2022 Study Summary 50: Holiness Unto The Lord | Israel Revealed

2022 Study Summary 50: Holiness Unto The Lord

Haggai; Zechariah 1–3; 7–14

“Holiness Unto The Lord”

Haggai 1. Haggai exhorts the people to build the temple.

Haggai 2. Haggai speaks about the Messiah—The Desire of All Nations will come—The Lord will give peace in His temple.

Zechariah 1. Zechariah calls upon Judah to repent—He is shown in vision that the cities of Judah and the temple will be rebuilt.

Zechariah 2. In the last days, Judah will gather to Jerusalem—The people will come from the land of the north—The Lord will dwell among them.

Zechariah 3. Zechariah speaks about the Messiah—The Branch will come—At the Second Coming, iniquity will be removed in one day.

Zechariah 7. The Lord reproves hypocrisy in fasts—He calls upon the people to show mercy and compassion and to live godly lives.

Zechariah 8. In the last days, Jerusalem will be restored, Judah will be gathered, and the Lord will bless His people beyond anything in the past.

Zechariah 9. Zechariah speaks as the Messiah—The Messiah will come, having salvation, lowly and riding upon an ass—He will free the prisoners from the pit—Judah and Ephraim are instruments of the Lord.

Zechariah 10. Judah and Joseph will be scattered among the people in far countries—The Lord will hiss for them, gather them, and redeem them.

Zechariah 11. Zechariah speaks about the Messiah—The Messiah will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver—They will be cast to the potter in the house of the Lord.

Zechariah 12. In the final great war, all nations will be engaged at Jerusalem, but the Lord will defend His people—Then the Jews will look upon the Lord, whom they crucified, and there will be great mourning.

Zechariah 13. The Jews will gain forgiveness at the Second Coming—They will ask the Lord, What are these wounds in Thine hands?—The remnant, tried and refined, will be His people.

Zechariah 14. At His Second Coming, the Lord will fight for Israel—His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives—He will be King over all the earth—Plagues will destroy the wicked.

What occurs in countries and cities when the “Houses of the Lord” are built?
The title of this lesson seems encouraging, yet, only for those who are prepared for his coming! Somehow, the people in the prophet Haggai’s time needed to change their focus from: “The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” (Haggai 1:2) They were chastened by: “Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.” (Haggai 1:10) However, the people responded to the prophet, “And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.” (Haggai 1:14) Once the people responded by building the House of the Lord, they were promised: “And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down,” (Haggai 2:22) As history was recorded as prophecy, you can see that preparations and building are being made to include beautiful and sacred “Houses of the Lord” throughout the world, even in countries and cities with political and military stress. There will be two specific temples, each in a “City of the Lord” (it seems that there will be two cities, Jerusalem and Zion). “And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people;” (Doctrine & Covenants 133:21) God’s people, nowadays, must also be prepared as they make covenants and shift their paradigms in consecrating everything to the building of His kingdom. The Old Testament “dress rehearsal” of today’s preparation and building was before his “first” coming. In preparing for His “second” coming and of the children of Israel (East and West) are returning to their sacred cities, the lesson in building temples is valuable for us today.

What do Jews say about Zechariah? “Zechariah was a prophet whose oracles are recorded in the 11th book of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible. He apparently lived in the sixth century B.C.E., shortly after the destruction of the First Temple, and may have been among the first groups of Jews to return to Erez (land of) Israel from the Babylonian Exile. Zechariah believed that the destruction and Exile were God’s way of punishing the Jews for their sins, but he urged them to repent and rebuild the Temple with God’s blessing.” “The Book of Zechariah is divided into two parts. The first eight chapters are historical in nature. They make mention of the Babylonian Exile and of contemporary figures. The second half of the book, however, makes no mention of time or place and is not as easily understood as the first. Some scholars therefore feel that the book was written by more than one person.” “Both sections have one stylistic point in common: they are filled with symbolic visions, explained by an angel who speaks to Zechariah and acts as an intermediary between the prophet and God. Many of these visions concern the rebuilding of Jerusalem. For example, in the first part of the book the prophet sees four horns (like those of a ram butting against a wall), which represent the nations that destroyed Jerusalem. Zechariah them observes four craftsmen who go to cut the horns down, symbolizing the restoration of the city. The second section of the book describes the divine punishment of Israel’s neighbors and the future victory of the Jews over their enemies. Jerusalem will be besieged by many nations, he predicts, but these will be struck with confusion and madness, and the “chiefs of Judah” will devour them.” “Zechariah believed that the ceremonies and rituals performed in the service of God were meaningless unless accompanied by the striving for righteousness, truth and peace. He saw Jerusalem as the chosen city, protected by God.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

What do Prophets teach that must precede peace?
With the spirit of God, the prophets instruct the people to have hope. “The prophet Zechariah gives a happy description of old age when he speaks of the days to come. “There shall yet be old men and women in the public squares of Jerusalem,” alongside “boys and girls playing in its public squares” (Zechariah 8:4). Notwithstanding that present happy state of Jerusalem, the Jews see a present-day gap in the teachings of hope. “The rabbis regarded Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi as the last of the prophets, the “divine spirit” having ceased in Israel with their deaths.” “Zechariah continued in the same task as Haggai; he too encouraged the Jews to rebuild the Temple. Zechariah reminded Israel that before God returned to the Temple the people must return to God through righteousness, justice, and mercy: “Return to Me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you.” The nation’s future security would be guaranteed, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:6), and Israel would flourish once again. Zechariah prophesied of the Golden Age of the Messiah when God’s Kingdom would be established on earth.” “. . . God, as depicted by the rabbis, embodies a combination of justice and mercy, of strict judgment and lenient compassion. This combination of justice and mercy in God is represented by the two names of God – Elohim and YHWH. The former stands for justice and the latter for mercy. Though they may seem contradictory, one actually complements the other and, when there is a conflict between the two, God usually favors mercy.” “Judaism demands of its judges this same balance, and the principle of mercy thus assumes extreme importance in the administration of Jewish law. The prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 7:9) put it: “. . . execute the judgment and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

What is the Lord’s promise?
Our duty: “And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” (Zechariah 7:10) Our gift: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. 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. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.” (Zechariah 2:10-13) Come, and see for yourselves, already the prophesy is being fulfilled! “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.” (Zechariah 8:3-5)

How did the “First Coming” foreshadow the “Second Coming?”
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)

How does Armageddon precede the glorious day?
Along the “Way of the Sea” various mounds or “tels” mark ancient caravan stops or toll stations. Such mounds provided a military high ground to secure the highways. The most strategic area in the country was the Jezreel Valley with its largest Tel, Megiddo. In Hebrew the word for hill or Tel is “Har” – and this valley became known as the valley by “Har Megiddo”, anglicized into Armageddon. “The Way of the Sea” approaches this valley from the west, the Patriarch’s Highway comes from the – middle of Israel and the Kings Highway comes from the east. ‘That is why it was called the battlefield of the “Crossroads of the East.” In latter-days, a final battle will begin here, as the world turns against the nation of Israel. Two Prophets will hold back the armies of the enemies for three-and-a-half years. Then they will be killed and lie in the streets for three-and-a-half days. The Messianic event occurs as besieged Jerusalem will be freed and the Mount of Olives divides. The preceding holocaust will have left so many dead that it will take seven months to find and bury them. The leftover instruments of war will provide the survivors in the country with seven years of fuel. (Zechariah11:14; Revelation 16:14-21)

What will prompt the questions as the Messiah appears?
There will be questions as he appears to those who have waited so long for him. The questions indicate a lack of even knowing who he is, (Jews have not yet learned the account of Jesus’ mortal ministry): “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zechariah 13:6) “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?” (He will answer them.) “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” (They will continue to question.) “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?” (Isaiah 63:1-2) The old English word “winefat” is from the Hebrew word for a “wine press” or “vineyard.” It is from that word we get “Gethsemane,” where the Savior bled from every pore. His stained clothing is reflected in his return to the Mount of Olives in red. The fact that they are asking indicates that they have not been instructed. They just don’t know the account of the Gethsemane suffering and of the crucifixion. “And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.” (Following their instruction and learning – things that we may be so familiar with . . .) “. . . then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.” (Doctrine & Covenants 45:51-53) It will be a Godly sorrow and better yet, from the captivity of all their sorrow and persecution they have endured, they will be set free. They will hear him, their king whom they did not know, say – as prophesied . . . “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1)

What is our response, to His arrival and dwelling with us, as believing Jews?
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. 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. (Zechariah 14:20-21) “After the Lord called his people Zion, the scripture says that Enoch “built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion;” that Zion “was taken up into heaven” where “God received it into his own bosom; and that from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled.” (Moses 7:69.) This same Zion which was taken up into heaven shall return during the Millennium, when the Lord brings again Zion, and its inhabitants shall join with the new Jerusalem, which shall then be established. (Moses 7:4–69.) (Bruce R. McConkie, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/1977/09/building-zion?lang=eng)

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