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Monday, October 7, 2013

Zechariah Bible Study #9 Chapter 6:1-8

Zechariah Bible Study #9
The Four Chariots
Zechariah 6:1-8

6 lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains. 2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. 4 Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 The angel replied to me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth, 6 with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country. 7 When the strong ones went out, they were eager to go to patrol the earth.” And He said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. 8 Then He cried out to me and spoke to me saying, “See, those who are going to the land of the north have appeased My wrath in the land of the north.”

Verse 1 - The emphasis on the chariots in this vision instead of the horses which were the focus of the first vision, demonstrates that this vision has more to do with war and judgment. “The two mountains” to a Hebrew mind at the time this was written, would have been Mount Olivet and Mount Zion. God's judgments are sent forth.
The chariots and the horses together are said to be “four spirits of heaven” in verse 5, so that saves us a lot of time trying to figure out what they are. This area of the world will be the location of God's government during the millennial reign. From it will go forth blessings and judgment. It seems that the angelic beings who were sent forth in the first vision to “report” are now being sent out in this vision to carry out the will of God.

Psalm 103:20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.

Psalm 104:4 He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.

David Baron and Calvin both agree here, “We may surely learn that it is by the will and power of God, and by His direct interposition, either by visible, natural, or by angelic agency, that empires rise and fall.” “Behind visible phenomena and all human motives and actions there is the central purpose and power of God, and the invisible active agency of His angelic hosts.” David Baron

The prophet implies that all the revolutions in the world are from the Spirit of God and are as it were, His messengers or spirits [CALVIN].

Verse 2 – Red horses=carnage, death, destruction.
Black horses=sorrow, famine.

Verse 3 – White horses=joy and victory.
Grisled or bay horses=a mixture of adversity and prosperity

Verse 4 – Every time we are seeking for the proper interpretation we need only ask the Author and await His answer.

Verse 5 – The verses from Psalms give us insight in to this realm, which we are not normally privileged to see. It is the Lord, who sends forth the causative agents of all that takes place on the earth. Sin brought death into the world, but God remains in control and is seeing His purposes worked out in all of this.

Verse 6 - The Babylonian kingdom had already be vanquished at the time of the writing so it shows up at the beginning of the vision but not at the end, in the interpretation. The red horse has done its work, Babylon is vanquished. Which leaves the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman. All these must be placed under the Messiah's feet, before the establishment of His kingdom. Psalm 110:1The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
(Psalm 110 and Psalm 2 are the two most quoted in the NT) The fourth chariot, has to do with the last great world power, Roman. It starts out in its first contact with Israel from the south, but is then given 'power' to go through out the whole earth, to meet it in every place where it is established. The last power in Daniel 7:7 is seen as 'strong exceedingly' and so the 'strength' of the angel going forth is also emphasized.

Verse 8 – Since Babylon was already conquered, dealt with and judged at this point, God's spirit is quieted, His anger is completed against this power.

The cup of Providence in the hand of the Lord is full of mixture,
by these uncommon appearances and actings of providence God's wrath is executed upon the enemies of the church, and his favours are conferred upon the church, both which had long been deferred, and in both God had fulfilled his will, accomplished his word, and so quieted his Spirit. Matthew Henry

The final three paragraphs in Barons' chapter on this section will give us our ending also.
Then God's judgments shall be fully poured out, and anti-Christian world-power be finally overthrown to make room for the Kingdom of Christ, whom the Father has invested with all power and dominion and glory, “that all nations and languages served Him.” His dominion is an everlasting dominion, “ and His Kingdom shall never be destroyed.”
And this, dear reader—the establishment of Messiah's throne of righteousness on Mount Zion, that from it, and Israel as a center, His beneficent rule may extend over the whole earth and bless all peoples—is the appointed goal of history toward which all things are moving. It is the motive, also, of all God's providential dealings with the nations. “Political changes, are the moving of the shadow on the earth's dial-plate that marks the might motions going forward in the heavens”; and however conflicting and confusing to our poor human judgments, they mark but the various stages of a plan and counsel which God formed from eternity.
In reference to the four great world-powers, whose successive course was to make up the “times of the Gentiles,” we have to note that three of them have already long ago disappeared, in accordance with the clear predictions of Scripture, and the fourth, which (as also foreseen and foretold) was to drag on longest, is now, as is generally agreed by all students of the sure Word of Prophecy, fast approaching its very last phase of existence. We may, therefore, say with confidence that we are on the eve of the most solemn events in the world's history, and are very fast approaching “the day,” not only of our own final and complete “redemption” as believers at the manifestation of Christ, but the “set time,” when God shall again arise and have mercy upon Zion, and when, through the restoration and blessing of Israel, “the nations shall fear the Name of Jehovah, and all kings of the earth His glory.

My final thoughts, Rome and its “left-over” world-powers will be in control and set the stage for the final enemy, the anti-Christ to arise, but when he does arise that will signal the beginning of the end of the 'times of the gentiles' and the anti-Christ will arise from the brothers of the Jews, Islam. The Roman empire had conquered areas including the Middle East, so it is not a contradiction that the anti-Christ will arise from there. Also I have to say the “beginning” of the end of the times of the gentiles because of these two verses pointed out to me by, my friend, Reggie Kelly, Lk 21:24 , Rev 11:2. Just my opinion, and others who know more than me have helped me to continue "working it out.”

Luke 21:24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Revelation 11:2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.

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