Sermon #70 Zechariah Series
Title: “The Lord shall be King
over all the Earth”
Text: Zechariah 14:8-19
Subject: The Blessedness of God’s Church
Date: Sunday Morning — October 14, 2007
Reading: Isaiah 54:1-17 and Ezekiel 38:1-39:29
Tape # Zechariah #70
The title of my message is “The Lord shall be King over all the Earth.” My text is Zechariah 14:8-19. Let’s read that portion of Zechariah’s prophecy together.
(v. 8) “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
(v. 9) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
(v. 10) All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
(v. 11) And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
(v. 12) And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
(v. 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.
(v. 14) And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
(v. 15) And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
(v. 16) And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
(v. 17) And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
(v. 18) And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
(v. 19) This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
In this passage God’s prophet uses highly symbolic language to describe this gospel age and the blessings of God upon his church and kingdom in this world. It should be obvious to anyone reading these verses that the entire passage is to be understood figuratively. In these verses of inspiration Zechariah spoke of this gospel age as a day in which the Lord Jesus Christ reigns as King over all the earth and declared that, though this would be a time of terrible opposition with Satan in furious rage against Christ and his church (Revelation 12), it is a time of unspeakable blessedness and complete safety for God’s elect.
Verses 8-11 describe the great blessings of God upon Jerusalem, the gospel-Jerusalem, his Church scattered through all the earth, in this day, called “the Day of the Lord.” It is called “the Day of the Lord” because in this Gospel Day the Lord God makes himself known in all the glory of his grace (2 Corinthians 4:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:9-11).
(2 Corinthians 4:4-6) “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
The first thing spoken of in our text is a Fountain of living waters flowing out from Jerusalem to all the earth (v. 8).
(Zechariah 14:8) “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”
This is the same thing spoken of in Joel 3:18. — “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” — Shittim was in the plains of Moab beyond Jordan (Numbers 33:49; Joshua 3:1). In order for this river to water the valley of Shittim it would have to cross the river Jordan. Everyone knows that though rivers often flow into one another, they do not cross one another. No literal stream of water could flow from the temple in Jerusalem and cross the river Jordan to reach the valley of Shittim. So these prophecies given by Zechariah and Joel must be understood as allegorical or spiritual symbols. Ezekiel also speaks of the same thing (Ezekiel 47:1-5).
(Ezekiel 47:1-5) “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. (2) Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. (3) And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. (4) Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. (5) Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.”
They speak of a fountain flowing forth from the house of the Lord, the Church of Christ. These living waters bring life to the Gentile world, the barren land of Shittim, which only brings forth thorns and briars until the Lord visits the waste places in grace. Then our dry places are refreshed, the land of man’s soul is made fertile ground, the flowers of grace bloom and the fruit of the Spirit abounds.
Spiritual blessings are often symbolized in Scripture by water-springs, wells and rivers (Psalm 46:4-5; Isaiah 12:2-3; 43:19-21; 41:17-20; 55:1).
(Psalms 46:4-5) “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. (5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”
(Isaiah 12:2-3) “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (3) Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
(Isaiah 41:17-20) “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. (18) I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. (19) I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: (20) That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.”
(Isaiah 43:19-21) “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (20) The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”
(Isaiah 55:1) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
No doubt, our Savior had such passages as these in mind when he spoke of the living waters of grace springing up in our souls into everlasting life by his Spirit (John 4:14; 7:37-38).
(John 4:13-15) “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (14) But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (15) The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
(John 7:37-38) “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Let me put all this in shoe leather. — All around the world today, wherever faithful men and women are gathered in the house of God, wherever faithful men proclaim the gospel of God’s free saving grace in Christ, the gospel, like a river of living waters goes forth into all the world. See the river flowing northward to New Jersey, Michigan, Canada and Alaska, — southward to Alabama, Florida, Mexico and Brazil, — eastward to West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Great Britain, Africa and Germany, — India, Iraq, Iran and Israel, — Russia, China, Japan and Indonesia, — New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, — and westward to Arkansas, Texas, California and Hawaii. This mighty river, the gospel of Christ…
· Cools those who are burning in the sun of adversity.
· Refreshes thirsty souls.
· Quickens dead sinners.
· Revives languishing spirits.
· And cleanses filth from sinners polluted with sin and guilt.
Summer’s drought cannot dry this river and winter’s freeze cannot stop its flow. No summer of persecution or winter of coldness and indifference hinders the ministry of the Word. In the summer of adversity and in the winter of hardness, the gospel of Christ continues to flow through the earth and continues to bring forth fruit to the glory of God. — Where the gospel goes forth in the power of the Spirit of God living waters go, “the streams whereof make glad the city of God.”
Christ our King
Next, Zechariah tells us that the kingdom of God among men in this Day of Grace is one, a universal and united kingdom, under the rule of one Head and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, when I use the words “kingdom of God” here, I am talking about the Church of our God.
(Zechariah 14:9) “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
Christ the Lord is King over all the earth (John 17:3; Romans 14:9; Ephesians 1:20-23).
(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
(Romans 14:9) “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Behold the exceeding greatness of his power…
(Ephesians 1:20-23) “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (21) Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (22) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ (Revelation 11:15). I do not mean that they shall someday become his. They are his now. God the Father has given to Christ alone dominion over all things!
Let ignorant men say what they will, there is one Lord, one God, one King, not many. And his name is one. He is not called by many names, but by one. He is not worshipped by many names, but by one. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah our Savior.
But the primary significance of verse 9 is this. — In this Gospel Day the Church of God is one, united kingdom of grace, with one uniform faith (Ephesians 4:4-6).
(Ephesians 4:4-6) “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Bro. Tim James once said, “There is a magnificent simplicity and singularity in the Gospel. How merciful is our God to take such wondrous things and bring them to a succinct point, thereby making misunderstanding an impossibility. There is one way, one truth, one life, one Lord, one baptism. A person cannot claim that he does not understand, he can only admit that he does not believe.”
In the 10th verse, the Spirit of God tells us by his prophet that this Gospel Day is a day in which the grace of God upon his people is abundant and flourishing.
(Zechariah 14:10) “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.”
I remind you again that Zechariah’s words are to be understood figuratively of the gospel Church, typified by Judah and Jerusalem. He is describing the abundant graces with which the Church is crowned in this Day of the Lord. The Lord our God is constantly enlarging the bounds of his Church and Kingdom. It may not always appear to be true, but the Lord God is constantly enlarging our tent, stretching forth the curtains of our habitation, lengthening our cords, strengthening our stakes, causing his Church to break out on the right hand and the left, and causing the desolate places to be inhabited, just as he promised he would (Isaiah 54:1-3).
The Church of God, here represented by Jerusalem, shall be fully inhabited and made fruitful in every place where she is found. If you read Ezekiel 40:41-49, and calculate the measurements given, you will see that God showed his prophet a temple much larger than the one that once stood at Jerusalem (a temple larger than Jerusalem itself!) and a Jerusalem larger than all the land of Canaan. What sane person could ever question the fact that these visions are to be understood figuratively, and not literally?
Not only shall God’s Church be full and fruitful, this spiritual Jerusalem, this blessed City of God, this delightful City of Peace shall be safely inhabited by all who are born into it. Read verse 11. —
(Zechariah 14:11) “And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
There are many religious people who are nothing but spiritual vagabonds and religious free-loaders and welfare bums. They love to attend Bible conferences, discuss theology, and talk religion. They visit this church and that. They dwell nowhere. They never contribute anything to the cause of Christ, support no ministry, and serve no one. They are sluggards who take everything they can get, give nothing, and really have nothing to give. Like a big bag of air, they may look impressive, and when they pop-off make a lot of noise, but they are just empty wind bags.
God’s people, sinners to whom the Fountain has been opened, in whom flows the Fountain of living waters, dwell in Zion. You find them attached to God’s house and people. The house of God, the Church of the living God is their home. They are committed to it, care for it, protect it, and dwell in it. They have been fitted by grace as living stones in God’s living temple. And there they dwell in complete safety, kept safe in and by Christ.
“For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her…He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. — Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD” (Zechariah 2:5, 8, 10). Children of God, we are never in danger; and we should never have any apprehension of danger.
Christ is my Refuge and my Stay,
My God in Whom my trust shall be.
His mercy and His tender care
Preserve me from the tempter’s snare.
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
When darkness clouds your servant’s eyes!
Beneath Your wings my soul would hide,
And in Your faithfulness confide.
Light in the evening it shall be,
If You, O Lord, abide with me!
Securely kept by You from harm,
Oh, let no darkness cause alarm.
All those who oppose God’s Church, all who dare rise up against even one of his children, those who assault his servants shall meet all the fury of our enraged Father, both in this world and in the world to come. That is the message of verses 12 and 13.
(Zechariah 14:12-13) “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. (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.”
The plagues wherewith the Lord our God shall smite his enemies are vividly described in great detail in Revelation 15:1-16:21. Even their tents and their beasts of labor shall be plagued (v. 15).
(Zechariah 14:15) “And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.”
And in the everlasting torments of the damned “they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour!” In hell…
“Those that fight against the City of God, and his people, will be found fighting against God, against whom none ever hardened his heart and prospered. Whoever they are, God will punish them for the affront done to him, and avenge Jerusalem upon them.” (Matthew Henry)
And those who seek to spoil God’s elect shall be spoiled by us, so thoroughly so that all the wealth of the nations shall be given to us and the world that seeks to swallow us up will only assist us in the cause of our God. That is what we read in verse 14. —
(Zechariah 14:14) “And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.”
Judah and Jerusalem are the people of God, the redeemed of the Lord, the armies in heaven, the chosen, called and faithful, who will follow “the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” as he makes war against Babylon, the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 17:14-16; 19:14-18). It is written, “They shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors” (Isaiah 14:2). “And they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:10).
In this Day of the Lord, this Day of Grace, saved sinners, God’s elect remnant shall be found worshipping Christ, “the King, the Lord of hosts,” in the assembly of his saints at Jerusalem; and those who refuse to worship him punished with the plagues of Egypt forever (vv. 16-19).
(Zechariah 14:16) “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Those “left of all the nations” are God’s remnant, those who are saved by his grace in this Gospel Day. We were once enmity against him, just like all others, “children of wrath even as others.” But God, who is rich in love, for his great mercy wherewith he loved us, has saved us by his grace! And saved sinners are found in the house of God, observing the feast of tabernacles.
Obviously, as with everything else in this passage, this is to be interpreted spiritually. To observe those carnal Jewish feasts that were abolished by our Savior two thousand years ago would be idolatry. The worship of Christ is here referred to as keeping the feast of tabernacles because that feast, which was originally kept in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in tents in the wilderness, was typical of Christ’s incarnation, who was made flesh and tabernacled among us. To keep this feast spiritually is to trust Christ, our incarnate God and Savior, discerning the Lord’s body, knowing our need of him and knowing the blessedness of his accomplishments as our Redeemer.
Those who absent themselves from the worship of God absent themselves from the blessings of his grace (v. 17).
(Zechariah 14:17) “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.”
There shall be no rain upon them. That is to say, They shall get no good from God’s hand. God’s mercy, grace and love in Christ, which flows as a mighty river from Jerusalem shall never fall upon them; and they shall be plagued forever, without mercy (vv. 18-19).
(Zechariah 14:18-19) “And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (19) This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
The greatest privilege in this world is the privilege of knowing our God and gathering with his saints in his house to worship him. And the greatest danger to our souls in this world is the danger of refusing to worship him who alone can save your soul (Hebrews 12:22-29; 10:22-29).
(Hebrews 12:22-29) “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (27) And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (28) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (29) For our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 10:22-29) “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (28) He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
Let us go up to worship at Jerusalem. — “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation” (Psalm 132:13).
· The object of our worship is Christ our God and Savior, “the King, the Lord of hosts.” the everlasting King, the King of kings, the sovereign Lord of all.
· Keeping the true feast of tabernacles is worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth, we offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Christ (1 Peter 2:5).
· We go up to Jerusalem, to the house of God continually, “from year to year,” at the times appointed for the solemn feast. Every Lord’s Day (“The great day of the feast”) every saved sinner ought to be found in the house of God keeping the feast.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem…And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one…And there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
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