“The Visions for Israel / SBBC”
(The vision of the High Priests)
Zechariah 3:1-10 (KJV)
I. The vision of the Horses (Protection and comfort to Israel)
II. The vision of the Horns (Judgment of those who oppose Israel)
III. The Vision of the Measuring Line (The inspection and restoration of Israel)
Now for today…
I. The Vision of the High Priests
(The cleansing and restoration of Israel)
A) The Angel of the Lord
- Zechariah 3:1…And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
- In this fourth vision, Joshua (which represents the high priest of the restoration of Israel) is standing in front of the Angel of the LORD (the Messiah).
- To get a clear picture of what is taking place we see that the lowest ranking officer (Joshua) is standing in front of the highest ranking officer (Jesus Christ, the Messiah).
- Did you notice who is always standing nearby to criticize the work, find fault with the builder, the accuser of the brethren…Satan.
- Notice the purpose for Satan here… “…to resist him (Joshua, the high priest of the restoration)”
B) The High Priest
- The PURPOSE for the OT high priest – was to restore the people of Israel.
- A person sins, and they are spotted, stained, not perfect, not holy. The priest was to sacrifice the animals before an Almighty God that covered their sin and “restored (make new again, make holy again)” the person’s relationship to God.
- The PURPOSE for the NT High Priest (Jesus Christ) -was the same purpose… to restore a sinner by removing the sin that bound them and separated them from a Holy and Just God.
- This high priest (Joshua) of Zechariah 3 will have the same PURPOSE.
C) Satan standing at his right hand
- Looking again at the end of verse 1… “he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”
- When a person is asked to do something and they refuse to do it. That is satan ruling the heart, not God.
- In this verse it shows you the heart of Satan… “to resist.”
- In fact, the only thing or person that God has advised us to “resist” is the devil himself.
- I like to take note of Satan’s “standing” and not “sitting.” Standing as if ready to pounce or act upon anything of God. Satan is never “sitting” to relax.
D) The LORD’S response to Satan
- Now let us look at Zechariah 3:2… And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
- Any time that God’s people are attacked by Satan or Satan’s angels (demons), God will rebuke Satan.
- This is the continual war that will never stop until that day of Judgment when God will throw Satan into the lake of fire to burn forever PTL.
- I believe that God’s angels are always at war with the demons of Satan when they attack or try to attack without God’s permission.
- In verse 2 we see the word “rebuke.” It means to blame or scold, to force back. In other words, Satan is causing Joshua to resist the angel of the LORD’s order and God rebukes (speaks harshly causing Satan to take a step backward) Satan so strongly, that Satan must retreat.
E) God doing the laundry
- Zechariah 3:3… Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
- I am not trying to make light of God or His will, but rather just trying to compare what God is doing here in verse 3 (an everyday task) with an everyday task that we also have.
- Doing the laundry is a thankless job, a meaningless job, a difficult job, and a job or task that never is finished. As long as we live, our laundry will need to be done.
- Since God created man (Adam), God has spent His time trying to keep mankind clean. It is an endless job, a daily job and a job that many times is unrewarded.
- I believe that the name “Joshua” here is really a picture of a group of Godly people. Joshua could represent the people of Israel then and in the future. No matter what, Joshua represents the people of God or those who consider themselves to be God’s children.
- That being said, we note first… “Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments.” God’s people are “clothed (covered)” with “filthy garments (horrible sins)”
- The words “filthy garments” here is the same used in Isaiah 64:6…But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
- Isaiah is saying here that everything that we do (the things we THINK are righteous) are really dirty and unsubstantiated (not shown to be true) according to God.
- Our iniquities (perversions of the truth) have made us think that we are holy and so we keep on doing what we THINK to be right.
- Verse 7) And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
- This verse 7 describes (in my opinion) the two meanings of “filthy rags.”
- there is none that calleth upon thy name – people who continually depend upon their own works to merit salvation. These are also people who continually justify all they do without ever a self examination based on God’s word. They never call out to God in remorse, repentance, or in need of anything.
- that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: – they never create a desire within themselves to depend completely on God for their food, their life, or needs.
- In doing the laundry, there is a difference between “a stain,” “dirty clothes,” and “filthy rags.”
- A stain – most of the time, cannot be removed.
- Dirty clothes – can be cleaned with a washing.
- Filthy rags – take a lot more work to get clean.
- A STAIN – Look at Isaiah 63:3…I (Jesus) have trodden the winepress alone; (He alone has made the Jews hate Him so much that they wish to kill Him) and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; (I will bring them into judgment for what they have done) and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, (I will take upon myself all the sins of mankind) and I will stain all my raiment.(I will create a stain upon my holiness in the flesh that cannot be removed.)
- A stain is something that is the hardest thing to be removed and become completely spotless.
- Jesus had to bare upon Himself the iniquities of us all. The stain being His pierced hands, feet, and side. It cannot be removed.
- There are certain sins that we commit that leave “a stain.” Those are the sins that leave “scars” that cannot be removed. Some examples are…divorce, murder, a criminal record, or bad words said in anger, and etc.
- DIRTY CLOTHES – these are sin that we do that can be forgiven by Jesus Christ if we repent and show Him by our actions that we do love Him. Jesus can cleanse our heart and soul only if we call upon His name, Believe in Him (By being obedient), and live for Him until we die. These are also sin that can be lost in the background of our life and never mentioned.
- FILTHY RAGS – these are sin committed by people that can be cleansed by the Savior (Jesus Christ) but can leave scars for life. These are sin that may be mentioned in public or by others that are a constant reminder of our past. They can be forgiven by God but not His children.
- Laundry is a difficult task. Not everyone can do it. Only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is able to get our clothes clean. He is far better than any detergent available at Dillons or Wal-mart.
F) God assigns launderers
- Zechariah 3:4… And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
- “…those that stood before him” were the angels that stood before Joshua.
- The FIRST STEP – The first step towards being clean or pure is to remove the dirty clothes from your body.
- The SECOND STEP – “…Take away the filthy garments from him.” Secondly, you add the detergent (The Angel of the Lord Jesus Christ) which is the only thing strong enough to remove the dirt and stains of the sin.
- The THIRD STEP – “…And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” Thirdly, the machine is engaged in the cleaning of your clothes, or in this case Christ is engaged in the removing of the sins of Joshua (The high priest).
- The third step in the cleaning process is continued in Zechariah 5… And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
- The term “fair mitre” means… a nice clean bonnet or head covering. A “mitre” was a bonnet that the priests wore while performing their duties in the Tabernacle. Inside the mitre (turban) was the words inscribed “Holiness to the LORD.”
G) Try to stay clean
- After a person (Especially a child) puts on new clothes, it is difficult to stay clean all day long. It is extremely hard when you are surrounded by dirt or dirty things.
- I remember as a child my mother would help me get dressed and comb my hair and get ready for church and tell me “Ronnie, don’t get dirty!” You know what I would do? Not intentionally, but I would get dirt somehow, somewhere on my nice clean church clothes.
- This is the picture we have of Joshua and the angel of the Lord in Zechariah 3:6… And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, (Try and stay clean, don’t get your church clothes dirty) then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
- The latter part of this verse is another passage of scripture that provides proof that God rewards those who do as He asks, and continue in doing so.
- This really is a message to us concerning our sins.
- If you want the benefits that God has to offer…stay clean.
- Our message from God today for SBBC is that Christ (the BRANCH) is as promised in verse 8-10 for the house of Israel. The cleansing agent for our dirty clothes. Now, let us do the wash!