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Summary: Essence of the Lesson: It is Jesus’ great pleasure and his ongoing work to cleanse and defend His brethren against all satanic accusation to enable and prepare them for His service!

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And The Angel of the LORD Stood By

Copyright 2004 Rev. John Mark Jones, all rights reserved

Essence of the Lesson:

It is Jesus’ great pleasure and his ongoing work to cleanse and defend His brethren against all satanic accusation to enable and prepare them for His service!

Zec 3:1-5

(1) Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.

(2) And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"

(3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.

(4) Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."

(5) And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.

Preliminary thoughts:

The people of God have always been on a journey. We are on a journey now.

God raises up men to lead His people in every age, every situation. God has a faithful remnant in the earth at all times.

God’s people have a purpose, a plan and a destiny. They do not wander around battered by the devil, aimless and hopeless.

Introduction:

Young Zechariah had been called into service from a life in faraway Babylon to fulfill

the decree of King Cyrus of Persia in 538 BC.

God’s plan had come to fruition just as prophesied by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel!

The air was pregnant with excitement. Free at last!

Zechariah means “The Lord Remembers.”

Some fifty thousand people set out that day from the heart of Babylon. Most of them had been raised there, with no memory of what old Jerusalem was like the Old City. Some of the old guard who had seen the former city, and were still in traveling shape accompanied them.

They left Babylon in the Spring, and towards the end of the seventh month (late September) the returning exiles were determined to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, complete with burnt offerings and all the ceremony, all upon the new altar which had been constructed.

At the Great Feast, there were shouts of joy from many, yet cries of lament from others who had seen the former Temple in all its glory.

Discouragement was the first step towards failure.

The second step began when jealous kings from surrounding territories began to notice the work that was going on.

They hired hecklers to taunt them. They tried to offer to “help” to infiltrate and sabotage the work. Yet they continued to work. Finally they turned to politics and wrote a letter to King Artaxerxes who had now replaced Cyrus as the Chaldean monarch in Babylon.

Artaxerxes ordered the returned exiles to stop work. Things had never looked so dismal. There is no sense of destiny, there is no sense of productivity or encouragement. Should they simply return to Babylon?

For sixteen years, they languished in failure and chaos.


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