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Lowell Brueckner

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God’s Glory in Jerusalem


I repeat: For your own profit and better understanding, read our text first, then go on to peruse my comments with the open Bible handy. In this way, you will see exactly to what I am referring. This is the way that a Bible study works and the idea is to perceive what the Author, the Holy Spirit, wanted to share with His prophet, Zechariah, so that he would write His thoughts, first of all, for the benefit of the people of his day. Then, as He knew perfectly well, these words would be transferred through the millenniums until they found the people, who would experience personally their final fulfillment.

An expository study of the book of Zechariah

Chapter two:   The third vision

An urgent word

God said in 1:16 that a measuring line would be stretched over Jerusalem. Here we see in 2:1 a man with a measuring line (some think it is the Angel of the Lord who measures the city). First he is going to measure its dimensions and afterwards Jerusalem will be built according to the measures of a preordained plan.

There are people who like big meetings and talk of feeling 'the presence' among the multitude. Great multitudes were attracted to Jesus to see Him and the miracles that He did, to hear His parables and then return home, satisfied for what they had experienced, sharing with everyone the things they had seen.

When the multitude dispersed, there were others, besides the twelve, who were among them, who were waiting for a time, when Jesus would be alone. I am very interested in them (Mk.4:10). They asked Him about the parables and Jesus let them know, “To you has been  given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables” (Mk.4:11). These people were not of the twelve, but they also were not of the multitude en general. They were people with hunger and thirst to know the mysteries of God. Jesus not only lauded them for their good desires, but He gave them the answers that they desired.

This same longing beat in the heart of the young man, Zechariah, and in verse two he asks his fourth question. He wanted to know what was to be measured with this line. Now we see the same good will on the part of God and His angels to answer the questions of those who are desirous to know the movements of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the Word of God and Words are for communication. “All things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn.15:15). God is a communicator. He is more than willing to share with those, who are sincere in their search. For that reason, He gave us a Bible.

I say this to encourage those, who are reading these thoughts and have a strong longing to see and enter into the knowledge of what is written the book of God. Welcome! God will liberally give you your desires! Angels are involved in the things of God. Their obedience is immediate. Here is a meeting of two angels. The one who is speaking to Zechariah went out to speak with another angel, who came out to meet him (v.3  From the myrtle trees, sent by the measuring Divine Angel, suggests Jamison, Faussit y Brown). All this activities takes place in order to communicate with Zechariah: “Run, speak to the young man…” (v.4).

God wants to involve us in what is happening and for this reason the angel must run to give the explanation. 'That young man' must be urgently informed of what God is doing, especially because he was chosen on the part of God to write, guided by the Holy Spirit, to humanity by means of the Bible, to the Jew first, but also to the Gentile.

The wall of fire

This word has to do with a Jerusalem that is so populated, by people and cattle, that it extends beyond the limits of the city. It is hardly the Jerusalem of Nehemiah, for which he was so saddened because it had no walls, but it is a Jerusalem of the future, of which Ezekiel writes (38:11)… I will go up (Gog and its allies) against the land of unwalled villages… living without walls and having no bars and gates” (You will benefit by reading the whole chapter.). It is a land that is at rest and secure. This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.

It speaks of direct heavenly protection and of a people that trust only in the Lord and not in earthly walls (v.5). It is protected by a wall of fire and His glory shines throughout the city. The fire is the glory of God. A missionary lady in China during the Boxer Rebellion received the promise of a 'wall of fire' surrounding her and so lived and traveled, trusting in God in those most dangerous times. Elisha knew of this wall of fire and asked God to show it to his servant (2 Kings 6:17). Today we sadly lack demonstrations of direct contact with heaven in all aspects of Christianity. ‘Talk is easy when you’re up on the mountain,’ the song goes.  

The promise of security is for Jerusalem and His people must go back to live there. Besides anything that might be happening in Babylon in Zechariah’s day, where the Jews went though 70 years of captivity, a more perfect fulfillment lies ahead in the time of tribulation (v.6). The same commandment to flee from the north country was written in Revelation 18:4 in the year 95 A.D., and is reserved for the end time. “Ho there!” is a wake-up call in verse six to any people, who profess to be of God, but literally or spiritually, are cohabiting with the Babylonians. They should be in Zion, but they are actually in Babylon, and the judgment of God is about to fall there (v.7).

“I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens”. The Babylonian invasion was the beginning of the unsettling and dispersion of the Jews. However, the invasion of the Romans in 70 A.D. was really the time that God scattered them to the four winds. During the many years since the dispersion, God has had His eye upon His people, Zion, in all parts of the world. The scattering had continued for over 1800 years until, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the Jews began to feel the impulse from their God to return to their native land. The return has augmented, especially since 1948, when Israel was constituted a sovereign nation. They are still returning. It was by God’s hand that they were dispersed, but He is gathering them again (Dt.28:64; Jer.16:14-15).  

God’s glory in punishment

The Lord of Hosts speaks again, saying that He will activate a force in order to accomplish retribution against the nations that persecuted Israel. The Angel of the Lord is He, who speaks. JFB says: “After restoring the ‘glory’ (Zec_2:5; Isa_4:5; Rom_9:4) of Jehovah’s presence to Jerusalem, He (God the Father) hath commissioned Me (God the Son, Isa_48:16, the Divine Angel: God thus being at once the Sender and the Sent) to visit in wrath ‘the nations which spoiled you’.” The double commission of the Messiah, given by the Father is: 1) to manifest God’s glory within the people (v.5) and 2) to punish their enemies (v.8). In both works His glory is manifest.

The principle that teaches that the glory of God is manifested in righteousness against the enemies is affirmed by Paul, very clearly, in the New Testament: “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed – for our testimony to you was believed” (2 Th.1:6-10).

This is the way that God acts; first, he demonstrates His glory to those He favors and afterwards punishes those who are not under His grace. First, Noah and his family were saved, then the rest were destroyed; Lot escaped from Sodom first, and then destruction fell; Israel was saved passing through the Red Sea, then the armies of Pharaoh were drowned. This is how He manifests His glory.

See how God guards His people as the apple of His eye! A warning to those who oppose the people of God: Be careful! If someone offends them, the Lord takes it personally (v.8). Let’s look at it another way: Truthfully, the number one target of the persecutors is not the people, but God Himself. They use His people in order to attack God. As in Isaiah 19:16, “They will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them” and the situation will be totally reversed (v.9). Those who were slaves will enslave their masters.

The divine Angel of the Lord continues to speak and declares that His commission will be recognized. That was the word of Jesus to Israel when He walked upon the earth, especially in the Gospel of John: “Jesus said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me” (8:28, but also 9:30-33; 10:37-38; 14:10-11; 17:4).

We must study prophecy, because when we observe its fulfillment, we come to believe the word of God (Jn.13:19; 16:4). We see the principle at work among the disciples at the cleansing of the temple: “His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house will consume Me’” and “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up...’ when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken” (Jn.2:17, 19, 22).

Emmanuel, Christ reigns in Jerusalem

The perfect end, for which the Messiah will come, will be to dwell among His people, but it will not be fulfilled until the second coming (v.10). He will be Emmanuel, leading His people as a flock (Is.40:10-11). When the Son of Man returns to earth and governs from Jerusalem among His Jewish people, it will be a time of great celebration!

Jerusalem will be the headquarters over all the earth. The nation of Israel will be a Christian country and a great part of the gentile world will also be Christian in those days (v.11). Once again, there will be no room for doubt that Jesus Christ has been crowned with glory and power by the Father. Returning from captivity, the Jews and their temple began to receive honor, including the honor of kings. Cyrus was the first, and Darius followed; afterwards Alexander the Great, Augustus and Tiberius Caesar gave gifts, up until the time of Jesus. Also, the number of proselytes increased greatly. According to JFB, “But all this is but a shadow of the future conversion of the Gentiles which shall result from Jehovah dwelling in Jerusalem.”

The Messiah was recognized as the commissioned One by His judgment upon the nations, but now, as the One sent especially to Israel. The Lord of Hosts says, “I will dwell” and the Lord of Hosts “has sent Me to you”. He who dwells and He who sent Him to dwell is the same God. The trinity is clearly seen in the Old Testament.

The fact that the gentiles will unite and belong to the Messiah will not take away the special part that Israel plays in the Reign of Christ (v.12). Judah will be His glory and Jerusalem with be over all the cities of the earth. That land will continue to be “the holy land”.

“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” ‘All flesh’ means, all the men from all parts of the world, who have ever taken dominion and reigned over it (v.13). For 6,000 years, man and his governments have failed. Now they must be silent and God ‘is aroused’ to take charge in the last one thousand years of history of this planet. The Messiah will govern the world in righteousness, peace and joy to give testimony to how the earth was meant to be. It will give more than sufficient evidence of the wisdom of God in creating it and allowing it to exist.


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