Zechariah Chapter 4

Olive Trees

Lampstand, candle holders, Olive trees, feeding tubes called “pipes”, bowls, the seven eyes of God…it is no wonder many have difficulty understanding this chapter with a simple reading. We trust today as you read this article (commentary) on Zechariah 4, things will become clearer and you will have an increased comfort level with its content and context.

There are several interpretations of the symbols used in this chapter. The real problem is these interpretations come from just as many, if not differing translations of the Hebrew. We will stay as close as possible to the intent of this chapter by using Strong’s, Young’s Literal Translation (YLT), and the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (LITV). We will quote or note, then explain. No need to pronounce the Hebrew this article may include but you will know the options for the use of certain Hebrew words in Zechariah 4. No, this commentary will not be exhaustive but it will be inclusive.

Awakem from Sleep

Zechariah 4:1 initially reads as if Zechariah is awakened from sleep. [YLT] “And the messenger (mal’âk; a deputy or assistant) who is speaking with me doth turn back, and stir me up as one who is stirred up out of his sleep…” In short this opening means a “messenger” had to get the attention of Zechariah, similar to one who may call out in a parking lot or perhaps in a church foyer to get the attention of someone. YLT uses “messenger” while the KJV uses “angel”. 

These returning Judeans and other Israeli tribal stragglers or cling-on Israelis from the former Kingdom of Judah and a few from the Kingdom of Israel are coming to a Jerusalem that is anything but a lampstand or golden light radiating to the world. Yet, this vision shows a lampstand of seven lights. The wealth of “gold” in the vision also does not reflect the conditions of the returning Judeans or the wealth of the land to which they are returning. Rather it is almost a stark contrast with actuality. This is our first clue that this 5th vision involves things to come, not the present state-of-being upon their return to Jerusalem.

In our attempt to find a visual illustration of this vision or drawing of the concept of verses 3 and 4 to depict it was next to impossible to keep someone else’s theological twist out of their drawing or illustration. The best approach is to take this scripture literally. Zechariah saw a golden candle stick fueled by purified olive oil filling a supply bowl from two Olive trees; one tree to the left and one tree to the right of the gold candle holder. There is a collection bowl on the top that acts as a reservoir of the olive oil fuel. Oil is piped to the seven burning candle fuel bowls.

Hmmmm? 7 points of light? A light onto the world? Has America like Israel lost its purpose? I see seven statue crown points like the seven points of the menorah.

It is amazing that there are so many attempts to make something out of what is pictured here instead of using other scripture to validate each element Zachariah is seeing. He does not understand its meaning per verse 5. The messenger explains…this is a picture of Israel’s destiny, not its present state of being. It is a covenant reminder of God’s relationship with Israel. The YLT writes: “And he answered and spoke unto me, saying: `This is a word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying: Not by a force, nor by power, But–by My Spirit, said Jehovah of Hosts”. Okay…a literal look: “a word of Jehovah” is an official identity of God in Hebrew, “speaking specifically to Zerubbabel”. First, Zerubbabel is of the Tribe of Judah, just as was David and Jesus himself in the New Testament. There is nothing hinted in the Hebrew that this includes the future New Testament church meaning people other than Israelis, and Jerusalem’s Temple.

Zechariah 4:7 [LITV] “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain”. Where can we find anything similar within scripture…a great mountain made a plain; an obstacle removed. Ezekiel 38:20 is one good reference: Using the full verse… [LITV]

Fish of the Sea

And the fish of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men on the face of the earth, shall quake at My face. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. [Cf. Revelation 16:20}

Let’s add to this…the previous verse (6) says it is not by might or power but by my Spirit that verse 7 will result. This has to be the End Time return of Christ to earth with God’s Spirit filling the sons and daughters of Israel [Cf. Joel 2:20]. Recall that upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion, Jesus stated that had not the people shouted out in praise the rocks along the road side would have shouted out [Luke 19:40].

Zechariah 4:7 tells us of the headstone (KJV) or cornerstone (LITV). Cornerstone of what one should ask? It is the Millennial New Jerusalem and throne of Jesus symbolized by the work of Zerubbabel on the Temple foundation including its eventual completion. Simply put, it is a defining moment of the eventual supremacy of Jerusalem over all nations and the Temple that will be in Jerusalem. This is when Jerusalem will actually become the light on the hillside to the world. We will go into greater detail and explanation in Zechariah 5 (cf. Matthew 5:14).

Zechariah 4:10 actually helps explain Zechariah 3:9, the seven eyes on the stone in front of the High Priest Joshua. [LITV] For they shall rejoice and shall see the plummet stone in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of Jehovah; they run to and fro through all the earth. One could add to this the horses under the Myrtle we discussed in Zechariah 1:1-17. These horsemen were the eyes of God roaming and reporting the condition(s) of the world. Scripture does not tell us of the number of other horsemen behind the one who spoke and rode the red horse.  JIV: There may be may be 7 riders since the eyes on the stone were 7, the eyes on the stone of the Lord, the 7 pipes from the Olive tree to the main olive fuel bowl container, and 7 is the perfect number of COMPLETION. “For on the seventh day, God said all is good and he rested from his creation labors.” Just as the horsemen under the Myrtle Tree roamed the earth to see what it was like, verse 10 tells us the same per the eyes on the plummet-line stone. The eyes of Jehovah “run to and fro through all the earth” [LITV]. Very likely discussing the same activity of God keeping eyes upon earth and for certain, Satan and his minions.

Zechariah shifts gears in 4:11. This verse uses the word “question” but it means aw-naw’ as in to pay attention; take heed; to respond.

*JIV: A very interesting side per the Myrtle tree is how Jewish sages say that “the myrtle has great fragrance but [has] no taste.” Essentially meaning one can look good in the eyes of man or other believers but s/he has no taste for a spiritual life and study of the Word of God. They look good but have no taste for God’s Word.

In Zechariah’s time the above JIV can be understood as one who builds appearance but has no taste for the inside and personal works of God in his or her life.

Zechariah 4:12 is another example of confusion. Many translations identify the Olive dripping oil as coming from branches. The Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) says “two branches of the olive tree.” Does it matter if it is two trees or branches? Yes and it depends much on how one understands. A tree full of branches may in this case mean Israel as a tree and parts of it serving God. It may infer the church and only parts of it serving God. It may mean, as we do, two servants of God in End Time keeping the fire burning. These two could very likely be the two witnesses of the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.

We Teach – You Decide

Verses 11 and 12 are self-addressing. They topically return to the opening 2 verses of chapter 4. We read in verses 11 and 12 according to the YLT: V11 “And I answer [aw-naw’] and say unto him, `What are these two olive-trees, on the right of the candlestick, and on its left?’ V12 And I answer [aw-naw’] a second time, and say unto him, `What are the two branches of the olive trees that, by means of the two golden pipes, are emptying out of themselves the oil?’”  

The two branches could be a present tense or a future tense in its interpretation. It could be Zerubbabel and (high Priest) Joshua or it could be future tense meaning the End Time Two Witnesses…a continual supply of anointing oil from God; 3 ½ years as God’s only remaining witnesses other than the 144,000 as mentioned in Revelation 7 and 14.

Reader Note: JIV use means Jim’s Introspective View.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

Jeremiah Chapter 41

In our previous article on chapter 40, we pointed out that Gedaliah was appointed governor over the Judean area by Nebuchadnezzar after the failed revolt of King Zechariah.king Zechariah himself had been appointed king over Judah by Nebuchadnezzar but power went to his head and God was not in his heart. He had rebelled in hopes of help from Egypt. It never came.

Gedaliah became governor (not king) of the surrounding area of Judah. His capital city was Mizpah since Jerusalem itself had been mostly destroyed by Neb and his Chaldean/Babylonian army. He had a small contingency of Babylonian militia as body guards. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam (who saved the life of the prophet Jeremiah back in Jeremiah 26) and the grandson of Shaphan. Shaphan is mentioned in relation to the discovery of the Scroll of Teaching that some scholars identify as the core of the Book of Deuteronomy. This is debated.

Ishmael (of all names to use in this pending assassination plan found in Jeremiah 41) was sent by the King of the Ammonites to assassinate Gedaliah. He wanted discord to once again fall upon what remained of the Judean people. The Ammonites, descendants of Lot, were an eternal enemy of all Israel. Using the guise of a friendly supper and drinking party, Ishmael, sent by the Ammonites and ten men with him, invited Governor Gedaliah to a small celebration. After dining and drinking they got up and slew Gedaliah and those (probably unarmed) within his company.

Once again Nebuchadnezzar was going to need a replacement as a ruler in the province of Judah. Since this area was a constant thorn in the side of the Babylonian king, the remaining Judeans feared with good reason the response by Nebuchadnezzar. They packed up and with all haste fled to Egypt. Most Judeans fled but not Ishmael and his murdering men. This was about 582 B.C.E.

Unexpectedly (Jeremiah 41:4) some 80 men from Shechem and Samaria came to Mizpah, in a sense, to welcome Gedaliah as an ally and friend and to pay tribute in the House of Jehovah. They did not know of the assassination of Gedaliah. The last thing Ishmael needed was witnesses from outside who were also under the thumb of Nebuchadnezzar.

Ishmael, was a great actor and met these men outside of the Judean province. He was weeping and look distraught; a deception not all that uncommon in the Middle East even to this day. Jeremiah 41:6 says…he (Ishmael) said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.  They were emotionally disarmed by the appearance of a great servitude of Ishmael and his men. When they entered the city (Mizpah), Ishmael and his men began another day of assassinations and murders. These visitors were slaughter; all but ten of them. These survivors (all probably without weapons) used the old bargaining chip of hidden values (Jeremiah 41:8) that would remain hidden if they were slain. Gedaliah bought their plea bargain. What happens per these “valuables” we are not told.

Jeremiah 41:9…

“And the pit into which Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain by the side of Gedaliah was the one which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with his slain.”

In a very real sense this also served as a visual warning to the remaining ten survivors from Samaria and Shechem that a bad move could also make this pit their final resting ground. Then Ishmael makes a retreat back to the King of Ammon. However he does not go alone. He takes the remaining Jews in Mizpah captive and herds them to Ammon.

One might call it a remaining Judean guerrilla force (v11), rose up from their hiding places outside of Judah proper. They heard of the evil deeds of Ishmael and came to their rescue before Ishmael could carrel his captives in Ammon. One might think he was going to sell them as slaves to the King of Ammon. We don’t really know but that was the culture and practice of that day. We get this idea from verse 10 where they are identified as “CAPTIVES.”

Jeremiah 41:13 tells us…

“And it came to pass when all the people that were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the (remaining Judean) forces that were with him, then they were glad.”

We can determine by close examination of Jeremiah 41:13-15 that Ishmael made a very hasty flight to Ammon leaving his captives standing in view of Johanan and his captains of what once again, we may identify as a guerrilla force of Judah. If one read the non-canonized books of the Maccabees, we see they too were a Judean guerrilla force but very successful in fighting off the Roman rule yet to come after Jeremiah’s time; albeit 300 years later.

This entourage of Judeans, probably under the leadership of Johanan, gathered near Bethlehem. They knew that Nebuchadnezzar was going to seek revenge. Since this was a common problem under the rule of Neb, this time his revenge would be brutal.

helpSo, what are their options? Like most in today’s society, deny God until one gets into a fix s/he cannot get out of unscathed. Their initial design was to flee to Egypt. However they first go to Jeremiah and beg, yes, BEG that he pray to Jehovah-God seeking guidance. The significance of the new problem they all shared, it was not a seeking of God’s forgiveness, but a seeking of safety. We see this in chapter 42; our next article. Chapter 42 is fascinating in that God regrets having sent his people into captivity in Babylon and agrees to protect them but only if they remain in Judah and worship him as their one and only God.

miniJimDr. Jstark – October 2017

Jeremiah – Chapter 27

Jeremiah 27 (an amazing aha moment)

If we carefully read chapter 27 of Jeremiah, and have studied end time events according to the Minor Prophets, Isaiah, Zechariah, 2 Thessalonians, especially Daniel 11, and let’s throw Revelation in just for a kicker, we can see some amazing future events; i.e. End Time.

First…why is it called End Time? Good question? Let’s jump back to the very first book and chapter in the Bible: Genesis1:5&6,  “He named the light ‘Day’ and the he named the darkness ‘night’.” There was evening and there was morning. This was the first day.”

Second…there is nothing here to suggest this was a Sunday or any other day of the week. It simply states this is the beginning or creation of time. God is infinite so the saying, “a day is as a thousand years to God” simply means time is a creation; not an eternal thing without beginning, without end or without measure. Thus, “End Time” simply means the same thing as a new earth and a new heaven. It is timeless. It will have a beginning but is eternal so time will then not exist.

loud and clearWe know from psychological studies that there are three types of learners; The visual, auditory and kinesthetic. God leaves no stone unturned in Jeremiah. The words spoken by Jeremiah are good for the auditory learner but, they challenge the kinesthetic and visual learner. Chapter 27 considers this. God is so wise. He has Jeremiah put on a visual demonstration that the kinesthetic can also relate to in order to GET THE MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR.

Jeremiah 27:2

“This is what the LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, make a yoke out of straps and poles. Put that yoke on the back of your neck.”

This is a visual and touchable (Kinesthetic means using our other senses other than hearing or seeing) example of the same warning. But this time it includes those visiting Jerusalem from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Jeremiah’s message is sent via the ambassadors and visitors of these countries to the King of Judah. We won’t take the time to repeat previous lessons, but these mentioned countries have direct connections with Abraham beginning 1500 years earlier.

  1. Edom or people of Mt Sier are descended from Esau.
  2. Moab is a descendant of Lot through one of his two daughters.
  3. Ammonites are the same as Moabites but through a second daughter of Lot.
  4. Tyre and Sidon are territories where The Tribe of Dan migrated making alliances with during the time of the judges when they were not satisfied with Judaism. Also, some members of the original Tribes of the dispersed Northern Kingdom of Israel fled there during the Assyrian dispersion of these ten tribes.

Reading a glowing book

Aha moment in the Living Word of God!

Amazing aha moment in scripture: Here is the futuristic probability and parallel prophecy as stated about Israel’s End Time; i.e. Jacobs Trouble and the Tribulation. These are very likely to be the battle grounds between the king of the north and the king of the south as prophesied in Daniel 11. This addresses both the future End Time and the immediate future of these kingdoms specifically mentioned in 27:3. These same territories will be the battle ground of Nebuchadnezzar’s military march to which Jeremiah has consistently prophesied in Israel.

These territories are also part of the Promised Lands Joshua and his leadership never conquered or took possession. God promised to “enlarge the land holding of Israel: if they followed his commandments and worshiped only him. They didn’t so God didn’t enlarge; at that time. (See the study on Revelation in this website.)

What a proclamation God makes in 27:5…”I made all things including eretz (earth). I can give it to whomever I wish.”

In the very next verse, close examination of words used is critical. 27:6 begins by saying. “and now I have given all these lands to…” (the Babylonians). Look at the phrasing. It does not say God has given these lands to the Babylonians. It is written, God has now given… The word “now” is ‛attâh which means, at this time. It also means that there will be times when he gives this land to others such as End Time. Once again God calls Nebuchadnezzar “His Servant.” This is better explained in Daniel, Ezekiel and Ezra, but not at this time in this article.

Another learning moment: Jeremiah specifically states Babylonian ruler-ship will follow “his son and his son’s son.” This should do away with the debate of other so called  theologian experts that there are other kings of Babylon fitted between the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Belshazzar falls to the Medes and Persians per Daniel’s interpretation of the writing on the wall in the king’s parlor while he is entertaining his other kingdom Lords.

Verse 8 in Jeremiah 27 is a bit of an oddity. God is not only cursing Israel (Jerusalem) but its neighboring nations. He says (v8) that if they do not put their neck under the “yoke” of Babylon, he will punish them; i.e. the other nations or kingdoms around Judah. It almost appears that somehow Nebuchadnezzar and God Almighty are somehow in cahoots. God call Neb His servant, yet Neb has other gods in his kingdom.

Let’s understand this phenomenon. Nebuchadnezzar probably did not know that he was a servant or instrument of God. God identifies Nebuchadnezzar as his servant mostly because he is fulfilling God’s will over those nations (v3); all of them are related to Abraham. This means, like Israel and Judah, they all once knew the true God. Also like Israel and Judah, they have taken other gods into their culture of worship.

Some bible students including ones who call themselves scholars get the names and reigns of of this quick change in leadership in Judah. Here is why…In 598 BC, Jehoiakim died during the siege of Jerusalem and was succeeded by his son Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin). Jerusalem fell within three months. Jeconiah [aka: Jehoiachin] was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, who installed Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, in his place. Scripture is not confusing who is king of Judah. It is those trying to cut the fine line of Judean kings into conflicting dates; often to the dismay of a bible student.

27:12 tells us that God instructed Zedekiah to “Bring your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. Jeremiah raises the question: “Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the LORD has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?” Great question but the answer is too obvious. We don’t wish to be in bondage to Babylon!!! King Zedekiah remained a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar for 10 years then he rebelled. He paid a high price (v15) for doing so.

Obviously there were many false so-called prophets in the lands during this time. True prophets don’t lie. Those contradicting Jeremiah’s prophets would better be identified as Sooth-Sayers. The rest of chapter 27 is Jeremiah challenging the false prophets to approach God and ask him to protect the Temple vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had not yet removed and taken to Babylon. Whether they did is not recorded. Then Jeremiah concludes this chapter by telling them in a soon but later date, even these precious Temple vessels will be removed to Babylon, but God promised that they will be returned after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity ends.

Read Daniel and discover how and when this happens. All of it according to what Jeremiah had said would happen. Jeremiah 52:6 elaborates a bit on this fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel also discusses this time and fall of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1) as does 2 Kings 25:27. This is ten years after Nebuchadnezzar installs Zedekiah on the throne in Jerusalem; i.e. 588/587 B.C.

Next blog: Chapter 28. A false prophet named Hananiah challenges Jeremiah and makes a prediction (or false prophecy) about the captured people of the Tribe of Judah and the Temple vessels. It is a very bold statement but…. (see the next article on Jeremiah 28)

miniJimRev. Dr. Jstark June, 2017

Jeremiah – Chapter 25

Dr. J The setting and time is evident with the opening verse in chapter 25; “the fourth year of Jehoiakim…, the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of BabylonThis passage pretty much demonstrates that the Book of Jeremiah is more random in its recording of events than a sequence of events; none the less, the events are factual. Judah is about to go into a 70 year captivity of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar that is the entire essence of Jeremiah’s writings.

By this time in chapter 25 and for 23 years Jeremiah has been warning the leaders of Judah, both religious and secular, including the people of Judah that their captivity and deportation was coming. By this time it is a bit like the kid that cried “WOLF” over and over yet no wolf ever appeared; not yet anyway. However, the warnings of Jeremiah are about to come about. Jeremiah 25:1 tells us that Nebuchadnezzar is now the ruler in Babylon. However, the flip side of this is not Jeremiah crying wolf and no wolf, but how patient God has been with his people in the Kingdom of Judah.

There is a strong reminder and a bit of an oxymoron found in verse 5…”the Lord has given to your fathers of old (and forever)? There is an old gospel song that goes something like…”forever is a long, long time.foreverThe people of Judah, as were the people of the now dispersed 10 Tribes of the Northern Kingdom Israel have held to the promise that the Lord God promised this possession and land as a FOREVER covenant. One of Jeremiah’s earlier encounters with the people of Judah is their claim to the fact “We have the Temple” [Jeremiah 7:4].  It isn’t so much that they can hide behind this building and God will simply keep his end of the Abrahamic Covenant. It is Judah rubbing the noses of the dispersed tribes of the Northern Kingdom in the fact that they did not have the Temple of Jerusalem but Judah did. The Northern Kingdom had Samaria in an attempt to prevent the northern Israelites from going to Judah to worship.

Jeremiah takes us back to the age-old condition of every single covenant and promise made to man in both the Old and New Testaments; “If you (do such and such first), then I” God will do what I promised. Judeans did not honor or worship God alone so they violated the contract covenant of God; a stupid thing to do.

25:9 is reminiscent of Jeremiah 1:15, both parallel prophecies of a near and a far distant future prophecy of end time. Kingdoms will come against Jerusalem and set troops and military at the next to the last word of verse 9; i.e. “perpetual.” In the Hebrew it is ‛ôlâm. This Hebrew word means now and in the distant future; past, present and always; a (still true today) fight over this land promised to Israel. Can we even look at the daily news and not see that this is still true today? Remember that denial is a river in Egypt (the Nile).

We know that this passage in Jeremiah is present and future prophecy as John writes in Revelation 18:22 a very similar passage regarding the same people of God (Israel as a whole) and the Promised Land.

“…and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more…” [Compare this Revelation 18:22 passage to Jeremiah 25:10]

“I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste” [Jeremiah 25:10]

Why, as many have asked, does God say in verse 11 after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity which God himself initiated will he then punish the Babylonians. On the surface this is a very good question. God even identifies Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 25:9 as “His [God’s] servant.” If one checks secular histories, we can find the answer. Nebuchadnezzar was given opportunities to accept the God of Israel as his God. However, he and his kingdom treated many of these captives with distain.

We see this in a short future when reading the book of Esther. The scene is still Babylon even though the Jews were released to return to Jerusalem decades earlier by the Persian King Cyrus. [Hmmmm? Do Iranians read their own history?) Esther, a Jew, has become the queen of Babylon, by now a province of Persia. Without spending time retelling this history of the how and when as the bible student can rediscover by reading the book of Esther, there is a plot at hand to destroy all remaining Jews in Babylonian provinces. It is thwarted through Esther, but the bottom line is the hate these Babylonians have and had toward; their citizens from Judah.

map of middle eastFor those who are geographically challenged as am I, this Babylonian territory is known today as Iraq and a goodly area of western Iran (old Persia). With this in mind, Jeremiah’s prophecies as noted above, are perpetual; i.e. ‛ôlâm. In short, this is the destruction that is also found during the Tribulation; the 7 seals, 7 vials and 7 trumpets and the doomed kingdom and attempted world rule of the anti-Christ. [See Jeremiah 25:13, 14 and 15]

Jeremiah 25:17 reads as if Jeremiah personally went throughout the lands and kingdoms and brought the “curse of the cup of wrath” to each nation and kingdom. He did no such thing. This is the future of end time prophecy even yet today to become history. Verse 19 through 26 makes it obvious it is inclusive of a future prophecy of end time. The list goes on and on per who is involved in this drinking from the cup of wrath from God. Who this includes in the closing events of what we know as this earth and heaven today is reinforced in verse 29… “kole yashab eretz;”  all the inhabitants of the earth. We know that Nebuchadnezzar’s forces did not conquer the world and all its inhabitants so this is obviously a prophecy of end time.

JIV NOTE: I must add some historical knowledge for the reader at this point. In Jeremiah 25:25 where a few nations and kingdoms within the list of “soon to be destroyed” or required to end time [25:15]  “drink of God’s wrath-wine” is a place called Elam. This area currently within Iran was settled by descendants of Shem, one of Noah’s three sons who survived the Great Flood. How soon we forget our DNA lineage. (ESV)

Verse 26 entrenches this future prophetic fact. It leaves no room to think otherwise; ”…all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth.” Where is their question or doubt as to this prophecy being a future event yet to happen? Secular histories do not record such an event as already happened.

Gill’s Commentary clearly writes: “his [God’s] judgments should come upon them in such a manner as that they should be obliged [drink of the wine] to part with all their riches, power, and authority; and should fall and sink into such a ruinous condition, as that they should never be able to the more to a prosperous one.” (emphasis mine)

Jeremiah 25:29 – 33 leaves even less room to wiggle out of this prophecy taking a giant leap into the future and end time prophecy. It is powerful and pointed. Note what is highlighted to help grasp the facts of this event.  (ESV)

Jer 25:29  For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the LORD of hosts.’

Jer 25:30  “You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: “‘The LORD will roar from on high, and from his holy habitation utter his voice; he will roar mightily against his fold, and shout, like those who tread grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

Jer 25:31  The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against the nations; he is entering into judgment with ALL flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword, declares the LORD.’

Jer 25:32  “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth!

Jer 25:33  “And those pierced by the LORD on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.

What we know per Zechariah 14:4, this passage in Jeremiah, the 7 Sealed Scrolls of Revelation (chapters 5-8), and Daniel 12:4 is Jerusalem will be surrounded and attacked by anti-Christ (Satan) and the nations of the world. Then Jesus will return with feet (boots on the ground) Mount of Olives. He will then destroy the global powers attacking Israel/Jerusalem. Go those who wonder, the USA is not mentioned as excluded. This highly suggests that the Christian believers have been raptured and all that is left is those who reject the Holy Word of God and the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.

miniJimRev. Dr. Jstark June, 2017

Chapter Eleven: Two Witnesses And The Seventh Trumpet

 Power Point Presentation

Revelation Verses 1-19

In the first thirteen verses of Revelation 11 we have the remainder of the parenthesis which began in chapter 10. When reading this portion the careful student of the Word of God will be reminded of the passages relating the measuring of Jerusalem in Zechariah 2 and the measuring of the millennial temple in Ezekiel 40. We also read of the measuring of the holy city, the new Jerusalem, in Revelation 21.

The Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:1-13)

The vision in the opening verses of chapter 11 clearly involves Jerusalem and the future temple in the last days. I think we may say that throughout the Bible when God speaks of measuring anything the thought is implied that He is marking it off as that which belongs to Himself. When one purchases a piece of ground or is about to take possession of a property, it is a very common thing to measure it and mark off its lines.ingegnere con teodolite

In Zechariah 2 we are told that the prophet beheld a man with a measuring line in his hand, to whom he put the question, “Whither goest thou?” The answer was, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof” (Zechariah 2:2). And in the fourth verse the angel who is interpreting the visions for Zechariah said to another angel, “Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her” (4-5). Then, in the balance of the chapter, we have a very distinct prophecy of the future deliverance of God’s earthly people from all their foes. They will be brought from the land of the north and from all parts of the world where they have been carried in the days of their captivity. This will not be fully accomplished until the Lord Jesus Himself has appeared in glory, for we read, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me” (8-9, italics added). The daughter of Zion is then called on to rejoice because Jehovah Himself will dwell in the midst of her. “And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people” (11). He will dwell in the midst of them, and they will know that the Lord of hosts has sent His prophet to them. “And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again,” (12) says the Word of God.

Clearly, it is this very restoration that God had in mind when He gave John the vision of Revelation 11. The angel called on him to “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (11:1). That is, once more God acknowledges a witnessing company, a worshiping people in Jerusalem. Observe that this is in the days of the great tribulation before the complete fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, for the glory will not yet have appeared. Therefore John is instructed not to measure the court which is outside the temple; for it is still to be given to the Gentiles, “and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (2). This will be the last three and a half years of the final seven that compose Daniel’s seventieth week; we have seen that this seventieth week has not yet been fulfilled, nor can be until Jerusalem and the people of the Jews are again acknowledged by God as His own.

It is very evident that already God is overruling events with a view to this restoration. The marvelous deliverance of Jerusalem in December 1917, when the Turkish flag was hauled down after practically 1260 years of misrule and oppression, and the banners of the Allies raised in its place, was preparing the way for this very thing. It is well known that General Allenby (later Lord Allenby), to whom God gave this great victory over the Turkish army, was instructed in the truth of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. When General Allenby received from the Turkish governor of Jerusalem the surrender of the holy city it was indeed a most important event, filled with greater meaning than millions dreamed of. This event was clearly ordered of God in view of the promised restoration of Israel to the land. It was one of His hidden purposes when He permitted the World War. The surrender of the holy city, without the firing of a shot, as the airplanes of the allied forces circled over the ancient capital of the land of Palestine, was undoubtedly in answer to the prayers of thousands of the people of God. It would be unbearable to think of the representative of a so-called Christian nation shelling the city where our Savior taught and died, and which must ever be sacred in the eyes of both Jew and Christian. When the armies of the Allies led by Allenby entered through the Jaffa gate, Arab, Jew, and Christian alike recognized the fact that the hour had struck for God to open the way for the fulfillment of many prophecies of bygone ages, as recorded in His Word. It was undoubtedly the turning-point of the entire conflict, for eleven months afterwards the armistice was signed.

Word cloud for Events of RevelationZionism has taken on new and remarkable vigor, and money has poured into its coffers to transplant the poor of the flock from the lands of the north and the country where they have suffered so much, to their own ancient patrimony. Their hopes are high, their jubilation great, but Scripture makes it very plain that they have before them the bitterest experiences they have ever known, and these to be endured right in their own land. For God declared that from the days of Titus, Jerusalem would be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

The expression, “the times of the Gentiles,” refers to the entire period of Gentile supremacy. It began when God gave Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and will continue on to the time when the Stone from Heaven will strike the image on its feet; that is, when the Lord Jesus Christ, at His second coming in judgment, will destroy all Gentile dominion, and His own kingdom will supersede every other.

The last three and a half years, designated in Revelation 11:2 so definitely as 42 months, will be the worst of all this period of Gentile treading-down. The tribulation of those days will be so dreadful, our Lord has told us, that unless they are shortened, no flesh would be saved. And the center of all this tribulation will be the land of Palestine itself. But during this time and immediately preceding it, God will not leave Himself without witness (3-4).

It seems clear to me that the 1260 days of verse 3 refers to the first half of the week. During this time God will have a witnessing remnant in Jerusalem testifying to the near coming of the kingdom. They will call on all Israel to repent in view of that time of the restitution of all things spoken of by the prophets.

I do not know that we need limit the witnesses to two individuals. Two is the number of testimony, and we need to remember that we are dealing here with symbols, not necessarily with the literal personalities. Therefore the two witnesses might well symbolize the witnessing remnant of Judah as a whole. But I would not be dogmatic as to this, for it might be the mind of God to send two individuals, as here described, to herald the near coming of His Son. The fourth verse again links the prophecy with the book of Zechariah: “And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof” (4:3). There, the two olive trees are priesthood and prophetic testimony, keeping the candlestick shining for God. In Revelation the olive trees are said to be two candlesticks, but the thought is the same. It is worship and testimony in that time when Jacob’s trouble is just beginning.

These witnesses are immortal until their work is done, for, we are told that “if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed” (Revelation 11:5). That is, if any man desires to hurt the witnesses he is cut off in judgment.

We next learn that “these have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” [JIV: Might this be connected to the bowl judgments?] (6). It is a testimony in the power and spirit both of Elijah and of Moses. Therefore, some have drawn the conclusion that the two witnesses would be Moses and Elijah sent back to earth before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I admit the possibility of this, though it does not seem probable to me. John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Revelation 11 1 to 4 (Luke 1:17); to those who would receive it, he was Elijah which was to come. So these witnesses, whether literally two, or symbolizing a much larger company, will be in the spirit and power both of the prophet who came to restore Israel to the true God and the great prophet who first led them out of Egypt.

An engraved vintage Bible illustration drawing of Satan Bound in the Bottomless Pit, from an antique book dated 1836 that is no longer in copyrightNothing can interfere with their witnessing until they have finished their testimony. Then “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [of whom we will learn more in chapter 13] shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them” (7). They will be the objects of the bitter enmity of the vile head of the coming revived Roman empire, or western federation of nations, who will not tolerate any worship but that which is offered to himself. He, therefore, will destroy them, “and their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (8). Jerusalem will fall into apostasy, culminating in the worship of the antichrist and the beast. God’s holy city will sink at last to the level of Sodom, from which only Lot was saved, and Egypt, out of which Israel was delivered by Jehovah. Through the unbelieving Jews “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles” (Romans 2:24); by them the Lord of glory was crucified and wrath will come on them to the uttermost.

In verses 9-10 we have the sad picture of joy among the nations because this last testimony for God on earth has been destroyed. We see the whole apostate world-Christendom and Judaism alike- congratulating one another that there is no longer any voice raised to call in question their apostasy and wicked ways. In the present time of our Lord’s rejection and His session at God’s right hand Christendom, in the very manner depicted in these verses, pretends to observe Christ’s coming to earth. Having crucified the Lord of glory, the nations join in celebrating what is called “His birthday,” sending gifts one to another. In that coming day, in the same way, they will make merry and show their delight because the last voice on His behalf has been silenced. They will rejoice over the dead bodies of His witnesses. What a solemn scene it will be-civilized peoples rejoicing in that awful day when the wrath of God is just about to be poured out in all its fullness on that guilty world. For three and a half days it will seem as though Satan were triumphant and everything that is of God overthrown!

Verses 11-12 picture another rapture-another cohort of the first resurrection-taking place in the midst of that final week. These martyrs, who had sealed their testimony with their blood, are raised in power and caught up to be with their still rejected Lord. Like Himself, they will ascend to Heaven in a cloud, but unlike their Master, their enemies will see them. And it would seem as though this visible rapture will have some effect on those remaining in Jerusalem, for in verse 13 we learn, “The same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Observe He is still the God of heaven, but in a little while He will be revealed as the God of the whole earth, as verse 4 has already intimated. This is the first time that we read of any people during that period of tribulation giving glory to God, but whether this implies any true turning of heart to Himself on the part of some, I dare not attempt to say. All that this Scripture says is that “the remnant were affrighted,” and this in itself does not necessarily imply that there is any true repentance.

The Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:14-19)

With this great earthquake the second woe is past, and we are told, “Behold, the third woe cometh quickly” (14). This third woe is none other than the seventh and last of the trumpets, which ushers in the world kingdom of our God and His Christ. It is a calamity only to His enemies, but a cause of great rejoicing to all who love His name, in view of creation’s deliverance from bondage to sin.

Verses 15-18 complete the present prophetic series (verse 19 properly belongs to chapter 12). The seventh angel’s trumpet brings in Christ’s long waited for and glorious kingdom. And on its proclamation, the saints in Heaven, as symbolized by the four and twenty elders, will fall before God on their faces. They will worship Him and give Him thanks-He, the everlasting Jehovah-because He has taken to Himself His great power to reign.

The eighteenth verse covers the entire millennium and carries us on to the judgment of the wicked dead, to the end of time. All judgment has been committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. And we need to remember that the entire millennium is a period of judgment: first, judgment on the angry nations when the wrath of God is poured out on them at the beginning of the millennium; judgment for His own servants who will be rewarded in that glorious kingdom according to their faithfulness during Christ’s rejection; judgment on the wicked dead who, at the great white throne, will answer for the deeds done in the body and be dealt with accordingly. Those who have arrogated to themselves the right to judge and destroy others will then be judged and destroyed themselves when the great moral governor of the universe, who has kept Himself hidden so long, will be fully revealed. If you will refer to the chart, you will see that the seventh angel’s trumpet brings us to the end of the first prophetic outline. That is, chapter 11:18 carries us as far along chronologically as chapter 20:11-15.

Be prepared handwritten on blackboardAnd now may I emphasize the importance of being prepared for the near coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, in view of the remarkable manner in which Palestine, the Jews, the nations of Christendom, and the professed church of God are even now being prepared for the very experiences we have been attempting to describe? These things are not “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16) but stern realities. Anyone who has his eyes opened and understands something of the teaching of the prophetic Word can see clearly that we are near the end of the present dispensation.

I remember on one occasion speaking in the city of San Jose, California before a group of over forty ministers, on the second advent of our Lord. Many of them ridiculed the idea-only four declared themselves as believing in it. Most of them were noncommittal, having no definite convictions either for or against my theme. One dear old minister seemed to resent the thought of the Lord’s coming as a future thing. He declared that, to him, Christ came when he had been converted to God some forty years previously. But I was invited to return a week later. For an hour and a half we had a most animated debate on the subject. Finally one clergyman declared that he thought the personal coming of the Lord Jesus was an absolute absurdity. He did not believe He existed as a distinct personality, clothed with a resurrected body; His resurrection was entirely spiritual, and to quote his own words, “He only exists today as part of the all-pervading spirit of the universe. Therefore, I believe, my brethren, in no apocalyptic coming of Jesus. I never expect to see Him in a body, but I believe in the ever-coming Christ. He is coming in the clouds, but they are not literal clouds. He comes in the clouds of affliction, in the political clouds, in the war clouds, in the clouds of sorrow and distress, but a personal premillennial advent is, in my judgment, an utter impossibility.”

This brought to his feet the minister who had somewhat opposed me at the previous meeting. He cried in distress, “Do I understand, Doctor, that I shall never see my Lord who saved me by His death upon the cross?” “I think not,” was the reply. “Have I then,” exclaimed the other, “been wrong all these years as I have sung,

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,

As redeemed by His side I shall stand;

I shall know Him, I shall know Him

By the print of the nails in His hand?”

“Oh!” replied the other, “that’s all very well as poetical license, but I don’t think you should take it literally.”

“Brethren,” cried the aged minister, as the tears burst from his eyes, “I take back what I said last week. I find I agree with this brother, who has been speaking to us on the coming of the Lord, far more than I thought I did. I look to see the personal coming of my Savior. I shall never be satisfied until I behold the King in His beauty. But I have always supposed He would not come until the day of judgment; but as I think it over, it seems to me that, after all, that is what my brother believes; only he thinks the day of judgment will be a thousand years long. And Doctor,” he said, turning to the minister who had presented such unscriptural and unholy views, “I am afraid, if there are many in the church like you, it will take a thousand years to put things right.”

My friends, this is indeed what I would impress on you and what the seventh angel’s trumpet so clearly intimates. The day of judgment will be a thousand years long. The judgment seat of Christ takes place in the heavens immediately after the rapture of the church. The judgment of the living nations referred to in Matthew 25 will take place on the earth when the Son of man will come in His glory, and all His holy angels with Him, to establish His kingdom over all the world. That thousand years will be the reign of righteousness. He will rule all nations with a rod of iron and judge unsparingly everything that ventures to lift itself up against His authority-all that refuse to be subject to His dominion. And at the close He will judge all the wicked dead, who will be raised for that very purpose, and cast into the lake of fire because they have rejected His grace. And in view of all this, I plead with you who are out of Christ, “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him” (Matthew 5:25). In other words, come to God in Christ Jesus now and have your case settled out of court. For if you first meet God in that solemn hour of judgment, you will be forever beyond the reach of mercy.

For all who trust in the Lord Jesus now, there will be no judgment in that solemn day. For He has said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). How sweet and precious the promise here given to every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ! Observe that all believers possess eternal life now. It is not that they are looking forward to receiving eternal life in the day of judgment, or at the coming of the Lord-though they will enter into life then; that is, they will become participants in that scene where eternal life is fully revealed. But they have that life now by virtue of having received Christ, for “he that hath the Son hath life” (1 John 5:12). Therefore they will not come into judgment, but they will be called to appear at the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of their service for the Lord. Since His grace saved them they will never be called into judgment for their sins. Their sins have already been judged on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ when He died on Calvary’s cross where He bore the condemnation of all who would put their trust in Him. Such have already passed out of death unto life and enjoy even now the guarantee of the coming glory.Dr. jStark



­­jStark3Purpose for writing Zechariah:

Power Point Study for Zechariah 14

Zechariah was written to comfort and encourage the returning Babylonian remnant to repent of their evil ways, to return to the Lord and to rebuild the temple. The people who had just returned from Babylonian exile felt like their efforts were insignificant and the future was uncertain. Not only were they just a remnant of the Jews, their kindred tribesman of Judah who still lived in Babylon, they weren’t even an independent nation – just a client state of a mighty Mede-Persian empire.

Book of ZechariahZechariah’s message focuses on the future of Israel-Judah and proclaims that God would send the Messiah to establish His Kingdom through the submission, then destruction of the Gentile empires; i.e. the salvation of His people Israel.

JIV NOTE: I find it amusing and a bit proverbial that the New Testament Zechariah (a priest by the same name as O.T. Zechariah) was the father of John the Baptist whose sole purpose in his life was to proclaim that the first advent of the Messiah had come. Elisabeth was Mary’s cousin and gave birth to John the Baptist 3 or 4 months prior to our “Jesus is born in Bethlehem” history. O.T. Zechariah prophesied to the End Time; the second advent of Christ. Keep in mind that Zechariah means: “God/the Lord remembers”

Here is a list with locations of the 8 *visions in Zechariah:

*Vision 1 The man on a red horse in the Myrtle trees Zechariah 1:7-17
*Vision 2 The 4 *horns and the 4 workmen Zechariah 1:18-21
*Vision 3 The man who is measuring Jerusalem Zechariah 2:1-5
*Vision 4 The chief priest Zechariah 3:1-10
*Vision 5 The *lampstand and the 2 *olive trees Zechariah 4:1-14
*Vision 6 The flying *scroll Zechariah 5:1-4
*Vision 7 The woman in the basket Zechariah 5:5-11
*Vision 8 The 4 *chariots Zechariah 6:1-8


Most Bible students think that the *visions connect together somehow. Unfortunately, they do not all agree on how they connect.

Here is one idea:

*visions 1, 2 and 3 are about the return from *exile;

*visions 4 and 5 are about the leader;

*visions 6, 7 and 8 are about the removal of *sin.

Here is another idea:

*visions 1, 2 and 8 are about the relationship of Judah with other countries;

*visions 3-7 are about the future of Judah/Israel as a nation.

Probably both ideas are useful to Bible students.

Four *visions (1, 3, 4 and 5) also have messages from the *LORD. They are in:

*Vision 1 – Zechariah 1:13-17;

*Vision 3 – Zechariah 2:6-13;

*Vision 4 – Zechariah 3:6-10;

*Vision 5 – Zechariah 4:5-10

Reference Prophecy of the Savior
Zechariah 2:4–5, 10–13 Christ will dwell with His people (see Revelation 22:1–5).
Zechariah 3; 6:10–15 Joshua is a type for the great High Priest (see Hebrews 3:1).
Zechariah 3:8–9; 6:12 Jesus is the Branch who will atone for us (see Jeremiah 23:5–6).
Zechariah 9:9 Jesus will enter Jerusalem triumphantly as King, riding a donkey (see Matthew 21:1–11).
Zechariah 11:12–13 The Savior will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:14–16; 27:3–10).
Zechariah 13:6 The Jews will ask Jesus about the wounds in His hands (see D&C 45:51–53).
Zechariah 13:7 The shepherd will be smitten and the sheep scattered (see Matthew 26:31).


Minor Prophets: There is a coded Bible message within the Minor Prophets and the focus of their writings or meaning of their names. Read the following as if it is a statement. WHY? Because there is a message to “them who have ears to hear” (Revelation 2 & 3: to the 7 churches).

  • Hosea (Osee)                                    Salvation;
  • Joel                                                     Day of the Lord; YHWY is God;
  • Amos                                                  Carried; he preached during a time of a very large earthquake
  • Obadiah (Abdias)                             Servant of YHWY; the divine judgment and restoration of Israel
  • Jonah (Jonas)                                    Dove; (Holy Spirit, the comforter?)
  • Micah (Micheas)                              Who is like YHWY
  • Nahum                                               Comforter;
  • Habakkuk (Habacuc)                       Embrace;
  • Zephaniah (Sophanias)                   YHWH has hidden;
  • Haggai (Aggeus)                                festive; festival; celebration
  • Zechariah (Zacharias)                      YHWY remembers
  • Malachi (Malachias)                        my messenger

Salvation, the Day of the Lord; YHWY is God; carried the servant of YHWY, the divine judgment and restoration of Israel [like a] Dove [of peace]. Who is like YHWY, the comforter? Embrace YHWY [for a] festival and celebration [is] hidden. YHWY remembers [his] messengers.

Yes, there are hidden bible codes; coded messages of reassurance to which we must pay attention but only those close or in tune with GOD/YHWY will ever understand.

July, 2015