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Defilement, Discipline, Deliverance


Getting Perspective

Sudden is the end, and vast are its implications.

It does not however come without the restoration of Israel to its land. That is precisely why 1948 is as important as BC 586 and AD 70.  This, in 1948,  was the restoration of Israel; those were the destruction of Jerusalem. All were pre-announced, had to be, and have proceeded duly into history.

When Jerusalem, the city of the symbolic temple for Christ, who would perform the offices of priest, sacrifice and temple in Himself (cf. Hebrews 7-10, Isaiah 50-55), was destroyed, it might have seemed as if the world had ceased to exist (see Lamentations!). Vast was the desolation, and equal, the grief.

The symbols however could quite well stand their destruction and rebuilding, for symbols are not the referents, signals are not the substance and indexes or road signs are not the hills to which they point.

The city and the temple were rebuilt, as Ezra and Nehemiah show, with no small consecration, dedication, industry and wit, trusting in the Lord. Zechariah is one of the inspiring prophets, not only in his day encouraging  just that rebuilding, in the name of the Lord,  but showing categorically and frequently that for all that, it was the MESSIAH who in the end, really mattered.

Why ? it was in HIM and in HIM ALONE that the sin be removed (3:9), and that not in countless sacrifices, yes even in the new temple, but in ONE DAY. This was a statement as amazing to the sightless as that in Isaiah 66:2-3, indicating that he who kills a bull is as if he slays a man, for it is on the man of a humble and contrite heart that the Lord looks. That in turn resonates with Isaiah 1 where their solemn assemblies are contemptible before God, since insincerity and inconsistency dog their steps, like wolves.

Always willing to be reasonable, the Lord there encourages them to reason together with Him (Isaiah 1:18). It is not His desire to excoriate, but to excuse; yet for excuse there has to be heart, and in heart, repentance and in repentance a realisation and return to the Lord. It is only THEN that the sacrifices have meaning, for they are to cover and cleanse (Psalm 51:17-19), not to be used as a convenient substitute for reality.

Says Isaiah 66:

"But on this one will I look:

On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,

And who trembles at My word.


"He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;

He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;

He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;

He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.

Just as they have chosen their own ways,

And their soul delights in their abominations,


"So will I choose their delusions,

And bring their fears on them;

Because, when I called, no one answered,

When I spoke they did not hear;

But they did evil before My eyes,

                         And chose that in which I do not delight."


In parallel, David, after his enormous transgression into which he fell in the nadir of his career, declares the necessity of a repentance not superficial, but spiritually inclined (Psalm 51:15-19):

"O Lord, open my lips,

And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.


"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart—

These, O God, You will not despise.


"Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;

Build the walls of Jerusalem.

Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,

With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;

                          Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar."


It is WHEN the sacrifices of God, a broken and a contrite heart, are to be placed before Him, that He will be pleased with "the sacrifices of righteousness", even "burnt offering", and it is then that such offerings are in place. With that unerring ability to grasp err which is the lot of the "unstable" as Peter calls them (II Peter 3:16), some would then make a barrier out of reality itself, and pretend that they must gain some percentage of sincerity in their repentance before even Christ can help them; and these are they who tend to trust in themselves, as if there were ANYTHING about them to evoke admiration. It is the CONTRITE and HUMBLE heart, not what wants to exalt its unconverted state to the skies, which is acceptable.

When you are sorry, sorry you are; and when you realise the horror of error, you realise it; and when you have a smashed knee, the result is not the degree of realisation in its medical perfection of the breakage which is yours, but the point is simple: Do you KNOW that your knee is broken ? and do you ASK for the only source of help to fix it ?


Thus the ONE DAY prescription for the removal of sin is allied to the ONE WAY donation in the Messiah, and what that is is to be shown clearly, along with the correlative repentance, in Zechariah 12 which lies before us today.

It is rather like saying, There is the Chain of the Rocky Mountains, lying before you as your train crosses. It soars in beauty, its heights and magnificences, to be sure, of great scope; but for all that, there it is. SO with repentance, you are truly horrified, or merely decently regretful; you repent or merely dim your heart enough to acknowledge some sort of error or other. When you sin, it is against your Creator, hence your design and your development, your service for God and your meaning in life. If this does not evoke repentance to the depths, it is hard to see what COULD!

A selfish heart might fishily do many things for its devious purposes, but if you love God, you hate sin, and if you find its allurements enticing, where is your love of God; as if you cherished a virus, or felt affection for bacteria desolating your eye!

With these thoughts in mind, we look now at one of the greatest exhibitions of repentance.

Indeed, we turn with Zechariah 12, to 13, as close to it as a brother. First however we must find how it begins.



In Zechariah 12 we see war at once, following our introduction at the end of Ch. 11 to the evil shepherd, shall we say This World's Coadjutor Bishop, the officer for revolving and revolting religion, like revolving doors, who just happens to be as near infinitely evil as possible.  He, you recall, was introduced at the end of Zech. 11,  following the revelation and rejection of the Good Shepherd.

From one height to one depth the transfer proceeds. How amazingly indoctrinated are some, as shown by a lady who, asked in a political setting whether you wanted a new Prime Minister declared that she did, because change is always progress... Like death ? Like lung cancer ?

Change there assuredly was foretold and it came; but if that is progress, ruin is delight.

Just how vast is the virtue of the Messiah is seen in the fact that He is referred to in terms of being God in Psalm 45. It is here in Zechariah 12 that the term is so used again, but it is brought to our attention differently, as is so customary in the word of God who, being the perfect teacher, knows the way to bring now this facet, now that of the diamond of truth to our eyes, so that we miss nothing of his theme, of his impartation and of the point. It is, for that matter, the same in Isaiah 44-45, where ONLY God is Saviour and Creator, yet in Isaiah 53, the Messiah is the very acme and performance of salvation in His own self, bearing sin, thus the Redeemer. In Isaiah 45:18,22ff.,  you see the Creator is indeed the Redeemer.

With SUCH a Messiah missing by national default, how horrendous has been their experience of Rome's imperial devastation, cunning ways and the moral depravity of its loved Herods, which it inserted like potassium cyanide into their land. In Zech. 12 accordingly, we start with war. Peace's prince being gone, war festers like a burning boil.

However, it is not some passing or preliminary war which we see, but one of the fundamental conflicts of all time. Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 586, after centuries of warning, so that the Lord made it clear that even if Daniel and Noah and Job were praying, they would deliver only themselves (Jeremiah 14:14). The city was thus marked, like a Council tree with the red sign, for destruction.

It was to be, it came to be!

Some fail to realise that God has all knowledge and knows the end from the beginning, being Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end for all creation (Isaiah 46 :10, Revelation 21-22). Hence when His purpose is declared, not as a premiss for mercy, but as an element in the context of what He will do, it is done. You see just such a way in Isaiah 14, not once, but twice.

"The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,

"Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,

And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:

That I will break the Assyrian in My land,

And on My mountains tread him underfoot.

Then his yoke shall be removed from them,

And his burden removed from their shoulders.


"This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,

And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.

For the Lord of hosts has purposed,

And who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out,

                          And who will turn it back?"


As if this were not enough, in 14:24, it comes again in 14:27.


That too is not yet sufficient, for in 43:10-13 we have this also:

"I, even I, am the Lord,

And besides Me there is no savior.

I have declared and saved,

I have proclaimed,

And there was no foreign god among you;

Therefore you are My witnesses,"

Says the Lord, "that I am God.


"Indeed before the day was, I am He;

And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;

                            I work, and who will reverse it?"


Red is here used to highlight the point we are bringing into view.

Time in our wait-for-it sense, is a creation of God, as Paul exhibits in Romans 8:38-39; and in His own counsel before it, its ways are set. Nor are they set, as some romanticising anthropmorphists imagine, in concrete, as if mechanism and substance's properties were the engineering mode, as if matter were the alma mater of man. Matter is no mater! Rather the ways to come are set in God's own knowledge, wisdom and foreknowledge, His purpose and plans, who always knowing all, needs not tuition from history (cf. Isaiah 40:14).



It is MAN who needs that tuition, and whose 'time' is suitable for it, eminently! Yet does man learn ?

Alas, in particularly large measure no, for the nations are once more to gather against Jerusalem, Zechariah 12:1-6 tells us; and they are to do this we find, in 12:10 at a time subsequent to the slow murder of the Messiah which David exhibited by the power of God, in Psalm 22 (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25). It is that which is shown in this, our present chapter for survey, which comes in the very height of these martial assaults on Jerusalem, as they spend their force in vain.

HOW is this timing shown ? It is by this means: for do you repent before a sin or after it ? or are you sorry for wounding someone before or after the event ? Is your conscience proleptic or dyspeptic ? or is it satisfied for sorrow before or after it is deserved! Thus the repentance being clear for the piercing of God in human form which is the result of the intimation of 12:10, for our instruction, it is clear that this appalling gallows scene had already happened; and that Ch. 12 of this prophet is dealing with a post-Messianic appearance phase of the matter, as the EVIL or FOOLISH shepherd ways are in view from the preceding chapter.

That of course is not all that is in view from the prelude in Zechariah 11, in this chapter. Thus concerning the lordly price for the sale of God in human form, which was associated with such intimacy with the breach of the covenant and the arrival of the evil shepherd, in Ch. 11, there are now more data. Circumstances surrounding the despatch of the Good Shepherd, no longer feeding the recalcitrant flock, are now expatiated upon. Now we realise more directly, in just what sense indeed He would no more feed them (11:9). Will murder not dissolve the bond! It assuredly did.

Small wonder then that in the time of the end (which is made VERY final in Zechariah 14:5, when the duly resurrected Messiah RETURNS with ALL His saints, to rule on the rebellious earth), Jerusalem is now seen in turmoil, tribulation and distress, as we commence Ch. 12.

It is not however as if, after their long sojourn abroad as indicated in Hosea 3:1-5, Ezekiel 36-37, Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 32, along with Isaiah 42,49 (cf. With Heart ...), they are forgotten altogether, for the LORD (as in Revelation 19:11, His very NAME is faithful and true) sees beyond sin. In His love and mercy, He knows what the end will be. In Ezekiel 36:22, although He thunders at their contemptible rebelliousness for so long, yet He insists on fulfilling His word which, to Abraham (as paralleled in Micah 7:15-20) held no conditions (Genesis 17:7-8). Back to Jerusalem they would come and HE would underake to that effect, DESPITE their unworthiness for such a mercy!

How He loves! It is so clear in such words as those of Jeremiah 31:18-20, that the depth of the passion which led to the Cross is His eternal wonder.

"I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself:


‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised,

Like an untrained bull;

Restore me, and I will return,

For You are the Lord my God.'


'Surely, after my turning, I repented;

And after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh;

I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated,

Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’

"Is Ephraim My dear son?

Is he a pleasant child?

For though I spoke against him,

I earnestly remember him still;

Therefore My heart yearns for him;

                           I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord."


Accordingly, in Zechariah 12:1-6, we realise that they are now back from their track in the wilderness of history, in terms of Deut. 32 and Leviticus 26. Yet while this prediction is fulfilled, with their continuing failure to come back to their Lord, they face war.

Despite this, amazing new grace finds its face shining towards the returned residue of Israel. Indeed, in Zechariah 12,  we see a cornucopia of revelatory facts. How uninstructed and scholastically inaccurate are those who, opining from the fulness of ignorance, rebellion or both, instruct their victims that religion is all symbol or whatever! It is fact, fact and fact; and if a man can tell his loved one in perfumes, flowers, jewels and kind words and deeds, that he loves her, is this all symbol because it is multiple in expression, or is it not rather that the fact is the more certain because the means range from the whole surface of the scope of man!

War on Jerusalem is to come, we read in this chapter of Zechariah, and at that, it is to be grievous. If they are back, the world STILL cannot leave them alone.

For the Jew, now returned as in Leviticus 26:45, and Micah 7, Ezekiel 36-37 (cf.  SMR Appendix A), to his land after so many vicissitudes and after so much contempt, all as prophetically prescribed (cf. Deuteronomy 32, Ezekiel 22:5), after indeed such a holocaust (Jeremiah 30:5ff.*1 cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 1), there is to be ... war. Such is the name and nature of sin: it CANNOT stop. The leopard without the Creator's own action, does not change his spots.

This time, what is the nature of this war, of these assaults on Israel ? Now,  it is not the miserable oppression of a Louis XIV, the not so shiny 'sun king', or of Russia's pogroms, or Europe's foul Inquisition, that contradiction in terms, not gaining life FROM the cross so much as extinguishing it BY the cross, or in other words, torture instruments of dictatorial imperialists of religion, with a king not called Christ, but the 'pope', who in turn is a 'father' not even permitted by Christ to EXIST! (cf. Matthew 23:8-10).

That was a source of great persecution for the Jew!

Yet now, no, this in Zech. 12, it is not that devastating time, predicted for the wandering Jew who is not only geographically so, but spiritually, and so fully fulfilled in turning from  God. Back he has come, and this is the world's greeting home! Yet this is the NEXT STEP! There is a certain divine discretion in discipline; and intent indeed is the divine intention for those nations trying to destroy the Jewish accomplishment, and to tame the land of the Jew.

To be sure, back in Jerusalem, and in train to the time of the Messiah's personal and princely return which is exhibited in Zechariah 14, the nation of Israel is depicted as troubled by many other nations, busy-bodies who CANNOT leave it alone. After all, it has been long used as God's chosen land for God's chosen purposes to disseminate the truth, expose to the world the way to find Him, and in due time, expose His Son to the lust of hate, turning this in turn, as predicted, to a propitiatory atonement. In this,  the willing sacrifice of the Messiah, offered in love, becomes the ground of pardon, as cover for sin, indeed a substituting of Himself for the sinner who so receives Him.

Such things stir the inveterate, challenge the rebellious and witness to the world. WAR is on! It does not know quite how to stop! When you fool with design of God, what else is to be expected ? This is merely the verification of vice. Yet it is not one-sided! Many are against her, but God has His own plan to defend her!

"A cup of drunkenness" is not the horror for Israel, on this occasion, but for its adversaries (Zechariah 12:2).   What then do we find of Jerusalem here ?    It  is declared to be like "a very heavy stone"  for   "all peoples who would heave it away". Since God is omnipotent, this will be the case EVEN IF ALL nations of the earth should gather against it. That is what is written, and it is wise in such a case, to learn to read it!

It was heavy in 1948, when Israel was re-established in the midst of an international crusade against her, including negative UN rulings; heavy in 1967, when Israel made brilliant military history against her invaders; heavy in 1973 when it surged back and surrounded an Egyptian army BEYOND the Suez Canal. Its presence has been heavy for Iraq, who as Hussein announced not so long ago, was still at war with it, in the Gulf War of 1991; and it is heavy for Iraq still with its militant Islamic thrusts.

It is very heavy for the UN, always alien to it, heavy for the Madrid Quartet of Russia, the UN, the USA and the UK, whose road map erodes some of what little is left of Israel, after all the international breaches of the British promises of 1917, ratified later by international accord of the victors in World War I. “Gathered against it” indeed are many nations, as the predictions of divine prophecy are fulfilled.

Of the weak in this war of many nations against Israel, who are in Israel, Zechariah declares that they will be like David, so that mighty will be their military triumphs, as Zech. 12:6. In that day, it says, the Lord will make Israel’s rulers “like a firepan in the woodpile”; and how many have been burnt! So “in that day, the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (12:8), and so He has done; and


Jerusalem will be inhabited again in her own place – Jerusalem”.

This too is so, Jerusalem in its very own place, yes in Jerusalem, not in Athens, Rome or Madrid! As such, it still stands, and is certainly Jewish; and indeed the fact that it is in Jewish hands fulfils the word of Christ of Luke 21:24. This is to the effect that during the Age of the Gentiles, these peoples would continue trampling on Jerusalem UNTIL its completion. It is therefore now the case that this Age comes to its end, and the terminal events loom. Indeed, she is back in that Jerusalem which has the Mount of Olives “which faces Jerusalem on the East” (Zechariah 14:4), the one where Christ, in which He has this interest, has had it, and continues to have it. Here heaven and earth met, and in one day, earth had provision for a purge, not in Siberia, but in salvation.

It is, then that Jerusalem where the martial ardours predicted in Zechariah 12:1ff., are to occur.

This is now. The signal is set: the Jews are BACK! The Gentile trampling is no longer permitted. Like intoxication will Jerusalem be to those who ‘lay siege’ to her (Zech. 12:2), which is virtually what the Islamic hosts are doing, using the Palestinians whom they do not wish to take into their own massively endowed, Islamic midst in all the vast lands they possess, control or use, from Morocco to Syria.



There will be more: “In that day, I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem(Zech. 12:9). That is the FIRST WAR from the Book, which is here in view.


It is, as we saw, like some great stone which the nations will attempt to heave away.

Consider then. If you were a large stone, and people were always trying to get hold of you and heave you away, and were equipped with what much of the world seems inclined to deny in practice at least, to Israel, namely sensibility and sensitivity, then clearly you would suffer ... rather a lot! Israel does suffer, despite its triumphs, and they do seek to heave it! They murder in singles, in doubles, in groups, in buses, in children, in shops, at sea-side sites, indiscriminate, inveterate, they complain as they murder, and continue as they were, with vast Islamic lands before them, seething to possess the little Israel has left.

Thus the diversity continues, the triumph and the trouble for Israel; the dynamic continues, the word of God continues, its verification ever victorious, even when the continuing unbelief is inglorious; and in the whole of the situation, it leaves the case as it now is, until . .. ?

This is the case and must continue until Israel returns to the Lord, as 12:10 of Zechariah shows it in vast measure actually to do at the outpouring of the Spirit of God, when He comes to awaken it to the spiritual reality to which  it has for so long been blind (cf. Romans 11:25, Isaiah 42:18-20).

Returns ? returns to what or to whom ? some might ask. Read Zech. 12:10ff., and you will find. It is to the LORD whom they PIERCED, and they will see it in terms so affecting, so deeply wounding to the heart, as if it they were mourning for an only Son! What would make it incomparably worse would be this: that they themselves killed Him! Until then, however, there is stress, tension and trouble, on the one hand, and divinely directed, gracious deliverance for the punished people, on the other.

 Now do you see the importance of the word of  God above, when it is made so very clear that if HE PURPOSES in His HEART to do a thing, count it as done! WHO can resist Him ?

Thus while on the one hand,  we find that there will be distinctive divine action to make foolish the adversaries, as has repeatedly and historically been done before our very eyes, and there will be a blinding, yes and they will be as if drunk (Zech. 12:2,4): yet there is another aspect.

It is this. There will be within Israel, by divine means once more, a resurgence of strength so great that the house of David will seem as if it were God (Zech. 14:8); for it is HE HIMSELF who will act for them. This too has happened in strict adherence to the divine script! When was it seen ? You cannot fail to recall …

That was all, that disproportionate power, quite obviously fulfilled in miraculous manner, in the exterminative wars of 1948, 1967, 1973, intended amongst much Islamic bombast, as from Nasser of Egypt, to settle the 'Jewish question' with the 'final solution' which escaped even Hitler (though he did some preliminary 'working' in terms of over 6 million murders of Jews). It was also in Israel’s interest and to her deliverance that the Iraq wars came in the Gulf War and again in 2004, where the former Assyria was indeed met with power (Micah 6, Isaiah 30:27-33), a name met again and again in eschatological context.

Thus where the Roman Empire, and Romanism, the Holy Roman Empire and the Hitleresque version of the European power had finished, or at least done much, the foolish Shepherd aspirant would try again; but with the same result.

That was how it was to be; and that is how it came to be.

These recent assaults on Israel, wrought by Arabs and other mostly Islamic parties in the Middle East and surrounds, were in no small measure multi-national enterprises to rid the earth of the nation of Israel. At times it was quite explicit, pushing them into the sea seeming to some the desired option.

It was like pogromitis, or Inquisitionitis, a sort of mania of insurgency, as if the world was so careful NOT to destroy rare species of animal life, but was just as keen to destroy a species of human life, known as the nation of Israel. The world is indeed something of which the form and fashion of is passing away, and it is just as well that its delusive pretensions and murderous ways are going to become extinguished (cf. I Corinthians 7:31, II Thessalonians 1, II Peter 3:10ff.). It does not have much of a reputation. Peter tells us that "both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." Farmers in this country know quite a lot about burning off: it clears the place.

This series of military triumphs for the newly restored nation (as we see in Ezekiel 38ff., it is), has been on record as predicted for some 2500 years; and has now happened. Yet on the other side, the very fact that people are TRYING to heave Israel away, even from 1947, in the case  of the UN, to internationalise Jerusalem and give to the Jew, patches of land here and there in a part of the Palestine robbed from it, despite the international accord to give all of it to Israel,  after World War I: this means that there must be much suffering. You are not subject to heaving without ... a certain amount of realisation of the impact of such efforts upon you.

Such is Jerusalem! If a the British do not ruin it, in 1948, by blockading old hulks bringing back the residue from Hitler's pains, and if the groupings of Islamic nations, in concert assaulting the nation cannot do it, and if the United Nations, making legislative grabs for it in 1947, and constantly assailing its tininess with more demands cannot do it, yet they have tried, according to the divine plan, clearly on the Architect's Table for man to perceive, that Bible of truth, for millenia!

It is about this time that the SECOND WAR, the one which is spiritual; and it comes to its crisis point, and in one major way, its conclusion, its end for the ages! Having shown them His goodness in restoring them to their land as in Ezekiel 36-37, which was not least that they might serve idols no more (37:23), and having defended them, the Lord now pours out the


“Spirit of grace and supplication.”

It is then that they

·       “will look on Me whom they pierced,
and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son”

How this reminds one of Isaiah 45:22-23,

·       “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!
For I am God and there is no other.”

It is in these terms, as we see in Philippians 2, that Christ is to be served, for every knee, the ONLY GOD said, would bow to Him; and it is Christ they are to bow! In the Lord will all the seed of Israel be justified: for there is no other (45:25).

These, they are one God! Similarly in John 6:40, Christ says this:

“And this is the will of Him who sent Me,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.”

What more beautiful than that! So they “look on Me whom they have pierced!” in Zech. 12:10.

How Isaiah foresaw the wonder of that day, soon to come, a relief not merely in the  return to their land, but in the restoration to their Messiah! As in Isaiah 40:1:

“‘Comfort you, yes comfort My people!’ ” says your God.
‘Speak comfort to
Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received double for all her sins…’ "

THAT, it is the SPIRITUAL WAR of withholding faith; but now, by repentance in the Redeemer, whom they pierced, they come to and find comfort.

Deep is this repentance (Zechariah 12:11-14), individual and vast is their grief, profound their sorrow; for to hurt a fellow being is bad, but to sacrifice the loving God …

Yes, they will feel the constraints of guilt, as if their own and only Son were killed! That is what is prophetically written in Zechariah 12. This, concerning the Lord, is their meat, their feast and their humiliation. They arose to vainglory, and have fallen to being rankly inglorious. They feel it, they pant with remorse, they sigh with sorrow, they ponder and are confronted, gripped by grief.

Yet with the Lord, there is MERCY that HE MAY BE FEARED (Psalm  130:4), and with Him likewise there is DELIGHT to bring PARDON to the heart receptive of it, through His grace (Micah 7:18-20), and NONE is the number for those who coming with humble and contrite heart to receive His salvation, repentant for the remedy, ruined in spirit to receive reconstitution, degenerated to receive regeneration, accepting the body crucified in atonement, raised in justification (Romans 4:25 - 5:1), and so justified: none, I say, is the number of those so coming who who fail to be received (cf. Psalm 145:18).

How deep is the mourning depicted in Zech. 12:10-14, the solitude of solicitation for the divine mercy, the horror in realising the pre-holocaust folly of the nation, of unbelief in such a Saviour!

How deep and in parallel is the pardon depicted in Zechariah 13:1. There we find



A fountain of blood ?

It is not so stated, but appears clearly implied. First, there is a fountain opened for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness, 13:1 tells us. As we proceed into this Chapter, we find that there is that same One who in Zechariah 3:9 had inscribed on His very self, the sins of those whom He saved. Sold, betrayed, wounded as we find later, He opens a fountain for sin and for uncleanness. Of what is the remitting fountain then to be composed, since it is blood the redeems, and without it there is no redemption ? This, it is no mere sacrament of memory, it is a sufficiency for atonement! It is a fountain available to the heart.

Figurative if you will is the blood, but actual was its shedding, and the washing requires better things than the blood of bulls. Let us recall the sacrificial situation. The presence may in this depiction be visionary for its intent, but its meaning and efficacy nevertheless is the provision for the heart of faith to acquire, to perceive and to take. The eyes of faith now see the fountain of blood, liberal, unrestrictive, available, not select for the special, but an outpouring of wonder for all who come.

Now we must remember that the sacrificial system involved MUCH blood. There were goats, sheep and bulls, even birds, in sacrificial roles in the Mosaic covenant. Without the shedding of blood there was no atonement, at-one-ment with God (cf. Hebrews 9:22), "for it is the blood which makes atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

Thus it is as if out of the very ground (of their faith, in their city) that a fountain proceeds, not of water, coming from subterranean sources, but of blood coming from celestial origin; not according to nature, from veins where blood is found, but like a fountain coming from the very ground of the city. On this it is founded, not confounded, and without this blood of the slain Messiah whom they pierced, there is no end to their sorrow, mockery and grief, to the interference of other nations as to the exterminatory obsession of mankind in such numbers.

It is in this cleansing and purging, this purification that we find this amazing reference to a question addressed to the Stone, or Rock on which the sins were inscribed (Zech. 3:9), to the Good Shepherd who was sold, to the One betrayed. It is this: “What are these wounds between your hands ?” Keil in his Commentary indicates that this seems assuredly to refer to wounds or scars in the palms of His hands and extending up His arms. They attract attention.

Yet now, no, this in Zech. 12, it is not that devastating time, predicted for the wandering Jew who is not only geographically so, but spiritually, and so fully fulfilled in turning from  God. Back he has come, and this is the world's greeting home! Yet this is the NEXT STEP! There is a certain divine discretion in discipline; and intent indeed is the divine intention for those nations trying to destroy the Jewish accomplishment, and to tame the land of the Jew.

To be sure, back in Jerusalem, and in train to the time of the Messiah's personal and princely return which is exhibited in Zechariah 14, the nation of Israel is depicted as troubled by many other nations, busy-bodies who CANNOT leave it alone. After all, it has been long used as God's chosen land for God's chosen purposes to disseminate the truth, expose to the world the way to find Him, and in due time, expose His Son to the lust of hate, turning this in turn, as predicted, to a propitiatory atonement. In this,  the willing sacrifice of the Messiah, offered in love, becomes the ground of pardon, as cover for sin, indeed a substituting of Himself for the sinner who so receives Him.

Such things stir the inveterate, challenge the rebellious and witness to the world. WAR is on! It does not know quite how to stop! When you fool with design of God, what else is to be expected ? This is merely the verification of vice. Yet it is not one-sided! Many are against her, but God has His own plan to defend her!

It appears that in ancient custom, some would mutilate themselves in religious exercises; but these wounds of Zechariah 12, they were by no means self-inflicted. Oh no! they were “those with which I was wounded in the house of My lovers” or friends. That is His answer to the enquirer! Those who loved Him, ironic indeed the word, it was these servants of the God whose human body they wounded, it was they who inflicted these wounds! The almost casual seeming way in which the topic is dismissed hides its profundity, for its clinical brevity is eloquent: wounds from lovers! What IS this … but treachery and folly, hypocrisy and evil!

There are the various false prophets, all ashamed, we see in Zech. 13:4; but one will say to Him to whom it belongs, to One whose ‘shame’ is very different, indeed one who instead of shame shows wounds, to one among the prophets, WHAT IS THIS! Unique is His position, amazing His condition, demanding question; and the answer shows the controlling power of sanctity in the dismissal of polluted waters, where love has not shown its reality but rather hideous betrayal, not truth but treachery the abode of the assailants.

How wonderful is OUR opportunity, who are His, saved by these wounds, by this death (Colossians 1:22), having been “reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,” to marvel at the wise love of God who could turn such hatred into holiness, using the emblems of evil to become the messengers of good, even the Cross! Here you see what in Zech. 14:5 is the RETURNING LORD, His love and power alike triumphant, resurrected, restored; and as His heart speaks to the enquirer in Zech. 13:6, so His word speaks to the world to which He personally returns in His own body (Acts 1:7-11, 3:19ff., Zech. 14:5, I Thessalonians 3:13, II  Thess. 1:9), for as to death “it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:24).

These events come in their time; but Israel has yet to experience, subsequent to its return as in Ezekiel 37, as dry bones to their national home, the second command which brings them to their knees at the Cross of Christ, before their murdered Master. However all the environment of terms is fulfilled, and we await this next phase as one awaits the dawn.

No, it is not yet, this turning to look, by outpouring grace of God's Holy Spirit, on the Messiah; this insurgence of grace to lead them  to repent of their removal of their own Shepherd, an action which broke the covenant as we saw in Zech.  11. This national awakening to their date-predicted Messiah murder  has not happened yet*3.


It is not yet, this turning to look, by outpouring grace of God's Holy Spirit, on the Messiah; this insurgence of grace to lead them  to repent of their removal of their own Shepherd, an action which broke the covenant as we saw in Zech.  11. This national awakening to their date-predicted Messiah murder  has not happened yet

The return of Israel to its land, this has happened; the one enlarged in performance as if David (Zech. 12:8), this has happened; the international prodigies of assault on the residue left by Hitler, in the new Belsen-mania, this has assuredly happened, as if Israel itself were to be turned into one vast new Extermination Camp, one new Auschwitz for the Jew. The failure to prevail of these multiplied assailants on Israel, this too has happened.

The triumphant wars have happened, won by Israel as one option available, through the mercies of God alone, instead of being exterminated, a process in which the so highly moral United Nations helped not discernibly, and certainly not overall, at all. Indeed, in one of the wars, it removed its troops between Egypt and Israel, thus clearing their way for the taunting assault, which was ravaged by the tiny mouse, Israel, exactly as programmed ahead of time and predicted by the Lord.



These things have all happened, and the desert has indeed blossomed as predicted,  like the rose (Isaiah 35 - cf. SMR pp. 776-779). Indeed, SMR Ch. 9 has provided much detail on the alliance of prophecy and history which has in my own generation been exposed before our very eyes with such munificence that it is like giving a ton of scrambled egg on plates before you, for supper, such is the astonishing abundance of these fulfilments, their accuracy, their predicted setting and their sequence.

WHEN however the national scale of a repentance to come arrives (and Zechariah is reminiscent of this highly specific prophecy of Isaiah, along with Paul in Romans 11:25ff, the latter in the context of the olive tree cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 1): when this occurs,  there will such a purging of all the foolish religious misreading and misconceptions and worse, which have held sway. This they have done for so long, that the very idea of being some 'original' prophet with some 'message' outside the Messianic reality of the New Testament of God, will seem debasing, unattractive to the point of being obviously disreputable. 

That is the message of  Zechariah 13:3-6, relative to the aftermath of war plus repentance for restored Israel. This then is for the environment of repentance, when it comes.

The savvy, the sophisticate and the seedy may declare:

But Israel could NEVER repent of its approach to the Messiah!

No doubt Paul also could not repent of his savage treatment of early Christians before his conversion, and the millions of others who have changed their entire nature through the creative and pardoning power of Almighty God, the Creator, could not have happened. It is as with organic evolution: facts do not matter, empirical reality is merely a nuisance to such thinkers, and the pride of flesh blinds, as if the eyes were so puffed that they enclosed the optical orbs and rendered them useless!

The impossible to nature, is merely the opportunity to Supernature, to the Creator, just as a run-down home is a 'handyman's opportunity' as the advertisements of such things sometimes suggest to us!

In the so brief and incisive manner in which Zechariah is used to sketch in details, like some expert medical sketch, or architectural enlargement that yet is small in space requirements: we see the point in 13:6. While, then, the FALSE is now being debunked, the TRUE will be in high focus. What are those wounds in your hands ? (wrists, lower hand structure), one may ask ? Oh those ? They are those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends! comes the reply.

This then is the very height of the realisation which is in close and intimate conjunction with the rising sense of fraud and folly associated with avant-garde religion at that time. Let us then rehearse the position as revealed in these passages of Zechariah, for the future, so much of it already past now.

What is it all about ? It is about the stone on which sin was etched (Zech. 3:9).

What was the stone a figure for ? It was for the Branch, or descendant of the King David line, who would be God in flesh (cf. Isaiah 11).

What is He ? Priest and Prince, yes and King.

What was done to Him ? He was sold.

For how much ? The price of a small piece of land.

Why ? Because of treachery.

What resulted ? Millenia of a morose world for Israel!

What is to be seen when Israel's due day comes to repent of this ?

Seen will be the folly of it.

What is being done, when this occurs ? It is repented of, with horror and helplessness, hanging only on the mercy of God, and the abundance of the 'blood', the atoning sacrifice of life for life, to cover death with life, and thus is the word of Zech. 13:1.

They realise that in giving His life, His blood as a sacrifice, He died  the death which justice required for the acceptance of the soiled life of sinful man.

Of which men ? of which persons ?

Of those who repent, for except you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:1-3). That is why there was an EXPLICIT exclusion in the provision of national sacrifice, for ANYONE who did not BELIEVE (Deuteronomy 29:18ff.).

Wounded in the house of His friends ? Who ?

The Messiah, the Branch (cf. Isaiah 11:1).


It is of this that we repent, is the essence of the presentation, as the answer to that one. It is for this that each one partakes in a "great mourning" (Zech. 12:11), and it is for this that "the land shall mourn" (Zech. 12:12), in such depth that "every family by itself" ponders the horror of the sin, from which now turning, they become friends of God. Sin is like that: it is prodigious in the end, in its spirit, its source and its perspective. When you are awakened, you see! As to these, they are awakened by God Himself (12:10).

How horrible was it ?

It meant that such a message as this was the conveyor belt of the crime against Christ, the Messiah.

But what - we might pursue our imaginary questioning as exposition of this text in Zech. 13:6, following this revelation to match Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53: what was the immediate result of this wounding of the Lord God in human form, this Good Shepherd of Zech. 11, as relayed in Zech. 12:6 ?

What is the outcome of this second instalment of the elaborate irony of the Lord, first seen in 11:12ff. ? There it was the 'price' or 'wages' of retribution which were paid, this leading to the breach of the covenant. Now, more specific, it is a wounding of hands which is in view, so what are the results of this aspect of the murderous enterprise ?

Results ? Ah  yes, but there are results at once specified in the following verse (Zechariah 13:7).


" 'Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd.

Against the Man who is My Fellow,'

Says the LORD of hosts.


" 'Strike the Shepherd,

And the sheep will be scattered.

Then I will turn My hand against the little ones,

And it shall come to pass in all the land,'

Says the LORD,

'That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,

But one third shall be left in it.' "


      These ? they are to be "refined"!

What DID happen when the Lord was crucified ?

Christ Himself cited this passage from Zechariah (Matthew 26:31). Obviously, there was an immediate scattering of His bewildered disciples. Again and again, this was to happen, even after they had formed into the vibrant, dynamic, missionary-minded Christian Church: persecution resulting in dispersion (as in Acts 12:1) was nothing uncommon. Paul, even as a prisoner sent to Rome, used the occasion to mission or minister to people who visited him, and apparently not satisfied with that, he extended it to those within the very household of Caesar, to whom he had appealed to escape mob manipulation against his life (cf. Acts 28:23ff., Philippians 4:22).

This scattering of Israel the nation also went on for millenia. Indeed, for much of the time and in many places, it was as if the world were saying, "Get Lost!" They WERE lost, but then, so in great part was the rest of the dissident world! In fact, it awaits its own culminating foolish shepherd (cf. II Thessalonians 2, Daniel 7).

However, more immediately to the point for us here, is the scattering of the disciples which, whether by force or mission drive, went on for centuries: those such as the Huguenots of France were impelled to America for example, as well as to England, while the Pilgrim Fathers likewise made their patient move to the USA.

As to the nation, however, though mostly rebellious from their own Messiah, they were still the "lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:6): what of them ? These too were scattered and HOW widely and so often, with how little mercy received! Eventually, however, when the heavens had become like iron,  since they refused the communication channel provided (cf. Leviticus 26:19), and when their strength was subdued (Deut. 32:36) : then, the Lord declared,  they would "call on My name" and He would "answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.' " This then is the full scope and compass of the action as foretold right from the days of Hosea 1-3. The restoration of rest for the rest is to come.

Alas, in the long, long interim, however, Israel would suffer; and in fact two thirds are specified for deletion (Zech. 13:8-9), as they seek to travel without their Rock (cf. Deuteronomy 32:13ff.), in precisely the way which Moses had foretold and exposed critically, before it ever happened. Yet, when the repulse of the aggressors is folded by the power of God, then, as in Zechariah 12, as also exhibited in Ezekiel 38-39,

then (Ezekiel 39:26-29):

"after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness
in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land
and no one made them afraid,"

and then (bold added),

"When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God."

Then the imagination of man who loves to secede from God and fail to discern the Lord, will meet its final exposure to a truth which, rejected intemperately without ground, will be imposed inexorably without scope for confusion! When heaven and earth flee away (Revelation 20:11), then the wonders of His wisdom will remain, pre-figured, performed and perfected.



So has the history risen to its great height and crescendo. The Lord had a friend, Abraham, and made promises, and built a people to show His ways and name, mercy and grandeur (Isaiah 43:21, Deuteronomy 7:7-8). They did this, but declined with such maximal intensity, rigour and intensity that they became almost a byword for spiritually adulterous conduct (as in Ezekiel 16 and 23).


Their prophets instructed the world, the Messianic leap in life on this earth was painted in exquisite and often in excruciating detail, not in the sense of the verbose, but in the literal sense, detail of what was in fact excruciating!


He came, and the excruciation was conferred on Him by the nation He blessed; and He went, and they scattered, and were eventually brought back according to the plan so often and in so many ways announced (cf.  It Bubbles ... Ch. 10, Great Execrations ... Ch. 4); and they came back as still needing a sprinkling (as in Ezekiel 36:23), because they were not yet Christian, so that this symbol of cleansing, in baptism, would be appropriate for the New Covenant foretold by Jeremiah 31:31. Zechariah 12:10 confirms this, showing the conversion most vividly long after their return, in the very midst of wars.

What then of this interim before their return ? They have been assaulted, vastly by the Western folly of evolutionary-minded racism in Hitler, as by that of revolutionary-minded ideological racism in Communism, all based on nothing quite squarely and faring accordingly, expert only in anti-verification under test: and to this has been added the assault made by that renegade from Christ, in the West, Romanism (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H). The Jewish people have had the 'time of Jacob's trouble' as in Jeremiah 30:6-7, the miracle of the woman encompassing a man (Jeer. 31:22), being disregarded not only by them, but by many who ostensibly are Christians (The Biblical Workman Ch. 1); and the world has regressed to its new and deadly persecutions, as Zechariah prescribed in His divinely inspired predictions.

This has become a byword in our generation, often under the guise of the terrible evil of Israel in daring to seek to avoid extermination! Thus the Moslem mirage has come into focus, not so much with the aid of water vapour this time, as the outpouring of oil.

So the world shows*2 its claws, and with lupine lope, moves to massacre again and again, the residue of Israel.

But they reckon without God. He has other plans and will implement them, as He always does.
This brings us back to our what was near to our beginning, in this chapter, as we near its end:

"The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,

"Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,

And as I have purposed, so it shall stand..."


As Micah has it to our present point (7:14ff.):

"Shepherd Your people with Your staff,

The flock of Your heritage,

Who dwell solitarily in a woodland,

In the midst of Carmel;

Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,

As in days of old.


"As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,

I will show them wonders."


"The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;

They shall put their hand over their mouth;

Their ears shall be deaf.


"They shall lick the dust like a serpent;

They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.

They shall be afraid of the Lord our God,

And shall fear because of You.


"Who is a God like You,

Pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,

Because He delights in mercy.

He will again have compassion on us,

And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.


"You will give truth to Jacob

And mercy to Abraham,

Which You have sworn to our fathers

                           From days of old."

Who likes bullies who pretend to be honourable as they discharge their officious pugnacity! However one part of the wonder of God is this, that bully or victim, He is ready to pardon in His own way, on His own basis, the cost of which is infinite. Meanwhile, as for this whirling world, it would do better to stop still, in its mind and consider.

The time comes when the number is up in the annals of God! All the current erraticisms of pretension of man will fail, just as the obliterate-Israel aggression will fail. Truth may be ignored, but it does not depart.

As to God:


The BRIGHT LIGHT of the word of God is like a search-light in wartime, scanning the skies, to shoot down what seeks to invade it. Relentlessly it proceeds, amid a world uncomprehending, dark in passion, weak in compassion, obscure in understanding

because wearing the spiritual dark glasses of modishness,

pan-cultural humanism and multi-culturalism

which is in practice here, pan-religionism,

confusing tolerance with truth,

and forgetting that one can be kind in truth, and in truth, kind.


Alas, this pene-multi-culturalism,

this almost multi-culturalism, this muti-culturalism,

mutant and misfit,

confusing reality with forbearance,

the evacuation of vision with virtue,

making options instead of friends:


it tends to be kind to all cultures but that of the King,

and in this country, as in the UK and the USA,

it is in danger of submitting to the squalid options of insufferable rebellion,

thus becoming quite on a plane with Israel.


It even makes a virtue out of it, as if agnosticism is the royal road, and faith is for poetry,  as if evidentially-bankrupt assumption is necessary for survival, and love and grace with truth were to be machine gunned down, in sight.

Dark are the hearts which continue the program, and blessed is he, is she who leaves the magnetic field of hypnotism which drives so many to a doom doubly deserved:

both sinning and refusing remedy;

both sordid and ignoring mercy
as if it were the height of fashion and the very mark of distinction so to do.

In our next chapter, DV, we will consider Zechariah 14, and the outcome that develops.






Jeremiah 30:5ff. ...

"For thus says the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

Ask now, and see whether a man travails with child? why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces turned into paleness?

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he will be saved out of it.

For it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds, and strangers will no more enslave him."

But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them."



See for example What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Ch. 4, from which the following excerpt is taken.


The results are inoperable logically, politically as being seen the more in recent times with the militant Moslem phenomenon, abundantly provided for in much of its excesses in the Koran (cf. More Marvels... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda ... Ch. 6); and indeed, it is precisely the folly of ignoring the invisible (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9) which has led so such visible results in our philosophically debauched generation (cf. TMR Ch. 8, News 121, 122). If you ignore basics, then your ignorance will lead to what become for you increasingly, insoluble puzzles and ultimate vulnerabilities.

Blindness that is wilful always has this result that is woeful, whether mentally or morally with its aids in Aids, or politically as with aides-de-decamp in Hitler and Stalin, Mao and Lenin.

It does not work, for man simply is not so made; you can FORCE it for a while, and when as biblically predicted, such a method is used by a world power based in Europe (cf. Cascade ... Ch. 12, News 151, With Heart ... Ch. 10, His Wounds ... Ch. 3), it may last as did Hitler for a little while. Then it may seem that this power of pollution is ultimate; but it is merely an asininity of the highest order, and its overthrow temporarily by man or finally by God, by reality at last, is as assured ... as is its coming. As to that, it is soon (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), in terms of the biblical criteria.


*3 See Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, SMR pp. 886ff..