Monday, August 31, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 9

Numbers 9

-The observation of the Passover in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt is denoted in this chapter. It was to be observed according to all its statutes and ordinances, which the LORD gave to Moses. The children of Israel obeyed all that was commanded in regard to the Passover, but there were some who were unclean because of a dead person. They came before Moses and Aaron to inquire on that day what they were to do. They asked why they were restrained from presenting the offering of the LORD, and Moses asked them to wait while he listened to the LORD’s instructions on the matter (Numbers 9:1-8). Then the LORD spoke to Moses telling him that it would be permissible for the unclean on account of dead persons or being on a distant journey to observe the Passover to the LORD. They would be able to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs and leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it, in fulfillment of all the commands that God had given. However, the man who was clean and was not on a journey, yet neglected to observe the Passover, that person was to be cut off from his people. And, the ones who did not present their offering to the LORD at its appointed time would bear their sin. Aliens who were sojourning among them were to follow the same statutes and regulations in the Passover ceremonies, just as the natives of the land (Numbers 9:9-14). They were connected to the body of Israel and enjoyed all of the benefits.

-The last nine verses of the chapter relate to the guidance that God gave His people along the wilderness journey. On the day that the tabernacle was erected, the cloud of the LORD in His glory would cover the tent of meeting, and at night, His presence appeared like fire over the tabernacle, until morning. This was a continuous occurrence as God was with His people. “Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp. At the command of the LORD the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped (Numbers 9:15-18).” At times they would stay many days. At other times it would only be a short period of time before they set out again. They were going at the LORD’s pace obediently. “At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out; they kept the LORD’s charge, according to the command of the LORD through Moses (Numbers 9:19-23).”

-*Application* Don’t you wish sometimes as a follower of Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit, that we still had that visible representation of where and how God wants us to move and go? The inner workings of God’s plan in this new dispensation, however, make us more dependent and aware of His presence than ever before. Though we can often be dense, and not fully comprehend what God is doing in and through us to move in His power and for His glory, all hope is not lost. Whenever we completely yield to His authority in our lives, He promises to redirect and shape our lives in such a fashion that makes sense and teaches us along the way. Cling on to Proverbs 3:5-6 for your solace. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Following Him may not always be easy, but it the best reward anyone could ever have.

Verse to Memorize: Numbers 9:17-18, 23

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 8

Numbers 8


-The lampstand that would be in the holy place in the tabernacle was given a brief description as this chapter begins. God spoke to Moses for him to speak to Aaron concerning this important article for the worship of Almighty Yahweh. His Light becomes the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5, 2 Corinthians 4:3-7). The work was according to the pattern prescribed by God (Numbers 8:1-4). It was not man’s plan at all. The Designer had, and has, full authority.

-The next section where God speaks to Moses concerns the cleansing and purification of the Levites for service in the tent of meeting. They were to be sprinkled with purifying water symbolically and cut themselves with a razor removing all hair from their body. They were to wash their clothes thoroughly so that they would be ritually clean. Then they were to take a bull with its grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil, and they were to take a second bull for a sin offering. Then they, the Levites, were to be presented before the tent of meeting with the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled. The sons of Israel would then lay their lands on them before the LORD in a dedication for spiritual service, and Aaron was to present them as a wave offering before the LORD in order to qualify them to perform service in the House of God. Then the Levites were to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls submitting one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to make atonement for their imperfections. Again Aaron would make a wave offering presenting them finally to the LORD. The Levites were God’s, sanctified as His gift to perform the service of the LORD. He could have taken the first born sons from Israel as they were purchased and sanctified by Him during the Passover in Egypt, but He made provision otherwise to make atonement on behalf of the people of Israel so that no plague would come among them by them coming near the sanctuary (Numbers 8:5-19). Thus, Moses and Aaron, along with the people, did all that the LORD commanded to the Levites for their consecration. After these things, the Levites went in to do the service of the LORD in the tent of meeting, “just as the LORD commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them (Numbers 8:20-22).”

-Now, the LORD spoke to Moses concerning the required ages of service in the work of the tent of meeting for the Levites. They were to start their work at the age of twenty-five, but at the age of fifty they were to retire and not work any more. They could assist to keep obligations, but they themselves were not allowed to do any of the work after that age (Numbers 8:23-26).

-*Application* The concepts of light, purity, consecration, and retirement are not new to us. Jesus said we should be lights in this world, just as He is Light (Matthew 5:14-16). While we do not do ritualistic things any more like they did in this national period, we, by faith and devotion, should separate ourselves for the work and plan that God has designed for us, His children. Being obedient to that proves for a better life that is fulfilled and clean before Him. Lastly, the principle of passing on our experience and vision to the next generation should be considered. No one will live forever in the flesh here on this earth. We need to ensure our legacy while we still have time and empower those who will follow us to continue in the service of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Neglecting to do this, or trying to hold onto power too long, damages and tarnishes our effectiveness and is prideful. Relinquish your rights before God when it is time to pass the baton.


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 8:19

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 7

Numbers 7


-On the day that Moses finished setting up the tabernacle that God had ordained and directed, he anointed it and consecrated it with all of its furnishings and utensils. The leaders of every tribe brought offerings for the anointing and consecration of the tabernacle. Each one brought their offering before the LORD. In total there were six carts that were used, one cart for every two tribes, and twelve oxen, one for each of the tribes. They presented these and the LORD directed that they be given to the Levites for service in the tabernacle. Gershon got two carts and four oxen for his service. Merari got four carts and eight oxen according to their service. Kohath did not get any because their service was with the holy objects, which were to be carried on the shoulder (Numbers 7:1-9).

-The leaders each presented dedication offerings before the altar of the following: 1) one silver bowl and dish full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, 2) one gold pan full of incense, one bull, one ram, and one male lamb one year old for a burnt offering, 3) one male goat for a sin offering, 4) two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs one year old for a peace offering. These offerings were presented each a day at a time making the dedication last for twelve days according to the number of Israel’s tribes (Numbers 7:10-88). After this the Bible says, “Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him (the LORD), he heard the Voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony (‘eduwth- witness), from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him (Numbers 7:89).”

-*Application* Wow, here’s the concept! When we dedicate (chanukkah- devotion) and consecrate (qadash- make holy, to set apart) our lives before God, we see from this Old Testament shadow and type that we can hear from Him. His mercy seat is over the ark of the testimony, which was His perfect Law covenant. The people humbly came before Him and gave of themselves to their God. This allowed His presence to speak to His prophet and servant, Moses. Now, in this new dispensation of Christ Jesus’ New Covenant, we have hold access to His throne through faith in what the Son of God sacrificed to reconnect us with Him for relationship and sweet fellowship (Hebrews 4:14-16). Ponder this a while, and then go spend time with God. He wants to speak with you too!


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 7:89

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 6

Numbers 6


-Chapter six deals with the Nazirite vow that the LORD gave to Moses to give to the people of Israel. This is for a holy separation unto the LORD for the purpose of dedication to His will and purposes. No strong drink, like wine, and even any part of the grape was allowed. They were to refrain cutting their hair with a razor, nor were they to go near a dead person. No uncleanness was to be upon them. There were some specific ritual requirements as well as they presented their sin offerings, guilt offerings, grain offerings, and peace offerings when their time of separation was fulfilled (Numbers 6:1-21). We examples of Nazirite vows in Sampson and Paul from Scripture, so it is safe to assume these times of separation for holiness were fairly common in the culture long-term (Judges 16:17, Acts 18:18).

-At the end of the chapter we observe Aaron’s benediction with a special blessing given by the LORD to Moses for the sons of Israel (Numbers 6:22-23). “The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).” There is a final recommendation to invoke the Name of the LORD upon themselves, and then the LORD will indeed bless them (Numbers 6:27).

-*Application* A special time of separation, dedication, and consecration is commendable and necessary for anyone getting serious about the things of God. God asks us to separate ourselves from this sinful world and be sanctified (set apart, holy) unto Him by faith and action. He is good and wants to bless us. We need to invoke His Name on all we do and beg for His blessing, keeping, shining Light, grace, blessed favor, and peace. We should also speak that over others as much as we can. This is what love does.


Verses to Memorize: Numbers 6:24-27

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 5

Numbers 5


-Chapter five now begins a law section for the people of Israel. The LORD speaks these commands to Moses, and he gives the people God’s Law faithfully. On defilement, lepers (Leviticus 13-14), everyone having a bodily discharge (Leviticus 15), and everyone who is ritually unclean from touching a dead person (Leviticus 21:1, 11) is to be removed from the camp, both male and female, until they become clean again. God is in the midst of this camp, and it is to be undefiled (Numbers 5:1-4). Then the sins of mankind against one another are readdressed in this section of the Torah. Restitution is the principle that is to be followed with an additional one-fifth added to the equal value of the wrong committed. Confession is also paramount in this process. Faithfulness is emphasized and a provision is made for those who have no relative to pay the restitution. In that case, the atonement will go to the LORD for the priest as a contribution as a holy gift of the sons of Israel (Numbers 5:5-9).

-The adultery test is then explained when a man suspects, or has a spirit of jealousy, towards his wife thinking her to be unfaithful. She is to be brought before the priest of the LORD with an offering of one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal with no oil or frankincense poured on it. This
“is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity (Numbers 5:15).” The woman must then be brought before the LORD to stand and take a test. Her hair is to be loosed and the memorial offering placed in her hands. In the hand of the priest is to be “the water of bitterness that brings a curse (Numbers 5:18).” The priest will have the woman take an oath stating that she has been faithful to her husband who has authority over her, and that she accepts that her thigh will waste away and her abdomen swell if she is guilty of adultery when she drinks the water of testing. The priest will then take the grain offering and wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar. He will take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar right before the woman drinks the water.

The priest will then have her drink the water that brings a curse. If the water causes her a wasting away of the thigh and abdominal swelling, she is guilty. If she is not defiled after drinking the water, she is clean and free to conceive children. “This is the law of jealousy: when a wife, under the authority of her husband, goes astray and defiles herself, or when a spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he shall then make the woman stand before the LORD, and the priest shall apply all this law to her (Numbers 5:11-31).”

-*Application* We still see crimes of passion and jilted situations often today in our society. Imagine for just a moment if we still applied this law of the LORD to our marital infidelities or suspicions in our modern culture. Would there be more respect for the institution of marriage and roles of authority in the home, both of which are ordained by God? We must admit that God’s way is the best solution for messy circumstances, when we actually think about it. While the embarrassment of confession and possible infidelity can be overwhelming, the preventive measures God commands are good and should be considered, even in the church. While we err on the side of grace now a days, acknowledgement of the problems that plague us is really the first step to healing and redemption. Come clean with each and before God to make your home and marital fellowship all it should be. Confess, repent, and find God’s favor. Be open and honest. God knows all anyway. His desire is for us all to be holy before Him.


Verses to Memorize: Numbers 5:29-30

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 4

Numbers 4


-The duties of the descendents of Kohath, Gershon, and Merari given by God to Moses and Aaron are delineated in this chapter. These were the sons of Levi with Levitical duties and concerns in taking care of the tabernacle and the worship of Almighty God. A census was taken for the men between the ages of 30 and 50 for the time of their fulfilling the duties that God had assigned in the care of His temporary House with the tent of meeting and all its surroundings outlined and ordained earlier in the Torah. These men had specific order and responsibilities to take good care of the things of God, and laymen were not allowed to touch the holy things. Else, they faced the death penalty (Numbers 3:10, 38). Even certain Levites were not allowed to go in and see the holy objects even for a moment lest they die (Numbers 4:20). So these men were numbered and given duties for serving and carrying according to the command of the LORD through Moses, and they obeyed up to this point in the journey (Numbers 4:49).

-*Application* God has order to His plan and program. He is not the God of confusion or chaos (1 Corinthians 14:33). He has ultimate and sovereign control over every matter and expects His people to follow His Divine directions when He crystalizes the direction they should go. Obedience when we know God’s will becomes a matter of extreme importance for us, His children. Good communication builds good fellowship within a relationship. He wants us to trust in Him, even when we don’t understand. He will have things work out just fine when we do. Learn to lean on His understanding more than your own rationale (Proverbs 3:5-6). This is the true heart of worship and it is never to be taken lightly.


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 4:49

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 3

Numbers 3


-The numbering continues in chapter three, now concerning the Levites, as the LORD continues to give word to Moses in the wilderness. Aaron and his sons are designated for various duties and places to camp surrounding the tabernacle, all of which they obeyed unto the LORD. “But Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD when they offered strange fire before the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai (see Leviticus 10:1-2 for more information, Numbers 3:4).” The Levites were God’s; therefore, He redeemed all of them from a month old and upward and the rest paid ransom for the rest of the firstborn from among the sons of Israel (Numbers 3:40-50). The money was given to Aaron and his sons, “at the command of the LORD (Numbers 3:51).” See the following quote for elaboration on this unique situation in Israel:

“The principle on which the enumeration of the Levites had been made was now to be applied to the other tribes. The number of their male children, from a month old and upward, was to be reckoned, in order that a comparison might be instituted with that of the Levites, for the formal adoption of the latter as substitutes for the first-born. The Levites, amounting to twenty-two thousand, were given in exchange for an equal number of the first-born from the other tribes, leaving an excess of two hundred seventy-three; and as there were no substitutes for these, they were redeemed at the rate of five shekels for each (Numbers 18:15-16). Every Israelite would naturally wish that his son might be redeemed by a Levite without the payment of this tax, and yet some would have to incur the expense, for there were not Levites enough to make an equal exchange. Jewish writers say the matter was determined by lot, in this manner: Moses put into an urn twenty-two thousand pieces of parchment, on each of which he wrote "a son of Levi," and two hundred seventy-three more, containing the words, "five shekels." These being shaken, he ordered each of the first-born to put in his hand and take out a slip. If it contained the first inscription, the boy was redeemed by a Levite; if the latter, the parent had to pay. The ransom money, which, reckoning the shekel at half a dollar, would amount to $2.50 each, was appropriated to the use of the sanctuary. The excess of the general over the Levitical first-born is so small, that the only way of accounting for it is, by supposing those first-born only were counted as were males remaining in their parents' household, or that those first-born only were numbered which had been born since the departure from Egypt, when God claimed all the first-born as his special property (see”

-*Application* God entrusts certain people and calls them to full-time ministry to work in His House, otherwise now known as the church in Christianity. These are the principles we can glean from this study of the national order for the Hebrew people. Those called into obedient career service deserve our utmost loyalty and respect as long as they are following the Word of God. Otherwise, they are offering that “strange fire,” or in other words inauthentic ministry, which the LORD detests, and He will eventually punish them for that, often severely as we see in the Scriptures here. The ministry is hard, and pastors need our support, believe me, I am one. They are judged on a stricter standard and carry the weight of serving people’s souls (James 3:1). That is not a light responsibility and only accomplished with the power of the Holy Spirit.


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 3:4

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 2

Numbers 2


-The LORD speaks to Moses and Aaron to tell them how they should position themselves in the camp towards the tabernacle in this instructive chapter. The tribes were commanded to camp each by his own standard with the banners of their father’s households around the tent of meeting at a distance (Numbers 2:1-2). The format would essentially look like this:


                                                                        Dan (Leader- Ahiezer, Men- 62,700)
                                                                       Asher (Leader- Pagiel, Men- 41,500) 
                                                                       Naphtali (Leader- Ahira, Men- 53,400)

                                                                             Total: 157,600


Benjamin                                                                                                  Issachar
(Leader- Abidan, Men- 35,400)                                                                                           (Leader- Nethanel, Men- 54,400)

 Ephraim                                                                                   Moses                                Judah

(Leader- Elishama, Men- 40,500)                                      Tabernacle      Aaron of sons        (Leader- Nahson, Men- 74,600)
                                                                                                  of Levi
            Manasseh                                                                                                 Zebulun
(Leader- Gamaliel, Men- 32,200)                                                                                         (Leader- Eliab, Men- 57,400)

Total: 108,100                                                                                                             Total: 186,400

                                    Gad (Leader- Eliasaph, Men- 45,650)                 Simeon (Leader- Shelumiel, Men- 59,300)

                                                                        Reuben (Leader- Elizur, Men- 46,500)


                                                                        Total: 151,450

                                                                  Grand Total: 603,550

We can certainly start to see why this book is named Numbers now can’t we? The Levites, again, were not numbered men of the sons of Israel, because the LORD had commanded it to be that way. So we see that Israel did all that the LORD commanded them to do in the structure of their camp in naming leaders and obediently following the requirement to number their armies by household.

-*Application* What we can definitely see in this exercise is that the family units were important to God. He arranged them by direct command through His servants Moses and Aaron. He also gives us directives to make our own homes the best that they can possibly be (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Colossians 3:18-21, Ephesians 5:15-6:4). Listen to the words of the Father and obey them. You will see biblical success, prosperity, and well-being in your own home if you do.


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 2:34

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 1

Numbers 1


-Introduction: Numbers continues as the fourth book of the Torah under the inspiration of the LORD given to Moses, His servant and prophet, who lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the wilderness. Therefore, we can conclude that this compilation was put together somewhere between 1450-1410 B.C. and in the wilderness of the Sinai region south and east of the Promised Land. The Law section is now over, which was primarily given in Exodus and Leviticus. Now reiteration to that good and perfect Law must be made, but there is a distinct preparation phase that God’s people are now entering as they venture from slavery into promise. Their faith is tested, and usually, as we see in this text, they fail miserably. A census is taken, thus the name Numbers, but that is just one of the themes of this work. Rebellion is another key theme that becomes evident as the Hebrews are found grumbling, defiant, unsatisfied, and unbelieving at many junctures. Unfortunately, we see discipline and even death coming from the just and mighty God when these events occur in the camp of Israel. Wondering then becomes another key theme as the children of God are restricted from entrance into Canaan. They must wonder in the wilderness for forty years because they did not trust in their LORD to give them victory over the inhabitants of the land. In fact, that generation died, even Moses, before they could inherit the blessings. So, a final theme revolves around the Promised Land, which we know today as Israel. The historical story revolves around this precious piece of property that is the apple of God’s eye, which He would use for His glory as the ages progressed. Take heart and glean many precepts and understandings for how God works in the Christian’s life through this study of Numbers. It will build our faith, and help us live in the reverence of the LORD more and more.

-Chapter 1: The LORD speaks to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, which had been ordained in the giving of the Law (Exodus 25:22; 29:42). God speaks to His servant on the first day of the second month in the second year after they had come out of Egypt. This is significant because now the Law had been given, and it was time to begin the preparation stages to enter into the Promised Land. The LORD was ready to move His people along, and He calls Moses to complete a census giving authority to the heads of the sons of Israel by their families. They were to number them “head by head” each male that was 20 years old and upward and able to go to war. Just as the LORD commanded Moses, so he did in numbering the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 1:19). From Reuben (46,500) to Simeon (59,300) to Gad (45,650) to Judah (74,600) to Issachar (54,400) to Zebulun (57,400) to Joseph’s sons Ephraim (40,500) and Manasseh (32,200) to Benjamin (35,400) to Dan (62,700) to Asher (41,500) to Naphtali (53,400) they came to a total of 603,550 supposedly rounding to the nearest 100 with Gad rounding to the nearest 50 as it appears.

-The Levites, however, were not numbered among these counts. They were appointed, by the LORD’s command, over the tabernacle of the testimony, over its furnishings, and over all its belongings. They were assigned to carry the tabernacle and camp beside it so that there would “be no wrath on the congregation of the sons of Israel (Numbers 1:53).” They were to keep charge of the tabernacle of the testimony taking it down when they moved and setting it up where they camped. “Thus the sons of Israel did; according to all which the LORD had commanded Moses, so they did (Numbers 1:54).”

-*Application* Up to this point we see in Numbers an obedience to faithfully do all that the LORD wanted in regards to fulfilling His commands. It may have seemed pointless to some, or maybe there may have been a temptation for jealously between tribes based on size or responsibility, but we see no evidence of questioning anything like that in the text during this first chapter narrative. God always has a plan, and it is a perfect plan. If we will follow it willingly, things will go according to His Divine will. Success will be achieved for His Kingdom. How well are we following God’s directives for our lives today? Are we obedient or disputing with Him? I can tell you this, it will always go better if we seek Godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6). God’s desire is to bless. Are we willing to go His way on things pertaining to our lives?


Verse to Memorize: Numbers 1:19

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 14

Zechariah 14


-The final chapter of this great book emphasizes the end of times and gives specifics as to the daily lives and what will happen in Jerusalem’s eschaton. The time sequences do not seem to be chronological in the prophecy. The spoil taken from them will be divided among them. All the nations will gather against the Holy City to battle. The city will be captured for a while with houses plundered, women ravished, and half of the population of Jerusalem exiled. However, the rest of the city will not be cut off, and the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations that come against His people. “In that day His (Messiah) feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south (Zechariah 14:1-4).” The inhabitants of Jerusalem will flee by the valley to Azel in the beginning wilderness area just east of Jerusalem. The people had fled in this direction during the time of King Uzziah as well. Then the LORD will come, and His holy ones with Him (Zechariah 14:5)! These are events that seem to be during the tribulation period. There will be no light in this day, which I believe refers now to the New Jerusalem following the millennial reign (Zechariah 14:6-7, Revelation 21:1-2, 23-22:7). In that day “living waters will flow out of Jerusalem” towards both the east and the west in both summer and winter (Zechariah 14:8).

-“In that day” the LORD will be the only King over all the earth, which I believe goes back in chronology to the millennial period. His Name will be ultimately supreme and the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; however, Jerusalem will remain on its site and rise from the Benjamin Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses (Zechariah 14:9-10). People will inhabit it with no longer having to deal with God’s curse. Jerusalem will live in complete security. Now going back in time further to the era of tribulation, plagues will devastate those who have gone to war against His Holy City in an attempt to bring about its downfall. “Their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth (Zechariah 14:11-12).” There is no way Zechariah could have foreseen a time when this was actually possible, but we know the effects of atomic and nuclear power and how these things can really occur. A great panic, as you can imagine, comes upon these enemies of God as He sends His fury. Violence will occur with each other as they fruitlessly attempt to combat the Holy One. Judah will be embroiled in the battle at Jerusalem, and the wealth of the nations will come as a gathering place to duke it out. When it is all said and done, and I believe this involves the millennial Kingdom of Christ (Revelation 20:2-7), the ones who are left from the nations will go up from year to year to worship King Jesus, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Leviticus 23:34-36, Zechariah 14:13-16). No rain will fall on those who disobey this command to come to Jerusalem and worship the LORD yearly. Egypt is mentioned in particular here since they were the ones who enslaved the Hebrew people necessitating the reason for the Feast of Booths during Israel’s wilderness wanderings (Zechariah 14:17-19). “In that day” the bells of the horses will render the phrase “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the LORD’s House will be like the bowls before the altar. In fact every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD, and all who come to sacrifice to the LORD will come and take of them and boil in them. In other words, His holiness is open to all the nations to come and partake of His goodness. There is longer no a distinction between the holy and the common since all is now declared holy before the LORD as the curse is removed. Also, “There will no longer be a Canaanite in the House of the LORD of hosts in that day (Zechariah 14:20-21).” The Canaanite represented idolatry and false religion. God had commanded the Hebrews to annihilate them when they originally came back into the Promised Land under Joshua (Exodus 23:23-25, Joshua 24). Sadly, they had been left as a remnant and infiltrated the Jewish culture leading to Israel and Judah’s own depravity, idolatry, and exile. Now that the Messiah is in charge, no corruption to His power and authority remains.

-*Application* In summation, Zechariah gives us a sweeping panorama of world history and what is to come for the glorious Kingdom of God. His hope should be our hope as we see the hastening of the Day of the LORD. His enemies will be dismantled, His justice, mercy, and love will rule. Better days are ahead after the tumult. Keep trusting Him and praying for souls to come under His grace. Messiah Jesus is coming back, and He will correct all that has gone wrong with this sinful world!


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 14:4

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 13

Zechariah 13


-The “in that day” language continues into the thirteenth chapter as a fountain is opened up for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The fountain is for cleansing from sin and impurity. This is the work of the Messiah (Psalm 36:9, Jeremiah 17:13, 1 John 1:7-9). He also will cut off the names of the idols that had persisted in the land. These false gods will no longer be remembered in the light of His holiness, grace, and power. Prophets will not dare speak out in a deceiving or false manner as total awe and reverence are given to the Lord (Zechariah 13:1-5). This is reference to the return of Christ Jesus and His millennial Kingdom on earth.

-Yet, the Messiah is wounded in the house of His friends as the prophet writes in an interrupted time sequence. The sword of violence will penetrate this Savior, the Shepherd that was not recognized by His own people (John 1:11). The Associate and Shepherd of the Sovereign LORD is allowed to be struck, and His sheep scattered as a result of this first incarnation. Prophetically, two parts were cut off and perished, but the LORD rescues, for His own sake and the fulfillment of His covenant promises, a remaining third. These are brought through the fire of persecution refined as silver and tested as gold. These will faithfully call upon the Name of the LORD, and He will answer them in love and salvation. God will again tell them that “they are His people,” and they will reply, “The LORD is our God (Zechariah 13:6-9).

-*Application* Jesus is the fountain of life for all who will call upon Him for salvation. He invites you today to become a part of His everlasting family and Kingdom. He wants you to washed from your depravity so that you can reign with Him in glory (2 Timothy 2:12, 1 Peter 2:9).


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 12

Zechariah 12


-Another burden is revealed by Zechariah the prophet here in this remarkable chapter. Jerusalem will be vigorously and ruthlessly attacked “in that day,” which is no doubt the time of the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him declares it (Zechariah 12:1). Jerusalem will be made “a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around (Zechariah 12:2).” Siege will encompass the city as well as Judah in general, but all who come against the Holy City will find that it is a “heavy stone” and they will be “severely injured (Zechariah 12:3).” The attackers will be befuddled with bewilderment and blindness as the LORD strongly supports His chosen people in this time of calamity. Judah will be like a firepot among pieces of wood. In other words, the wood will burn up, but the pot will remain. Judah will be the “flaming torch” to the sheaves. Judah will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, “while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites (Zechariah 12:4-6).” The LORD will save, the tents of Judah first as well as the rest so as to give glory to the entire area rather than simply the City of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “In that day” the defenders will be strong. Even the feeble will be like the mighty King David, and “the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them (the attackers).” “And in that day I (God) will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:7-9).”

-Further, and absolutely essential, the Spirit of grace and supplication will be poured out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem at that time. They will indeed look upon Him (the Messiah, Jesus Christ) whom they have pierced (John 19:34-37, Revelation 1:7), and mourn for their returned Savior whom they had denied for so long. They will weep bitterly over Him for all the wasted years and those who perished from this world without faith in the Messiah and Savior of it. Mourning all over the place and regret as the end of the age is swallowed up in the coming Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Zechariah 12:12-14).

-*Application* Our Jewish brethren will one day recognize their Messiah for who He is. The mission to reach them with the gospel now at this present time has had sporadic and minimal results, but when they do receive their King and become completed, they have a zest and zeal for the things of God that are unmatched. We need to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as we see the storm clouds gathering of apocalyptic proportions. Remain vigilant in defending Israel and blessing them any way that you can as a believer in Christ Jesus. There will be blessing for you if you do (Genesis 12:3). God’s plan in the end will prevail, and He will deliver all who receive Him in faith.


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 12:10

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 11

Zechariah 11


-The prophet receives the Word from the LORD to speak out against the beautiful land from Lebanon in the north to Assyria (the common location for ancient Bashan) to the Jordan River area. Fire and destruction await these places as their selfish glory and pride is ruined (Zechariah 11:1-3).

-Then the LORD has Zechariah act out His Word in sending him to “pasture the flock that is doomed to slaughter (Zechariah 11:4).” He is symbolizing poor leadership of the flock of God who buy their slaves, without seeming consequence, and calling themselves blessed because of their wealth and opulence. These shepherds have no pity on their prey and use them to their own advantage. Therefore, God says that He will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land. He will cause men to fall in civil disputes and carnage within the kingdom and from outside the kingdom. They will strike the land, and God will not deliver them from their power. This is exactly what happened during the Intertestamental Period when factions sprang up in Israel and Judah separating the people of God (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians, and Zealots to name the prominent), and then foreign powers ravaged their land including Greece and Rome. Zechariah took two staffs “Favor” and “Union” as he pastured the flock in the Name of God. Then, three unknown shepherds were annihilated in one month, a short amount of time. Impatience was the reason given for this annihilation and their soul being weary of the shepherd God had set up. After that, Zechariah makes proclamation, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” Then he took his staff called “Favor” and cut it in pieces, “to break covenant which I (God) had made with all the peoples (Zechariah 11:5-10).” The people did recognize the prophetic Word from the LORD as the afflicted flock (Zechariah 11:11). Then, in a profoundly Messianic prophecy, he asked for his wages and they weighed out to him 30 shekels of silver. Then the LORD said to His prophet, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent (complete sarcasm here) price at which I was valued by them.” Zechariah obeyed and threw the 30 shekels to the potter in the House of the LORD, just like Judas Iscariot would do in the time of Jesus’ betrayal (Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 27:3-10). Then, the second staff called “Union” was cut into pieces to symbolize the division between Judah and Israel. The LORD told His prophet to again take for himself the equipment of a foolish shepherd. “For behold,” says God, “I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs. Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered and his right eye will be blind (Zechariah 11:14-17).”

-*Application* It is a great tragedy when God’s leaders fail to care for their ordained congregation adequately. God holds those in authority to a higher level of accountability and judgment as we can see in the Scriptures (James 3:1). If God puts you in charge of something, remember your important responsibility and do things in the light and power of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Don’t let pride and your own glory become an issue. Hear and obey the Voice of the LORD. This is what true success is all about in the Kingdom of God.


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 11:13

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 10

Zechariah 10


-God pours out His coming promise of blessing for Judah and Ephraim again in this short passage of prophecy. The rain will come in its season, the unrighteous will be vanquished and weak. God’s anger and punishment will be on the false shepherds who lead the sheep astray. But, God has visited His flock, the house of Judah. They will be His majestic horse in battle and the Cornerstone will come from them. This is reference to the Messiah, which will come from Judah in the line of King David. The enemy will be torn down, and the people will eventually be brought back to fully inhabit the Promised Land from Lebanon to Gilead to the every other part. They will go through the sea of distress, but the LORD will rescue them from places like Egypt and Assyria so that their hearts will rejoice. Then, they will be strengthened in the LORD “and in His Name they will walk (Zechariah 10:12.” Thus says the God of the universe concerning His chosen people.

-*Application* History has made us more and more aware of the work of God through His Jewish people of promise. No matter the distress, God is always on their side to fulfill His covenant. For us the same holds true. If we have faith and believe in Him, He makes us His children too, with all the royalty that that entails (1 Peter 2:9).


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 10:12

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 9

Zechariah 9


-For the first time in this book the word burden (massa’- load, bearing, tribute, burden, lifting, utterance, oracle) is used to describe Zechariah’s message from the LORD. Most scholars believe that chapter nine is a different and later time period of Zechariah’s ministry with the Temple being completed and a more astute focus on the coming Messiah. In fact Zechariah references the Messiah more than any of the other minor prophets combined in a preparation for His coming, which would be several hundred years ahead for the first incarnation. The prophet also divines things of the latter days with the second coming of Christ.

-Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place, Hamath, Tye, Sidon, Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron are all denounced “for the eyes of men, especially all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD (Zechariah 9:1).” The LORD will dispossess, cast wealth away, consume with fire, make to writhe in great pain, confound expectations, disinhibit, make to perish, and cut off the pride of these wayward cultures. He will “remove their blood from their mouth” and rid their detestable things from between their teeth to leave only a remnant for God. They will be reduced to small clans and bygone powers of history (Zechariah 9:1-7). But, God will camp around His House in Jerusalem annihilating any oppression. His eyes have seen all and will protect His covenant people. In the midst of this oracle, the Messiah is revealed to be coming with great rejoicing. “He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This prophecy is fulfilled completely as Christ Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-16). This Messiah will eventually “speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River (Euphrates) to the ends of the earth (Zechariah 9:8-11).” God was announcing prophetical deliverance for Judah and Ephraim. His promises would come to pass in complete fulfillment. Hope was encouraged as the LORD guaranteed to restore double to His people and victory over the enemy, including Greece. He will make His people like a “warrior’s sword. Then the LORD will appear over them and His arrow will go forth like lightning; and the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, and will march in the storm winds of the south. The LORD of hosts will defend them.” The LORD will indeed “save them in that day,” which I believe is yet to come in the future. They are His flock as the stones of His crown, “sparkling in His land.” Comeliness and beauty will be theirs and flourishing crops will again be normal (Zechariah 9:12-17).

-*Application* There are many things we could reflect on in this passage both prophetically and morally. Take some time today to think through these things that God punished societies for. When a nation is greedy and self-consumed with its own material wealth, God is not pleased. A giving spirit is what we need and joyful contentment. Cast down idols and turn your eyes toward the LORD. He is our ONLY salvation. He is just, endowed with salvation, humble, and can deliver. Trust in His security, not your own personal or national wealth, power, and prestige. He can take that down in an instant when He desires.


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 9:9

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 8

Zechariah 8


-There is a coming peace, truth, and prosperity to Jerusalem once again. This is the overriding theme of chapter 8 as the prophet receives more encouraging words from the LORD for His Jewish remnant. Yahweh is exceeding jealous for Zion with great wrath when they turn away from Him. Yet, His mercy and promises stay faithful to overhaul and redeem the mess that had become of the earthly Davidic Kingdom. God promises to return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, the place that will be called “the City of Truth” and “the Holy Mountain (Zechariah 8:1-3).” Old men and women will again sit in the streets and children will play with joy. These things are not too for the LORD. He will save His people and bring them back from the lands of the east and west. They will live in Jerusalem and be His people, and He will again be their God in truth and righteousness (Zechariah 8:4-8). God tells them then to let their “hands be strong” as they listen to the words of the prophets who spoke in the day that the Temple foundation was laid until it was completed. Before that time, God “had set all men one against another.” Now however, he will treat the remnant with a spirit of unity. There will be “peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I (the LORD) will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things (Zechariah 8:9-12).” The nation viewed as a curse and taunt of God will rebound and be saved by Him so that they become a blessing. Therefore, the LORD says, “Do not fear; let your hands be strong (Zechariah 8:13).” We see the complexity of God here as He describes His purposeful-unrelenting wrath and harm upon His disobedient and provoking people for a season. Yet, He takes pity and purposes to in “these days” do good to Jerusalem and Judah in general. Therefore, He states again, “Do not fear (Zechariah 8:14-15)!”

-Then God gives His people some things that they should do. They should speak the truth to each other. They should judge with truth and judgment for peace in the gates. They should never devise evil in their hearts for one another. They should not love perjury (the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing- from Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2015). These are all things that the LORD hates (Zechariah 8:16-17). Then the LORD tells his prophet to relay the information that His people are to celebrate their fasts with joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts at the end of their time of fasting for the purpose of loving truth and peace. God promises that the days are coming when peoples from all over the world will come to entreat the favor of the LORD and seek Him in Jerusalem because they observe and know that God is truly with them (Zechariah 8:18-23).

-*Application* God loves His chosen people and we should too. These days are the fulfillment of what Zechariah wrote. It happened in part in the time of Zechariah with the return to the land and the coming of Messiah Jesus, but it will be completely fulfilled in these days as the Jews return and tourism increases with Christians of faith coming and seeing the work of God in this land. It is happening; I’ve been there and seen it with my own eyes! God is with Israel for the long haul. He will never permanently forsake them. His Word is true and nothing will subvert it.


Verses to Memorize: Zechariah 8:8, 15

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 7

Zechariah 7


-The prophet gets another Word from the LORD in the fourth year of Persian King Darius on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Bethel (i.e.- the House of God) township had sent some men to seek the favor of the LORD. They spoke to the priests in the Temple area of Jerusalem along with the prophets, of which Zechariah was one. They were seeking guidance on whether or not they should keep observing a fast and time of mourning in the summer time, which they had done many years after the destruction of Judah and the taking of the Jews into captivity. Zechariah gets the Word from the LORD that they needed to make sure that this fast and time of mourning was actually for Him and not themselves. These holy words were issued to them from previous prophets when the land was inhabited and prosperous, but they apparently needed a refresher (Zechariah 7:1-7).

-Then the Word of the LORD came to Zechariah to “dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another (Zechariah 7:8-9).” However, the people had “refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the Law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” said the LORD (Zechariah 7:10-13). In other words, this was the breaking point, and God scattered them with His storm wind to all the nations, which they did not know. Their pleasant land lay behind desolated with no one going back and forth on it (Zechariah 7:14).

-*Application* When it comes to fasting, do we do it properly? Repentance and worship should be our primary concerns when we seek the LORD, not a program or to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. In other words, habits without conviction are fruitless and really a waste of our time. Further, we can bring the wrath of God upon ourselves when we lack compassion and refuse to listen to the wisdom of His Holy Spirit. Don’t let your heart become “like flint.” Hardening, ignoring, and refusing God when He calls can do immeasurable damage. Instead, cultivate sensitivity and submission to God’s Word. Let your heart be pliable and live better. May the lands of our lives be forever pleasant and not desolate in the sight of the LORD.


Verses to Memorize: Zechariah 7:8-9

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 6

Zechariah 6


-Zechariah lifted up his eyes again and looked. This time he perceives four chariots coming forth from between the two bronze looking mountains where he was located. The first chariot had red horses driving it, the second chariot had black horses, the third chariot had white horses, and the forth had dappled horses. The prophet asked the angel what these were about, and the angel replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth, with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country.” These were eager to patrol the earth as strong spiritual forces appeasing the wrath of Almighty God especially in the land of the north, probably referring to Assyria (Zechariah 6:1-8).

-The Word of the LORD also came to Zechariah for Messianic prophesy here. Zechariah was instructed to take an offering from the exiles and on the same day present it at the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have arrived from Babylon. They were to take silver and gold, making an ornate crown to set on the head of Joshua (Yeshua- God saves, Jesus in the Greek) the son of Jehozadak, who was the high priest. Then it was instructed to say to him, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, a Man whose Name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the Temple of the LORD. Yes, it is He who will build the Temple of the LORD, and He will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace between the two offices (Zechariah 6:9-13).’” The crown would be a constant reminder that Messiah was coming, and those who are far off will come and build the Temple of the LORD. At this time they will know that the LORD of hosts has sent His messenger to His people, “and it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God (Zechariah 6:14-15).”

-*Application* This was a symbolic crown to remind the people that a Messiah was coming. We have the good fortune now of looking back at Jesus’ first incarnation as our hope and joy for salvation. We also look forward in faith to the time when He reconciles all things to Himself and reigns with truth and grace over all creation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19, Colossians 1:20, John 1:14-17).


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 6:12

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 5

Zechariah 5


-Zechariah lifts his eyes up again and sees a flying scroll. The angel asks him, “What do you see?” The prophet replies, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits (approximately 30 x 15 feet).” Then the angel said to him, “This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side. ‘I will make it go forth,’ declares the LORD, ‘and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My Name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones (Zechariah 5:1-4).’” Then the angel who was speaking with Zechariah went out and asked the prophet to observe once more. This time he saw the ephah (a basket) going forth with a woman sitting inside it. Then the angel proclaimed, “This is wickedness!” The lead cover that was lifted up in the revelation was thrown down on her into the middle of the ephah at its opening. Then two women came out with wind in their stork-like wings lifting up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. Zechariah asked the angel where they were taking the ephah to which the spiritual being exposed, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar (Babylon- symbol for the center of world idolatry and wickedness); and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal (Zechariah 5:5-11).” To see what happens to Babylon, read Revelation 18. This signifies a departure of sin and corruption from the land of Israel, and a returning to their true King.

-*Application* Lying and stealing are an abomination unto the LORD. He brings a curse on those who practice such deeds. Further, He detests idolatry and any kind of wickedness that sets itself up against Him. Worship the LORD alone and drive out the foreign gods that have no power or authority (Revelation 9:20-21).


Verse to Memorize: Zechariah 5:3

Bible Study Notes in Zechariah- Chapter 4

Zechariah 4


-The angel returns to the prophet as the chapter commences. It rouses Zechariah as from sleep and asked him what he saw. Zechariah saw an all gold lampstand with its bowl on top of it and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts. Also, there were two olive trees by it on each side. As the prophet asked the angel what these things were, the spiritual being replied, “Do you not know what these are?” Zechariah did not know, so the angel revealed, “This is the Word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:1-6).” Grace was proclaimed on the rebuilder of the Temple in Jerusalem, namely Zerubbabel, and his work on God’s House on earth. Zerubbabel’s hands had laid the foundation, and his hands would finish according to the Word of God for the purpose of them knowing that the LORD had sent His Word from the angel to the prophet (Zechariah 4:7-9). “For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth (Zechariah 4:10).” Zechariah then asked about the olive trees, which brought the same response from the angel, “Do you not know what these are?” The prophet still had no understanding, so the angel revealed to him that, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:11-14).” These two may refer to: 1) Joshua and Zerubbabel in the context, 2) Elijah and Moses in the spirit of prophecy, 3) the future witnesses of prophecy in Revelation 11:3-12 during the tribulation, or possibly 4) a reference to the Trinity, Spirit and Son joining the Father. No matter who these are that are standing by the Lord of the earth, they are of God and do His will in complete unity of purpose.

-*Application* God’s sovereignty should jump out at us in this passage. His eyes are on the earth as a reminder of His omnipresence and omniscience. His transcending power means that we should take heed and fall in line with His will and plan. Otherwise, we are toast (Revelation 20:15). The reminder of grace is also here for us to meditate on. God is with His people and will work to bring about their redemption even after catastrophe.


Verses to Memorize: Zechariah 4:6, 10