What Happens When We Turn
Well we have been in Haggai talking about the people of God returning and building the Temple of God
We have seen this process through the eyes and voice of the Prophet Haggai.
But he had a colleague a fellow prophet of God named Zechariah.
Zechariah was prophesying at the same time to Judah about their need to Return to the Lord to build the Temple.
His book of the same name.
So through the book of Zechariah we get another view of the same story.
We aren’t going to go through the whole book but I wanted you to see something today as a way of follow-up to our study in Haggai.
Zechariah had a different recorded experience than that of Haggai.
The Lord spoke to Zechariah through Visions.
But the most important thing for us to see is that Zechariah had visions and encounters with the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, as referenced as “The Angel of the Lord”
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and she realized he was God, the God who sees me
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Jacob and wrestled with him and blessed him at Peniel
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses within a bush that burned but did not burn
The Angel of the Lord appeared to a false Prophet Balaam and revealed God’s power
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua on the road to Jericho
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and lead him in power and might
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Elijah
The Angel of the Lord appeared to David Judging the people for his action but also offering forgiveness and restoration
David wrote songs about The Angel of the Lord
The Angel of the Lord is seen in the book of Isaiah
And for the last time in the Old Testament, the Angel of the Lord, a Theophany, God Revealed, Jesus Christ, appears to Zechariah in visions.
People it is ALL about Jesus Christ
This book from beginning to end is about Jesus Christ
The Father has given all things to him, the Holy Spirit draws people to him it is all about Jesus.
Rebuilding the Temple wasn’t about having a nice building.
Rebuilding the Temple wasn’t even about religion
Rebuilding the Temple was about God dwelling with man
Jesus Christ came to reconcile those estranged from God by sin, who would receive his sacrifice, his offer of forgiveness.
That God might be able to dwell with us and we with him.
I have been challenging you from the Word of God to build your life around him
Many of you have made decisions in your life to build or rebuild your life around the truth that is Jesus Christ.
The question is, what now?
What happens when I build my life around Jesus Christ?
In chapter 3 Zechariah has his 4th Vision
in THIS vision I believe we are given a glimpse at Heaven’s Side, the Spiritual Side, of what happens when we return to the Lord.
In recent days and months many of you have made significant Spiritual Decisions. You have perhaps reestablished Gods rightful place in your life though a Christian, you had gotten things out of order and you repented and returned
For some of you, you have recently repented of your sin, and given your heart and life to Jesus Christ. He has come to you and made his dwelling place with you.
Perhaps you are wondering to yourself, “what just happened?”
“I know I feel different, but what has taken place?”
“What will happen or SHOULD happen?”
Or one other category of person today, you are considering responding to the Lord and you wonder what will happen …
Read with me from chapter 3 of the book of Zechariah.
We are going to see the High Priest, Joshua, standing in Heaven representing the People of Judah
You remember that Haggai spoke on the 1st day of the 6th month. The people began to build on the 24th day of that month and Haggai’s last message came on the 24th day of the 9th month.
Zechariah’s messages started in the 8th month then his visions began on the 24th day of the 11th month … so we are a few months passed God’s people returning … When you see Joshua, picture all or any of God’s people … people who come to God and trust him with their lives
If YOU have given your life to Christ … or have repented and returned … Joshua is YOU …
Now I know I have taken a long time to set this up, but I won’t spend too much time I promise …
People as a way of introduction see first
Intro - Joshua and thus the people stand before God
You will not answer to me
You will not answer to the church
You will not answer to your family
You will not answer to your boss
You will stand before Jesus
You answer to Jesus alone
Why? Because he has died on the cross, he has paid for our sin, he has been obedience to the Father and so Philippians 2 says he alone has been given a name, above every name, a name by which every knee must bow and tongue confess that Jesus is what LORD
HE IS LORD
“He Is Lord”!
And when you stand before the Lord
When you repent of sin and follow him …
Let me start with the sobering News …
1. Satan Will Accuse
There was Joshua, the person turned to God … and standing RIGHT beside him … was Satan … and he wasn’t there to observe he was there as a tattletale
Oh did you have a little brother or sister … you were out of line and you knew it, you were standing before your parents and there they were beside you “HE DID IT. I Saw It. He is guilty.”
Why? They want you to get in trouble
They want you to get punishment
And there is Satan, you are repenting, you are confessing and satan is Accusing
That is What he does
Rev 12:10 – The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night …
Job 1:6 Job comes before God to accuse Job
A. He will Accuse you before God
1. You need not be surprised that he will try to accuse you. His own guilt is already known. His judgment and fate are secure
2. so what does he want? He wants as many as possible to face the same fate
3. He tempted Eve and Adam to try and bring judgment on them
4. If you have turned to God Satan will be standing right there accusing you, he will bring to God everything you’ve done, as if God didn’t know
5. he will do his best to try and bring you down from your Spiritual High and Victory
B. He will Accuse you before men
1. Satan will do his best to bring accusations true or false against you in the eyes of the world
2. If he can bring you down in front of friends and family, co-workers or classmates, he will do so to bring you down and to bring down the cause of Christ
C. He will Accuse you in the Mirror
1. Satan will come against you in your own eyes. Oh he is a great recorder and player of the past. He will remind you where you have been and what you have done and will tell you that you can’t be what God wants you to be. He will tell you that you may have a desire but can’t have victory in Jesus
2. He is our Adversary and every time you move toward God he is going to come against you. So you better come all the way. Choose him or choose the Accuser …
3. We must not be surprised when we do the right thing, seek the Lord, and things get hard. Jesus told his disciples “do not be surprised when the world hates you, because they hated me first.”
But let me tell you what God says of his people all who follow him …
Isaiah 54:17 “’no weapon forged against you will prevail and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the hearitage of the servants of the Lod and this is their vindication from me.’ declares the Lord”
Why do we know this is true?
Because Satan Accuses but
2. Christ Comes To Your Defense
James 4:8-9 “Submit yourself to God, Resist the Devil and he will Flee. Come Near to God and God will come near to you”
Zech 1:3 “… This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty”
When you submit to the Lord, you never face your accuser alone
Satan is standing at Joshua’s right hand accusing him before God
And Jesus says to Satan “The Lord Rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is this man not a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Jesus Christ who CHOSE you for himself from the foundation of the earth
Jesus Christ who himself died for your sin
Jesus Christ who is himself God rebukes Satan
While Satan accuses you … Jesus Rebukes him – the word ga ‘ar (gaw-ar) meaning to tell another that they have done wrong … with conviction or zeal, implying disapproval and a straining or relationship
When Satan accuses You Jesus reminds him of his own fault and fate
Rom 8:33-34 “who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
The next verse says “who will separate us from the love of God?
Hallelujah I am not alone, when satan comes against me Jesus comes against him
Do not fear the satanic attack of that defeated foe … you have an Advocate to counter you Accusing Adversary …
But not only does he speak up for you …
But especially if you are a new Christian you need to understand the important spiritual action that takes place here …
1 John 1:9
When we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness …
3. Christ Transforms You
2 Cor 5:17 says “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has past, the new has come”
This passage paints a beautiful picture of what happens in the life of a person when they come to Christ
A friend of mine, Michael Peterson, used to sing a song that said “God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way”
You in Christ, have been snatched from the fire of judgment …
How are we when we come to Christ?
A. Dressed in Filthy Clothes
1. standing before Christ. He knows our state
2. dressed in filthy clothes
3. tsow - /tso/ this doesn’t just mean your clothes are a little dusty or stained by dirt … it means pertaining to being befouled with excrement as the feature of an object, with the associative meaning of being ceremonially unclean
B. Remove His Filthy Clothes
1. remove – suwr /soor/ - to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, put aside, abolish
2. You cannot make yourself clean … you cannot make yourself right
3. But when you come to Jesus he will cause you to turn aside from the path you’ve been on, he will cause you to leave the way you have always gone, turn around, retract the attitudes and actions, abolishing the sin
4. Oh the Work of the Love of Christ … In the symbolic he says “take off his filthy clothes” … but then he explains … “See I have taken away your sin and I will put rich Garments on You
5. He has taken away our sin … “avon” /aw-vone/ perversity; depravity, iniquity, guilt, consequence of iniquity
The sin at the root of our death and bondage and the guilt and resulting punishment has been taken away from us by our Gracious Lord
And he himself will complete the transformation by
C. Clothing Us
1. Rich Garments – the NASB says “Festal Robes” – the word is machalatsah /makh-al-aw-tsaw/ - rich garments, very fine robes, robe of state
2. when you come to Christ he not only takes off your iniquity, forgiving the guilt of your sin but he dress you up … but not just in any clothing … if you are to be a royal citizen of Heaven, you need to be dressed for success … you need to be dressed in the royal clothing of the state. In that day if there was special banquet or festive occasion you must dress in the right way or you could not attend … but if you did not have the right clothes, the Host … Or the King would provide you with HIS clothing …
So our Lord provides us with Heaven’s garments … Robes of the State
When the priesthood began they were given special clothes Exo.28:2 … to give dignity and honor
3. Put a Clean Turban on his Head – The priest wore a special “crown” or sorts … a Turban … but just like his clothing, his crown was soiled as well … it was a indication of his Office … Matthew Henry wrote … “now that he looks clean … let him look GREAT”
Being a priest unto God was not something that someone took on themselves it was an honor given by God and the same is true of anointed preachers today. You don’t take it on yourself but it is a gift from God
And you as a believer in Jesus Christ, chosen by him, cleansed by him, made righteous by him and given the office of a Priest …
“We are a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood, a People belonging to God that we might declare the praises of him who brought us out of darkness into marvelous light” – 1 Peter 2:9
And with that Hat …
4. You Are Commissioned
When you come to Christ … strap on the armor of God from Eph 6 the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, Gospel Shoes, Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit, and the Helmet of Salvation …
But know that Christ is your Advocate fighting Satan FOR you …
Realize that though we are sinful he transforms us
And in that transformation He commissions you
I don’t know where we got the idea that coming to Christ means we can do whatever we want.
But we didn’t DO anything to gain our salvation
And we can’t DO anything to KEEP our salvation
It IS by Grace that we are saved through faith … it IS the gift of God but Eph 2:10 says “we are God’s workmanship created in him for good works he has prepared in advance that we should do”
We DO have a commission
Any good soldier
Any good employee
Any good ambassador has instructions that they must follow
Jesus portrayed salvation as people being put to work in the fields of God
Paul says we are a good soldier
He says we are the Ambassadors for Christ …
We represent him and he has instructions for us
A. Walk in My Ways
1. halak – go, walk, come, depart, proceed, live, manner of life
2. Derek – way, road, distance, journey, manner
3. NOW in Christ, set free and living in Grace, leave your way, go, walk, proceed, have a manner of life that is the way, the road, the whole distance, a journey after the manner of Jesus Christ
4. it is WHAT we must Do. Because we are HIS
B. Keep My Requirements
1. the NASB renders it “Perform My Service” – What ELSE should a SERVANT do … than SERVE as instructed
2. shamar – keep, guard, observe give heed
3. mishmereth – charge, function, obligation, service, watch
4. If you do what he has told you to do you have the authority that comes from the Master. Remember from last week, we are his signet Ring … and as long as such we have his authority that come with his Seal, the Holy Spirit.
5. you have a watch you have an obligation …
What is it?
6. We are Ambassadors for Christ … Go and make disciples and baptize … be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.
That’s the final part of the commission
C. Witness to your Neighbor
1. you and I have not been given the gift of salvation to keep it to ourselves
2. We have been given Jesus The Angel of the Lord and look at verse 8 God says I’m going to give you
… My Servant
… The Branch
… The Stone with 7 eyes
Oh I wish I had more time to break THAT down … But
WHO is the Servant, the Branch the Stone?
Is it Not Jesus Christ?
3. A Servant - Jesus said “Father I have completed the work you gave me to do” He said “I came from the Father”
4. A Branch – Jer 23:5 - … I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign … Jer. 33:15 – in those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line … Is that Not JESUS?
5. A Stone – I think the 7 eyes are the Holy Spirit as Revelation refers to the 7 Aspects of the Spirit as Does Isaiah 11:2 – but the Stone He is a Stone that the builders have rejected and Matt 21:44 says “…he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed”
In confession and repentance comes brokenness bringing forgiveness … but in Pride and arrogance the stone becomes one of Judgment that falls on us crushing us …
6. We have been given Jesus, Messenger, Branch and Stone … and through him in one day on the cross he provided the removal of our sin and in one day he will bring salvation to us …
7. The greatest gift of all … is peace with God through Christ Jesus … Verse ten refers to us having a VINE and a FIG Tree … the Vine and the Fig Tree were symbols of Peace. …
8. Knowing Jesus Christ … Understanding the Peace with God that we have through him … How could we sit out on the patio under our Vine, enjoying our fig tree … and look over at a neighbor without Christ and not invite them to enjoy the same peace and prosperity found in Jesus Christ?
Oh what a beautiful miracle takes place when we come to Christ
Sure we are going to be under the attack of the Evil one who is doomed already
But we have an Advocate in Christ Jesus
Who transforms us into his image with ever increasing glory
And so we are obligated to walk in his ways, serve him and proclaim his peace to a world in need of hope and peace
That my friends is what happens when you turn to Christ … isn’t that a beautiful thing?