Zachariah Vision 4
Joshua the high priest gets fresh garments.
The high priest at Jerusalem in Zachariah 3 is an outstanding type of Christ. In order to get the setting we must understand that the Jews had returned from captivity, but weak in numbers and also with a painful sense that they had been people who had failed God.
Link to watch the video: http://youtu.be/Go-Q7KupUGA
Zec 3:1-10 KJV
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.
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?
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
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.
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.
And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, 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.
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
(10) In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.
Don’t forget that when they were first released from captivity they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and enthusiasm. They set about with a strong determination and purpose to rebuild the temple and establish the walls around Jerusalem. They then hit numerous difficulties and setbacks and gradually the enthusiasm and determination to fulfil the purpose of escaping from slavery in the sunless north in Babylon evaporated. They lost hope, vision and purpose. The city lay in ruins and the temple look like a deserted building site. Nothing was finished. The faith of the people dwindled under the heavy burden of the job at hand. Their persistence was gradually whittled away by the constant dripping of opposition and dissension.
The city and the temple lay about in ruins and the enemies of God, their foes filled the land. They were under the control and subject to the whims of a Gentile power, the Persians. Two Jewish leaders had arisen, the high priest Joshua and Zerubbabel the prince or ruler at Jerusalem. However the people were not strong in faith and so Zachariah the prophet was raised up with a series of visions and prophecies he encouraged the leaders and the people to go ahead with the building of the temple.
VISION RELATIVE TO JOSHUA
In Zachariah 3 Joshua the high priest is seen being opposed by Satan. As the spiritual head of the Jews, he is shown clothed in filthy garments. The inhabitants of Jerusalem had returned with a heavy sense of guilt, and there is iniquity is shown laid upon Joshua.
Satan, is represented as a legal adversary in contending the issue. It is that the people at Jerusalem, represented by their high priest, are not fit to carry out the work of God.
The position of Satan, at the right-hand is often the usual position of a prosecutor or an accuser in court. The whole setting is forensic. Psalm 109:6 – let Satan stand at his right hand.
Psa 109:6 KJV
(6) Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
However, there is also an advocate for God on the scene. It is the Lord himself, he says, “the Lord rebuke thee, Satan.” The Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee…”
Zec 3:2 KJV
(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?
It is a very powerful term showing the immense strength of God. This rebuke is in the light of a future event. God states that he will bring forth his servant the BRANCH and also that the foundation stone will be engraved. This stone is seen with the seven eyes, and is the stone which Joshua had seen laid: that stone being the foundation stone of the temple.
Zec 3:8 KJV …….: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Zec 3:9 KJV For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
This has a greater fulfilment in A STONE WITH SEVEN EYES, God states that upon this spiritual stone he will open up the markings on the stone. To engrave has this meaning. Then God goes on to state that he will remove the iniquity of the land in the one day.
God himself as the judge of all opened up the flesh of his own son and caused a profuse stream of blood to pour forth which has removed iniquity. The lamb, freshly slain in the book of Revelation, has seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God, or the sevenfold Ministry of the Holy Ghost. In the light of the future event of Calvary, God in a legal sense, rebukes the devil, who fades out of site.
[KJV] Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
THE CHANGING OF THE GARMENTS
The Lord has chosen Jerusalem for sanctification (Separation from the world, the ways of the world and the thinking of the world – complete separation from patterning themselves from anything other than the plans and purposes laid out within the word of God. Separation from sin and iniquity as well is the wisdom of the world because this wisdom does not come from above) The Lord has chosen sanctification for the high priest, representative of the people, who is now clothed with the beautiful garments of his office. Holiness unto the Lord shines forth in the fair mitre on his head, and garments of grace and glory are placed upon him. Jerusalem is now accepted in the righteousness of their high priest and can go on without any fear of condemnation, in the work of the temple building.
Don’t forget that the operation of the cleansing of the blood is to provide a clear conscience so that the worshipper can serve the living God.
[KJV] Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The whole scene is one meant to convey to the consciously polluted Jews, the fact that God has put away their sin as he has put away the filthy garments from off the high priest (the putting off from him suggests taking from him something that was pressing with an overwhelming burden) and they were accepted in his righteousness as typified by the change of raiment. Our great high priest, the Branch, the scion of the line of David has taken our place under the burden of sin and guilt and having discharged the debt, he is clothed with the glory of God. We are now free to have our faith invigorated to serve the limping guard and complete his mission on this earth for souls to be saved, a holy security within our worship and the truth of the gospel taught and preached from the lives of zealous and righteous living ministry.
That glory of the putting away of iniquity and the indwelling of the pure life of God, has been given to us. The high priest of our profession prays that prayer. [KJV] John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
This is undoubtedly the wedding garment which lets us into the feast of eternity.
THE PRIEST AND THE PEOPLE ARE TO BE SIGNS AND WONDERS.
[KJV] Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Earlier in that chapter it speaks of the one who is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence……
[KJV] Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Now in Zachariah 3 the high priest and his people are to be men wondered that and later in the chapter we read of a stone with seven eyes. Hebrews 2:13 bears all this out as we read again, “behold I and the children which God have given me.” The chapter in Hebrews concludes with reference to our merciful and faithful high priest – and the power of the devil in the same chapter is shown to be inoperative.
[KJV] Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Signs and wonders – the whole order of things goes into supernatural – his zeal performs it – we cannot live the life or perform the service without the life of another surging through us.
The Jews having returned from the captivity with the vessels of the Lord and commenced the work of rebuilding the temple. They’ve gone forth with great joy, but opposition has darkened down upon them in and now their courage and their witness were going to fail. This was due to a stage of un-satisfaction. Joshua, who represented them, stood before the Lord, but clothed in filthy garments. The foundation had been laid, but a fresh administration was necessary to complete the building of the temple.
Hence Joshua & Zerubbabel along with Haggie & Zachariah are raised up.
The change of garments, this experience taught that they needed a state of sanctification to carry on with the work of witness and rebuilding. As they realise their position in their priest they were emboldened to continue with their God appointed task.
They have a revelation of their position in Christ, their high priest and they know how to appropriate the administration that comes from his legal standing in Christ. The stone with the seven eyes is particularly interesting as it shows how they will be a very searching ministry by the spirit.
The signs and wonders aspect of their relationship to Joshua and hence to Christ shows that the experience of possessing the wedding garment will have with it a multitude of supernatural powers, but the vital thing is the need of the priestly garments. These garments, especially given for Sanctuary ministration, speak of how their state will be one of prayer and praise and ministration to the Lord. They were to get back to zeal that they had when they first marched out of captivity as pioneers flooding across the borders into a new life and purpose.
Just as filthy garments had been upon the priest so their lives had been weighed down with doubts, grumbling and disappointment, their garment are filthy with stains of the broth of abominable things; (Isaiah 65:4) instead of the oil of sanctification.
[KJV] Isaiah 65:4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
Joshua and Jerusalem are identified. The new Jerusalem will be as a bride adorned with beautiful garments.
The whole setting can be wonderfully spiritualised in the New Testament. Hebrews 12.
The new and heavenly Jerusalem.
Angels are mentioned in both places.
The fellows that sit before them; the church of the firstborn.
Joshua at the high priest; Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant.
The blood of sprinkling; the result of God opening up the stone. God the judge of all; the legal (totally righteous) aspect of the whole setup.
Distinct charge given to Joshua to obedience; conscience cleared to serve the Lord Jesus.
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; serve God acceptably and with fear.
(all these must wait for another time)
The last verse holds this hope that all those who hear the voice of the Lord Jesus will be able call his neighbour in unified love wherever they sit under the vine or under the fig tree. The place will be filled with those who have no guile. What an expectation!
Link to watch the video: http://youtu.be/Go-Q7KupUGA