Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: October 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Zionism in the Psalms

Zionism in the Psalms

  Zionism as a movement is defined as the “development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. It was established as a political organization in 1897 under Theodor Herzl, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann.”  However, Biblically Zionism is all the Scripture promises of God about the restoration of the nation of Israel. Jesus will return to Earth as the head of a new global empire.   King Jesus and His new priesthood of all His faithful glorified believers of the Church Age who return with Him at Armageddon will judge and rule the Earth with a “rod of iron.”  Therefore, a theology of Zionism is gathering together all the Scripture promises of God to garner together the intricate prophetic details of what God says He will do. 

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 {Now God answers His own question} The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed {the last half of the seven-year Tribulation}, saying, 3 Let us break their {the anointed and their standards of righteousness from Scripture} bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 {God’s response to this foolish rebellion of wicked unbelief} He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak {the time for words of warning is over} unto them {the unbelieving rebels} in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I {God} set my king {Jesus} upon my holy hill of Zion {Temple Mount in Jerusalem}. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them {the nations of the world} with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel {piece of pottery to be distributed to the rule and judgment of numerous glorified believer king/priests from the Church Age}” (Psalms 2:1-9).

          When sin is culturally freed, sins becomes the chains that bind the sinner. Satan has no shortage of chains!  Psalm 2:1-3 begins by revealing the general attitude of the world towards the Lord and His children in the years preceding and during the tribulation.  The satanically influenced and dominated world will attempt to completely remove the absolutes of God’s standards of morality and justice upon them.  This world views God’s commands as hindrances and restraints to their happiness and immoral freedoms.  The heathen will do all they can to remove God’s authority (Lordship) over their lives.  The heathen want to be their own gods while God sees them only as rebels.  

The “yoke” of Christ is the mission of Christ to reach the world with the Gospel of salvation offered as a gift and received through faith.  The “yoke” of Christ is always an overwhelming burden upon the neck of the unconverted eventually rejected and disdained.

          The believer should strive to view the rejection that this world has for the Lord from God’s perspective (Psalm 2:4).  From God’s perspective, the works of the wicked pose no threat to God.  Therefore, the works of the wicked should not be seen as a threat to us.  Genuinely repentant people hate that they love what God hates.  We should understand the absurdity of the world’s rebellion and efforts to do battle with God.  We should do the same as God does.  We should laugh at them.  Their humanistic efforts to exalt themselves over God are futile and foolish.  Yet, at the same time, God is still burdened for the souls of the deceived. 
          When God finally speaks to those rejecting His commands about their rebellions and wickedness (Psalm 2:5), He will do so through judgment (the judgments of the Tribulation).  Jesus will come again and take control of this world.  That will be on the day of the second coming of Christ as revealed in Revelation 19:11-16.  At that day, Jesus will establish the everlasting throne of David from which He will reign forever as the God\man.  It will also be the bloodiest day in the history of the world.  As far as God is concerned, this is an already accomplished reality.  It only awaits the day of fulfillment in time.

“For in those days {the end of the Tribulation} shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be” (Mark 13:19).

1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place {how will these saved/redeemed people be recognized}? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully {it is not that these practices save anyone, but that the saved will manifest these practices; Ephesians 2:10}. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah {pause and think about this}. 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in {the second coming of Jesus}. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD {Jehovah incarnate} strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts {Jehovah Sabaoth incarnate; Who has sovereignty/control over all the hosts, plural, of Heaven}, he is the King of glory. Selah {pause and think about this}” (Psalms 24:1-10).

          Psalm 24:1 makes the emphatic statement that this whole world, along with everything and everyone in it, belongs to the Lord to do with as He wills because He is its Creator.  In verse seven, the Lord commands the “gates” and “doors” that separate heaven from earth to be opened.  Why is this command necessary?  The sovereign LORD Jesus is returning from Heaven as the God/man to claim dominion of the earth and establish His everlasting Kingdom.  These “gates” and “doors” will be opened at the second coming of Christ.  The representative Man will open the spiritual doors to physical and redeemed man, still living on earth.  Then, the sovereign Throne of the everlasting God\man will be established on the Earth. 

          The Shekinah glory of God in Jesus Christ will fill the earth at His second coming.  The brightness of His coming will outshine the sun and the stars combined (II Thessalonians 2:8 and Hebrews 1:3).  The LORD God omnipotent shall reign in splendor and glory upon the earth.  Praise His holy Name!

} >> The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof {God is the cosmological constant Who sustains the order of His universal creation}. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3 Our God shall come (second coming of Jesus}, and shall not keep silence {His longsuffering will end}: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together {the regathering of the saved Jews from the seven-year Tribulation} unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psalms 50:1-5).

          Although the second coming of Christ to the earth will be a great time of blessing for restored Israel, it will a time of overwhelming horror for the Christ rejecting world.  His glory will literally consume the two-hundred million person armies of the Antichrist upon the earth at Armageddon (see Zechariah 14: 12).  Their flesh will literally melt from their bones at the coming of Christ.

10 Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth {Jehovah is in control and righteous justice will prevail}: the world also shall be established {dominion over the Earth will be taken from Satan and restored to humanity through the ‘last Adam’; Christ Jesus} that it {this new Kingdom dominion/reign} shall not be moved {never again be altered or traverse to another person}: he {King Jesus} shall judge the people righteously {during the Kingdom Age}. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. 12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice 13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth” (Psalms 96:10-13).

          The prophecies concerning Zionism and the second coming of Jesus fall into four categories:

1. Signs preceding His coming
2. The events of His coming including Armageddon
3. The proceeding judgment of the nations (those with the mark of the beast still living after Armageddon) with the re-gathering of Israel from all the nations of the world
4. The establishment of the sovereign and eternal throne of David 

The balance of Scriptures listed regarding the second coming of Christ should be categorized under these four categories to help avoid their misinterpretation.  Some Scriptures may apply to all four categories giving specific details of these events spanning extensive periods of time. 

Signs preceding His coming

1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth {returning from Heaven with His saved and glorified saints}, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 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. 5 And ye {the Jews in Jerusalem at the particular time} shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal {not a city or place, but the valley created running towards the Dead Sea}: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark” (Zechariah 14:1-6).

          Zechariah chapter fourteen gives us a great deal of detail about the events of the second coming of Jesus to establish His Kingdom on Earth.  Kingdom Constructionism (i.e. the Church will usher in the Kingdom Age and rule theonomically in the place of Christ replacing the nation of Israel) is extreme false doctrine.  Yet, this false doctrine is predominant position defining apostate Christianity in the last days.  From this false doctrine, it is easy to see how many professing Christians are being led astray into the corruptions of the Social Gospel and Social Justice.

24 But in those days, after that tribulation {at end just preceding the second coming of Jesus}, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (Mark 13:24-27).

          We have numerous Scriptures giving further details regarding the sun being “darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.”  God will block out the light of the sun and of the moon.  This is detailed in Ezekiel 32:7.  “And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.”  Just before the second coming of Jesus in the brightness of His radiant glory, the Lord will cause the Earth to be cast into total darkness.  This darkness may be very similar to what happened during the three hours of the Crucifixion while Christ was bearing God’s wrath upon sin (Matthew 27:45-46).  God just blocks out all sources of light from the solar system.  Then Jesus will come in the radiance of His glory! 

24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven{it lights up the whole sky}; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation {the Crucifixion}. 26 And as it was in the days of Noe {key to understanding verses 32-36}, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man {the second coming}. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day {in that one day} that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife {do not look back revealing the real desires of your heart}. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his {under-the-sun} life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his {under-the-sun} life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken {in judgment}, and the other shall be left {to go into the Kingdom alive}. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Luke 17:24-36).

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring {after the Tribulation judgments of God, the world will be an ecological disaster}; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear {extreme terror}, and for looking after {worrying about what is expected to follow} those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven {the dominion of ‘the god of this world,’ II Cor. 4:4, and ‘the prince of the power of the air,’ Eph. 2:2} shall be shaken {removed from power; Hebrews 12:26-27}. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things {described in verses 25-26} begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption {in the coming of the Redeemer/Deliverer} draweth nigh” (Luke 21:25-28).

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:3-4).

The events of His coming, including Armageddon

          Jesus will separate the “goats” from the “sheep” at the beginning of the Kingdom Age (Matthew 25:31-46).  This will be the beginning of His rule as the King who will judge the Earth (Psalm 67:4, 82:8; Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3).  Jesus will rule with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27, 12:5, and 19:15).

“But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth {the ‘sword . . . out of his mouth’; Revelation 19:21}, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked {by His command the dead are rise to new life and the lost are condemned to eternal death and sent to Hell}” (Isaiah 11:4).

34 Thou {Nebuchadnezzar} sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands {Jesus, who will come without rising to political power or through conquering nations one-by-one}, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces {the global empire of the Antichrist}. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone {Jesus} that smote the image {the global empire of the Antichrist} became a great mountain {the Kingdom of Jesus}, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35).

 “7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 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. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. 10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba {the northern border of Judah} to Rimmon {the southern border of Judah} south of Jerusalem: and it {Jerusalem} shall be lifted up {topographically raised}, 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. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zechariah 14:7-11).

The proceeding judgment of the nations (those with the mark of the beast still living after Armageddon) along with the regathering of Israel from all the nations of the world.

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. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-12).

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all” (Ezekiel 37:21-22).

“And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever” (Micah 4:7).

“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” (Zechariah 12:10).

The establishment of the throne of David

          When Jesus occupies his Davidic throne on the earth He will reign as the sovereign Lord of both Heaven and Earth from it.  He will “judge” the nations from that throne.  That means He will dispense justice and decide issues of righteousness from that throne (according to His Word) throughout the Millennium.  The following prophecies relate this truth:

“<> The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1).

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).

5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land” (Jeremiah 23:5-8).

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:44-45).

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Four Angels in Four Chariots of Judgment

Chapter Thirteen
The Four Angels in Four Chariots of Judgment

          Within every conglomeration of professing believers there are numerous levels of belief along with numerous levels of what those various levels define as faithfulness.  Within these various levels of self-describe faithfulness there are even more levels of commitment to beliefs.  Most of the people who describe themselves as faithful and committed believers are delusional and self-deceived about the reality of their faith.  The majority of those with professed beliefs never really translate those professed beliefs into any tangible expression of implementation – WALK WITH GOD.  A proclaimed commitment to doing what God wants is not the same as doing it.  Therefore, proclamation without implementation is self-deceiving.  James gave this distinctly, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country” (Zechariah 6:1-8).

Pretended Faith

          The Judaism by the time of the captivity was almost completely corrupted.  In fact, it was these corruptions of the Mosaic Covenant that created Judaism.  The purpose of God’s giving the Mosaic Covenant to the children was corrupted by the priesthood of Israel to become a source of man-kind righteousness.  Almost every aspect of Law Keeping was mere externalism and ritualism.  Even most of the faithful Jews lived by this corruption; if they kept the rules, God would bless.  Yet, over and over God repeatedly rebuked the Jews for a heartless obedience.  God makes a definitive statement of disgust over Israel’s repeated heartless ritualism and heartless externalism in Isaiah chapter one.

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children {Israel}, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:2-15).

Clearly, the reason God makes this pronouncement of condemnation upon Judaism is because the priesthood of Israel had allowed the practices of the Mosaic Covenant, which were sanctificational in their purposes, to become mere ritualism and externalism without any heart connection to God.  The Shammah proclamation of the children of Israel had become just words without any connection to a heart relationship with God.  They had lost the purpose of God giving them the Mosaic Covenant.  This is equally the problem of most of Christianity.

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

A chronological order of the prophets might clarify our understanding of most of the Old Testament prophecies.

Chronological Order of the Prophets (According to Ussher’s Chronology)

1. There were four prophets sent to the ten northern tribes, which were called Israel. Obadiah was the first to prophecy to Israel in 887 B.C. Joel prophesied to the ten northern tribes in 800 B.C.  Amos prophesied in 787 B.C., and Hosea from 785 to 725 B.C.
2. There were four prophets who prophesied to the combined tribes of Benjamin and Judah before the Babylonian captivity.  The combined tribes of Benjamin and Judah are referred to just as Judah throughout most of Scripture.  Isaiah was the longest and first prophet to Judah and prophesied to Judah for sixty-two years from 760-698 B.C.  Micah was contemporary with Isaiah beginning to prophesy ten years after Isaiah began.  Micah prophesied to Judah for forty years from 750-710 B.C.  Nahum prophesied in 713 B.C., but he was sent to the Assyrians in Nineveh one-hundred years after Jonah was there.  Zephaniah prophesied to Judah in 630 B.C. and Habakkuk prophesied to Judah in 626 B.C.  Habakkuk was the last prophet to Judah before the captivity.
3. There were three prophets during the exile.  Jeremiah was first and prophesied for ninety-one years both before and during the exile from 687-586 B.C.  Jeremiah began to prophesy twelve years before Isaiah’s ministry ended.  Daniel was second and prophesied for seventy-three years from 607-534 B.C.  Daniel’s prophecies were during the whole seventy years, foretold by Jeremiah, of the captivity before the remnant returned to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  Ezekiel prophesied for twenty-one years during the captivity from 595-574 B.C.  Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel all deal mostly with end time prophetic events, which are expanded upon in the book of Revelations. 
4. There were three prophets after the exile who spoke mainly to the returned remnant, but also to those Jews that remained in Babylon.  Haggai prophesied in 520 B.C. Zechariah prophesied for three years from 520-518 B.C.  Malachi prophesied in 397 B.C.  Haggai and Malachi prophesied mainly to the Levitical priesthood and God’s future removal and replacement of that priesthood under the New Covenant. 

Christianity too, using the term in its vaguest sense, has evolved into a similar abstract conglomeration like apostate Israel.  It is almost like worship is a game where every person is his own referee who is constantly changing the rules.  Referees are supposed to be impartial to the players in a game.  Referees are supposed to know the rules of a game and apply them without partiality to ensure that the game is played fairly.  True worship is not a game!  True Christian worship is a daily lifestyle of self-sacrifice and complete dedication to the missional vision of Christ in winning souls and making disciples.  The TRUE Christian lives everyday with these purposes in mind.  

          Understanding the vision of Zechariah 6:1-8 is dependent upon the statement of Zechariah 6:5; “These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.”  Therefore, the four chariots with there different colored horses are not four different world empires as many Bible commentators propose.  The preincarnate LORD Jesus (“the angel answered”) tells us specifically that these are four judging angels.  Angels are spirit beings used of God to minister to believers (Hebrews 1:14) and judge unbelievers by administrating God’s wrath upon sin.  

Zechariah 6:1-8 is about God’s judgment upon the Gentile nations of the world during the seven-year Tribulation for their rejection of His Word and for their persecution of the nation of Israel.  In the process of this judgment, God will still be offering His gift of salvation to those willing to repent of sin and unbelief and turn to faith in Christ (Revelations 7:9).  Revelations chapter seven gives us the details of these “four spirits” of Zechariah 6:1-8.

1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. . . 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:1-3 and 9-17).

According to Revelation 7:3, it appears that certain angels will restrain the forces of evil for a short period until God works a mighty work like the day of Pentecost for the Church Age.  I believe this is to what Joel 2:28-32 refers.

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call” (Joel 2:28-32).

          This will “come to pass” (Joel 2:28) after the opening of the sixth seal.  The “it shall come to pass” of verse 32 is what is taking place in Revelation chapter seven.  The 144,000 Jews will be sealed and innumerable Gentiles (Rev. 7:9-14) will call on the Name of Jesus for salvation. 

          Some have applied Joel 2:28-31 to the day of Pentecost, but contextually it obviously refers to something like the Day of Pentecost taking place just prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation (second half of the seven-year Tribulation period) and that it refers to Israel, not the Church.  Peter’s use of the prophecy of Joel was applying certain aspects of what Joel had said to the day of Pentecost.  Confusion about this has led to the corruption called Pentecostalism.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:16-21).

          Peter was referring specifically to three things that were fulfilled of Joel’s prophecy.  (1) Prophecy would be restored as a gift of God to all classes of people, Jew and Gentile, as opposed to only the nation of Israel.  The Apostles’ speaking (and everyone hearing in their own language) was an example of the Spirit empowered individuals of which Joel spoke.  The door of new revelation was opened in the Apostles.  (2) The Holy Spirit’s coming in such a special way was also a fulfillment of what Joel had said.  (3) Anyone who called on the Name of the Lord could be saved; Jew or Gentile (Joel 2:32).  Peter was not saying that the prophecy of Joel was being completely fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, only things of which were LIKE Joel had spoken.  This would become the normal experience of the Kingdom Age. 

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.