Sermon #64 Zechariah Series
Title: An Intensely Personal Matter
Text: Zechariah 12:9-13:1
Subject: Repentance and Faith
Date: Sunday Morning — September 9, 2007
Reading: Ezekiel 38:1-39:29
Tape # Zechariah #64
The title of my message is — An Intensely Personal Matter. God’s great salvation is an intensely personal matter. Repentance toward God is an intensely personal matter. Faith in Christ is an intensely personal matter. If ever you come to experience the grace of God, if ever you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, if ever you experience the blessedness of sins forgiven, it will be an intensely personal matte! Turn with me to the Book of Zechariah, and let me show you.
This entire Book is about one great day, not a twenty-four hour day, but this gospel day, this day of mercy and grace, that which God calls “the day of salvation” (Isaiah 49:8; 2 Corinthians 6:2). As we have seen, the phrase “in that day” is used repeatedly in these fourteen chapters (2:11; 3:10; 9:16; 11:11; 12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; 13:1, 2, 4; 14:4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 20, 21).
(Zechariah 2:11) “And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”
(Zechariah 3:10) “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”
(Zechariah 9:16) “And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.”
(Zechariah 11:11) “And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.”
(Zechariah 12:3-4) “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (4) 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.”
(Zechariah 12:6) “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.”
(Zechariah 12:8-9) “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (9) And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
(Zechariah 12:11) “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.”
(Zechariah 13:1-2) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. (2) And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
(Zechariah 13:4) “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:”
(Zechariah 14:4) “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.”
(Zechariah 14:6) “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:”
(Zechariah 14:8-9) “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. (9) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
(Zechariah 14:13) “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.”
(Zechariah 14:20-21) “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. (21) Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”
This is the great day of which all the prophets spoke. Just listen to Isaiah’s words about this great day of grace and salvation, in which God’s visits his people and gathers them from the four corners of the earth.
(Isaiah 2:11) “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”
(Isaiah 2:17) “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”
(Isaiah 2:20) “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;”
(Isaiah 4:2) “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”
(Isaiah 11:10) “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.”
(Isaiah 12:1) “And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.”
(Isaiah 12:4) “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.”
(Isaiah 25:9) “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
(Isaiah 28:5) “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,”
(Isaiah 29:18) “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”
It is this great day, the day that began with our Savior’s incarnation and continues until time shall be no more, when our great Redeemer, Jehovah’s Righteous Servant shall lift his hand to his Father and say, “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6). In this day God is gathering his elect from the nations by his omnipotent mercy. In our text (Zechariah 12:9-13:1) the prophet Zechariah tells us exactly how he does it.
(Zechariah 12:9-14) “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (10) And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (11) In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. (12) And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; (13) The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; (14) All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”
(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
A Day of Judgment
This is a day of grace and salvation for God’s elect; but it is also a day of judgment. Our text begins by asserting the certainty of divine judgment upon all who set themselves against God’s church (12:9).
(Zechariah 12:9) “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
It seems obvious to me that Zechariah is talking about the Battle of Armageddon described by the Prophet Ezekiel and by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation (Ezekiel 38:1-39:29; Revelation 16:12-16)
(Revelation 16:12-16) “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (15) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (16) And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Armageddon is not a great nuclear holocaust. It is not a terrible world war. I do not deny that such things may come upon the earth. Indeed, they probably will. But Armageddon is a spiritual warfare, with consequences far more severe than any war between nations could ever be. It will end in the final conquest of Christ over Satan at his glorious advent. But I want you to see that is going on right now. I want you to see that Armageddon is the conquest of Christ over all evil. The word “Armageddon” takes its name from the Valley of Megiddo in Judges 16:9. The word means “assembly of troops,” referring to the assembled armies of the nations against God’s elect. But Megiddo, Armageddon, is the place of God’s victory.
The River Euphrates represents the wicked, unbelieving world (Revelation 16:12). When the great river dries up, when the economy and resources of the world are dried up by the hand of God, the way is prepared for the kings and people of the earth to move against the people of God in persecution. As it has been in the past, so shall it be in the future. In this last day, the kings of the earth are being moved by hell inspired religious leaders against Christ and his church (Revelation 16:13-14). John saw proceeding out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and the beast (pagan world government), and the false prophet (false religion) three unclean spirits. He compared those spirits to frogs to indicate the abominable, repulsive, loathsome character of the world’s government and the world’s religion in that last little season when Satan is loosed upon the earth. They represent all hell born philosophy and religion.
Are these things not applicable to our day and our society? Without question, they are! There is particular reference made to the charismatic influence of our day in verse 14. — “The spirits of devils, working miracles”. It is both demonic and universal! Then, just when all the forces of the world, political, philosophical and religious, are gathered against God, the Lord Jesus Christ will suddenly appear (Revelation 16:15). He comes as a thief in the night upon his enemies, suddenly, unexpectedly (Matthew 24:29; Judges 5:4; Habakkuk 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Even now, as God gathers his elect to Christ by the preaching of the gospel, he brings judgment upon the reprobate. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay (Matthew 13:30; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16). — Those whom God seeks to destroy shall be destroyed. — “He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-14).
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-14) “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In Zechariah 12:10 the prophet moves from judgment to mercy, and declares how repentance is wrought in chosen, redeemed sinners by God the Holy Spirit. Our Savior said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Repentance is something you must do. We will see more about that in a minute. But before any sinner can or will repent, repentance must be wrought in him by God the Holy Spirit. Here the Spirit of God tells us how he performs that work in us.
(Zechariah 12:10) “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
Robert Hawker wrote, “Had the Prophet Zechariah been raised up by God the Holy Ghost, to have brought the Church of Jesus this one promise only, every true believer in Christ would have found cause to bless the Lord for the ministry of this man, through every period of the Church.”
Repentance is the result of Holy Spirit conviction; and Holy Spirit conviction is the result of Christ being revealed in us in the day of grace and salvation (John 16:7-11).
(John 16:7-11) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
This gift of God the Holy Spirit is the sure result of redemption by Christ (Galatians 3:13-14). It is the great blessing of God in the charter of grace, that which the triune Jehovah promised Christ as our God-man Mediator in the everlasting covenant.
(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
True repentance, true mourning for sin has a distinct and constant reference to the Lord Jesus.
· If I hate sin because I am exposed, I have not repented; I merely regret that I have been found out.
· If I hate sin because of judgment and hell, I have not repented; I merely regret that God is just.
· But if I see my sin as a hateful offense against my Lord, and I see my sin as crucifying him, then I mourn with a truly broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51:3-4).
“Lord, let me weep for naught but sin
And after none but Thee;
Then I would, oh, that I might,
A constant weeper be!”
A broken heart over sin is a work of the Spirit of God and will be healed (Psalm 51:17; 34:18).
(Psalms 51:17) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
(Psalms 34:18) “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
Spurgeon said, “Even when Christ is clearly seen, and pardon is enjoyed, mourning for sin does not cease; say rather, it is both deepened and purified.”
Now, look at Zechariah 12:11-14, and you will see that this is an intensely personal thing. Many vainly imagine that grace runs in blood lines, that salvation is the result of being born in the right family, or that multitudes are saved when they are swept up in the excitement of a religious crowd. Sometimes God may save vast multitudes at once, as he did in Acts 2, but even then each believing sinner received Christ personally, experienced grace personally, repented personally and believed the gospel personally. No one has ever been saved because he was a member of an imaginary “covenant family,” or sprinkled as a baby. Salvation is an intensely personal matter (John 1:12-13).
(John 1:11-13) “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
· You must be born again.
· You must have Christ revealed in you.
· You must repent.
· You must believe.
· That is what the Spirit of God teaches us in verses 11-14.
(Zechariah 12:11-14) “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. (12) And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; (13) The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; (14) All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”
This mourning has one special characteristic. — It is personal, the act of an individual, and the act of the individual apart from any others. The key word in these four verses is “apart.”
· The whole land (all God’s elect) mourns, but each one “apart.”
· Sometimes whole families mourn, but each one “apart.”
· The family of the rich and influential, like “the family of the house of David,” mourns, but each one “apart.”
· The family of the prophet may mourn, like “the family of the house of Nathan,” may mourn, but each one “apart.”
· The priest’s family, the family of that man who teaches God’s people, “like the family of the house of Levi,” may mourn, but each one “apart.”
· The families of common, laboring men, like “the family of Shimei,” may mourn, but each one “apart.”
· Those who are nearest and dearest to us, our wives, may be granted the blessed mourning of repentance, but each one “apart.”
The fact is, when God deals with his people in grace, he always deals with each one alone.
· Hosea and Gomer
· The Adulterous Woman
· The Dying Thief
· Saul of Tarsus
· The Publican
Every sinner convinced of his sin finds himself utterly alone before God, and feels a need to be alone with his Savior. None can enter into his soul’s bitterness. He has a secret hidden away in his soul, called “sin,” that cannot be revealed to any but God his Savior, whom he has pierced. You must come to Christ yourself, personally. You must repent yourself, personally. You must mourn for your sin yourself, personally and alone. Any third person (parent, peer, preacher, or priest) is an intrusion!
Pardon and Cleansing
Now, watch this. — As soon as Christ is revealed in you and to you, as soon as you look on him whom you have pierced and find yourself mourning for him, as soon as your soul is in bitterness because of him, as soon as you are convinced of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, as soon as you know your guilt before God and your filth, as soon as you taste your corruption, “in that day there shall be a fountain opened” to you “for sin and for uncleanness.”
(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
Christ is the Fountain, the Fountain opened by God to our souls in saving mercy, “the Fountain of Living Waters,” “the Fountain of Life!”
· The Fountain was opened in eternity by the decree of God (Revelation 13:8).
· The Fountain was opened at Calvary by the sword of divine justice (John 19:34-37; Zechariah 13:7).
· The Fountain is opened to the guilty, unclean sinner in the day of grace.
· The Fountain remains open for all who need it.
· The Fountain is opened for sin, to remove our guilt.
· The Fountain is opened for uncleanness, to sanctify our souls.
· The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, “cleanseth us from all sin!”
“O now I see the cleansing wave!
The fountain deep and wide;
Jesus, my Lord, mighty to save,
Points to His wounded side.
I see the dear Redeemer raised,
I hear the speaking blood;
It speaks! My spirit is amazed!
And quickened by its flood.
I rise to walk in God’s own light
Above the world and sin,
With heart renewed and garments white
And Christ enthroned within.
The cleansing stream, I see, I see,
I plunge and oh! it cleanseth me.
Oh, praise the Lord it cleanseth me!
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me!”
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