The Exodus of Today
The Only Peace of Mind
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 23, 1946
MT, CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall study Zechariah 8. The first thing we need to know in the study of this chapter is whether its promises are made to the people of Zechariah's time or to the people of our time. To find this out, it is necessary for us to read a few scattered verses. We shall begin with
Zech. 8:7, 8—"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country; 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."
In these verses we see that God is promising to save His people not from the land of ancient Babylon, where Zechariah then was, but from the east and from the west, and to bring them to Jerusalem. They are to be His people, not by virtue of their ancestry, or by some other, but in Truth and righteousness. Now, since the promise in these verses did not meet its fulfilment in Zechariah's day, nor at any time thereafter, it stands to reason that it must meet its fulfilment sometime in the future. Let us read
Verse 13—"And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: tear not, but let your hands be strong."
Besides promising to save His people from the east and from the west, the Lord promises to save also the house of Judah and the house of Israel, both of the scattered ancient kingdoms. You are well acquainted with the fact that the ten-tribe kingdom constituted the house of Israel. And since these two kingdoms have never yet been united and brought back to Jerusalem, there is but one logical conclusion to be reached: The promises of this chapter are to be fulfilled in the time of the "gathering of the people" from the four corners of the earth. In view of this great and grand work the Lord expects our hands to be "strong." Next we shall read
Verses 20-22—"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord."
Since we know that no nation aside from the Jewish nation in Zechariah's day went to seek the Lord and to pray before Him in Jerusalem, there is no alternative but again to admit that the promises of Zechariah 8 belong to the people in the time of the final harvests, in the gathering time.
Having completed our analysis of the time this chapter meets its fulfilment, we can, I am sure, now study the prophecy itself with much greater interest than we could have otherwise. Let us begin with Verses 1-3—"Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. 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."
Yes, wonderful things are spoken of Zion and Jerusalem. At one time the Lord forsook the city and scattered the people. But at the time these scriptures are being revealed, He is to return, to gather His elect, and to bring them to Zion and Jerusalem. When this great work shall have been accomplished Jerusalem will then be called "a city of Truth, . . .the holy mountain"—a people well versed in God's whole Truth and without a sinner in their midst. This great wonder evidently takes place during the Judgment of the Living, the righteous are taken there while the wicked are being bound in bundles as it were for to be destroyed. And while the Lord dwells in Zion, His Truth shall then emanate from Zion and Jerusalem. Then it is that "many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord." Now is our greatest chance to work and pray "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
Verses 4, 5—"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. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. "
Jerusalem shall be a city of joy, too. There shall be no fear or accident; even the children shall safely play in the streets. There shall be no "long faces," and no worried looks. So shall it be for both young and old.
Verse 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."
Just because the fulfilment of this prophecy might seem too marvelous and impossible, must it necessarily seem impossible to the Lord, also? Indeed not.
Verses 7, 8—"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country; 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."
Zechariah predicts the gathering of the saints out of all nations into God's purified and Truth-filled church, the Kingdom, just as the parable of the harvest teaches, only the wheat is to be put into the barn, church. There is to be no mixed company of saints and sinners in the "holy mountain of the Lord."
Verse 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."
God here counsels us to let our hands be strong, and stable.
We, too, should hear the words of the prophets and though we be not building the temple which they were building, yet that is the only way that our work can prosper. We cannot afford to close our ears to what the prophets say, or to sit down in an unconcerned attitude.
Verses 10-12—"For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour. But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts. For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things."
How thankful and glad we ought to be that the days of our affliction are almost at the end, that now if we hear His prophets, and brace ourselves for the work, the Lord assures us of peace and prosperity. This may soon be ours if we but steadfastly cling to the Truth, and thus to the Lord.
Verse 13—"And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong."
Though we have been great sinners and a great curse among the heathen, yet even far greater will our blessings be if we let Him give them to us. Our hands should be strong to hasten that glad day.
Verses 14, 15—"For thus saith the Lord of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked Me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not: so again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not."
Again and again we are assured that as great as has been His people's punishment, just that great shall be their joy and comfort now in the gathering time.
Verse 16—"These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the Truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of Truth and peace in your gates."
Everyone of us is admonished to teach the Truth to his neighbour, to do whatever he finds close to his hand. We are to execute judgment of Truth rather than waste breath and time talking about the sins of others lest we fail to see the knotty "beam" in our own eye. Let us, as this scripture instructs, speak the Truth, execute judgment and peace in our homes and in our midst. Never should we busy ourselves with other people's concerns. We should do well if we manage our own.
Verse 17—"And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord."
Of all the things Christians need to learn, this one thing is most urgent: That they be honest with themselves and with others, that they always speak the truth, that they cease imagining evil against one another. Remember, when you repeat hear-say you most likely are speaking falsehood, either wholly or in part. This you cannot afford to do, for "there shall in no wise enter [the city] anything that. . . .maketh a lie" Rev. 21:27. Evil speaking and evil surmising are things which the Lord hates.
Verses 18, 19—"And the word of the Lord of hosts came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the Truth and peace."
These ancient and typical fasts shall turn to be antitypical feasts of joy and gladness.
Verse 22—"Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord."
It is interesting to envisage the expansion of God's Truth as outlined in this chapter: First, one individual speaks the Truth to another individual. Then one city communicates It to another city. Finally, one strong nation invites another nation to join the Lord. Thus will the harvest continue until the gospel work is finished, until God's faithful people stand on the Lord's right side (in the Kingdom), and the hypocrites with the heathen stand on His left side (in the condemned Gentile world that is ready to perish).
Verse 23—"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you "
It is logical to conclude that the ten men who take hold of all the languages of the nations in the time of this great ingathering are figurative of a group of people (the church freed from tares in the harvest time), just as the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1) are figurative of the church while the tares are still commingled with wheat. The ten servants (Luke 19:13), and the ten horns (Rev. 12:3; 17:3) are numbers of universality. These ten men will speak all the languages as did the Apostles on the Pentecost.
Obviously, the "Jew" whose skirt the people will take hold of must be the one through whom the Lord is working to reveal Himself and His Truth to the people. Having discovered this fact, naturally they will say, "We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." This particular Jew, of course, is not of the present-day identified Jews, but most likely a descendant of the Christian Jews, perhaps of those who in the apostolic age lost their identity by naming themselves Christians (Acts 11:26). Again, he may be a descendant of any of the Jews who were driven from their homeland, scattered throughout the nations, and assimilated by them, then converted to Christianity.
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. . . . And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." Isa. 41:10-12, 16.
Thus shall the gathering of the people be in the final exodus of today.
This ends the eighth chapter of Zechariah, and now we shall in a brief summary consider some of the things which we have learned in this study:
First and most important of all, we have learned that the promises contained in Zechariah's prophecy are to be fulfilled in our day, and that very shortly wonderful things are to happen; that at one time the Lord had to forsake Jerusalem and scatter His people throughout the world, but now He is to return and gather His elect from the four corners of the earth; that Jerusalem is to be called a city of Truth and of joy—no fear, no accidents, no sorrow there; that God's people are to enjoy peace and prosperity; that they are to speak well of everyone, no longer will they waste their breath or time talking of the sins of others; that never will they busy themselves with other people's concerns; that they are to manage their own, and execute judgment and peace in their homes; that God's Truth is to expand rapidly: at first one individual speaking the Truth to another; then one city communicating It to another city; finally one strong nation is to invite another nation to join the Lord.
I agree with you that these promises do seem incredible and even fantastic. But the more they so appear, the brighter the prospect, for God does not do what seems possible to man, but He does the things that seem altogether impossible to them. Think of God's marvelous work in the Exodus Movement: He led them out of Egypt, while they marched through the Red Sea, through the desert, and through the Jordan. He brought down manna from heaven, and continued to do so for forty long years. Visualize, if you can, Pharaoh's brick slaves becoming prophets, priests, and kings! The three Hebrews comfortably standing in the midst of the fiery furnace; and of Daniel in the lion's den; of Mordecai's victory over Haman; of David's victory over the giant; of Joseph feeding the world; of Moses surviving the Nile; of Samson pulling down the temple by bare hands. Countless are the wonders of God's mighty power all through the ages. All these deliverances, and many others were absolutely impossible with men, but very much possible with God. These mighty miracles bring us face to face with the fact that God is in the business of making "possibles" out of discordant "impossibles." Therefore, "let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words" of the Lord.
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