nations, while at the same time He protects and exalts His own people.
Through the prophet Zechariah, God promises to His people in our day adequate and constant spiritual light. From Jerusalem in that day shall flow forth the living Truth. Then it is that "many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord." What a prospect! And what a tragedy if any of us should fail to do our part to usher in that glorious day.
THE LAW OF LOVE
Dig channels for the streams of love,
Where they may broadly run,
And love has overflowing streams,
To fill them every one.
But if at any time thou fail
Such channels to provide,
The very fount of love itself
Will soon be parched and dried;
For thou must share if thou wouldst keep
This good thing from above.
Ceasing to share, we cease to have–
Such is the law of Love.