Zechariah 1:12-21 Then the Lord’s angel [angel of the Lord] asked, “Lord All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts], how long will it be before you show [you withhold] mercy to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You have been angry with them for seventy years now.” 13 So the Lord answered the ·angel [messenger] who was talking with me, and his words were comforting and good.
14 Then the angel [messenger] who was talking to me said to me, “Announce this: This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts] says: ‘I have a strong love [am very jealous/zealous; Nah. 1:2] for Jerusalem. 15 And I am very angry with the nations that feel so ·safe[secure; at ease]. I was only a little angry at them, but they made things worse [added to/increase the calamity/disaster].’
16 “So this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy. My Temple [house] will be rebuilt,’ says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts], ‘and the measuring line will be used to rebuild [ stretched out over] Jerusalem.’
17 “Also announce: This is what the Lord All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts]says: ‘My towns will be rich again [overflow with prosperity]. The Lord will comfort Jerusalem again, and I will again choose Jerusalem.’”
18 Then I looked up and saw four animal horns [horns; animal horns symbolized strength]. 19 I asked the angel [messenger] who was talking with me, “What are these?”
He said, “These are the horns that scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me, four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are they coming to do?” He answered, “They have come to scare [terrify] and throw down the horns. These horns scattered the people of Judah so that no one could even lift up his head. These horns stand for the nations that attacked [lifted up their horns against] the people of Judah and scattered them.”
As you carry out God’s work and when you allow doubt and unbelief to continuously arise in you, you will become passive and your reality will feel very difficult. In the end, you will fall into a slump. Then you will begin to regret, grieve, and become a criticizer as you observe from your perception the limitations of your thought, emotion, will, and circumstances. Spiritually, this would mean that something inside of you is festering. When something is festering inside of you, and if you neglect it, you will have a greater problem later. When your thought process continuously becomes weak, when your faith becomes shaky, and when you become weary financially and spiritually, do not assume or think things will just turn out fine. Some people say “It will be fine, it will be fine”. But it will not be fine. You must aggressively reject, refuse and properly handle your negative situation.
The kind of thought that Satan likes will be created within us which will open a gap for Satan to intervene. When your thoughts, will, and emotion become weak, the thoughts and words which Satan will utilize will naturally be created and come forth with your words/mouth. When complaining and grumbling begins to form within your thoughts and heart, you must aggressively reject and refuse it. If you do not handle it properly, this will become a pathway for Satan to come inside of you.
The more you pray and live spiritually, the more tests will come and it will disguise itself within people, circumstances, thoughts, words, emotion, mind and illnesses. Such tests may appear natural but in reality, they are your tests. When this occurs, with your accumulated prayer and faith, you must defeat and cast out the negative as you powerfully proclaim with your words and prayer.
The Israelites thought pride only belonged to the people outside their nation. They thought the other people possessed problems and not themselves. But in reality, pride was within Israel. It is like instead of looking at others, we, ourselves have pride. No matter how much sin the other people commit to us, if we only with determination refuse to commit sin, we will not sin.
In today’s verse, from the book of Zechariah, God had shown a vision to the Prophet Zechariah. Prophet Zechariah had conversed with an Archangel.
Then the Lord’s angel asked, “Lord, All-Powerful, how long will it be before you show mercy to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You have been angry with them for seventy years now.”
So the Lord answered the angel who was talking with me and his words were comforting and good. God sometimes speaks sternly and can be fearful but there are times in which God speaks softly and gracefully. God speaks powerfully and yet very graceful.
In heaven, there is a book that documents the judgments. Also, there is the Book of Life which is written in our names, the names who will enter heaven. There is a Book of Deeds which has accounts of every sinful deed people have committed. The book of Deeds list all kinds of sinful deeds that people have committed from birth to the moment they die. There is a Book of Commemorate. This book accounts the good deeds. For example, when the other fellow brethren experience difficulty and if you comfort and help, these good deeds will be written in the book of Commemorate. When we support the missionaries, it will be recorded and written. When you serve the church and pray, it will be documented. These good deeds will be precisely documented. This book of commemorating is associated with receiving rewards.
The forces that will lead you to commit sin forms within you without you even realizing it. Such forces of sin as resentment, jealousy, envy. and etc. These forces form as you meet circumstances. But when you realize these forces forming inside of you, you must not ignore or neglect it. You must aggressively reject it. If we ignore or neglect it, it will be nurtured and will continuously grow within you. In the end, it will destroy you without fail. Although the words you speak and the deeds you perform may look insignificant, when you continuously speak and perform the actions which you are not supposed too, it (words and deeds) will continuously pile up and it will result in maturity to become a significant sin, pride, and eventually a sin that goes over the line.
Here is today’s scripture, there are four horns, and they are made out of iron. These horns represent the powerful nations around Israel. They are Babylon, Medo, Persia, Assyria, Moab, Ammon, Philistine, and Rome. These horns are destroying Jerusalem.
God’s people are crying out to God, “Why has God forsaken us allowing the horns to scatter us?”
But in reality, these horns are the devil’s subordinates. Why did the horns grow up to destroy or scatter Jerusalem? The real problem is the sin within the person. Such a person has neglected and did nothing about his/her sin while his/her sin grew to maturity bringing forth God’s judgment. Who impulses a person? It is the devil. Please do not interfere or participate in the other person’s sin. This type of sin caused by one’s personality, character, and deeds. Do not participate in the sin which has been instigated by others. One former instance of when my church was in the basement, I had witnessed a family who participated kicking out a pastor from his church. The ringleader ended up being judged by God. God struck the whole family of his and therefore was scattered. His family could not be restored for over twenty years. Therefore, do not participate and avoid in other people’s sin.
Although people receive the Holy Spirit and the power of God, pride and sin will always be in them until they die. The degree of it may be different. Therefore as we receive more power from God, we need to defeat pride and sin as we continuously die to it. We need to perform the spiritual battle until the day we die. When we wrongly speak, deliver the words to others in a wrong way, twisting the words in any given moment, when our emotion, thoughts and will go into error, and even if all these were done for a short moment in time, within that instant, circumstances can turn around and we can end up becoming a ringleader for negative events without even realizing it. Moreover, we could end up participating without even realizing it. Look at Aaron and Miriam.
Why has Israel crumbled down? It is because they continuously sought the source of their problems from the outside. What impulses your nature or temper? When your prayer becomes weakened, your carnal desires, hot temper, carnal nature, personality, anxiety, impatient and irritation will surface. When these symptoms occur, do not ignore or neglect it, if you ignore or neglect it you will eventually leave the church and fall away from the Lord. Therefore, you must properly handle it as you powerfully cast it out and aggressively refuse it. You must decisively cut it off. If you do not break the horns off of you, you will never be able to live an abundant life.
God has prepared a vaccine for us so that we can fight against the virus/germs (demons). God sent four craftsmen.
“20 Then the Lord showed me, four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are they coming to do?” He answered, “They have come to scare [terrify] and throw down the horns. These horns scattered the people of Judah so that no one could even lift up his head. These horns stand for the nations that attacked [lifted up their horns against] the people of Judah and scattered them.”
Who are these craftsmen? At that time, there were the people who carved the woods for ornaments like carpenters. Spiritually the craftsmen may represent angels but in the New Testament era which we are now living in, the one who will break down the horns is Jesus.
When the people of God came to the temple after seventy years from Babylon, God was already there before they had returned to the temple. In order for God’s work to be manifested, God will come to the temple before us. When we repent, humble, and transform, God will go before us and will restore all things. God is the only one who will save the church, our families and ourselves. Who is the vaccine? It is Jesus. When you look at your circumstances, negative things will continuously be made within you. Then you must shout out, “Get away from me Satan! No! In the name of Jesus, depart from me!”
The four craftsmen represent our Lord. The Lord throws down the strong horns. Only the Son of God can throw down the strong horns. Do not think or confess that you are suppressed by the evil spirits.
Confess this way, “The devil has no authority to control me, my circumstances, my family. It is illegal!”
The Lord has already obtained the victory on the cross and destroyed the devil. The Lord has allowed the devil to operate in a limited way within the heavenly realm and on the earth until the Lord Jesus returns to the earth. But the devil performs illegally as well. So those who believe in Jesus must cast the forces of the devil from our children, family, people, and church. Then you must say, “It is illegal for you to perform, in the name of Jesus get out!!”
When the praying person repents and truly receive Christ Jesus, he/she will become a blacksmith. Then that person will be able to destroy the work of the devil with the hammer of the gospel, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit wherever he/she goes. But when you ignore or neglect the forces of lawlessness, you will always have a chance to fall in an instant. No matter how much you pray and come to church if the forces of lawlessness are ignored or neglected and have not properly handled your sins, you can possibly fall within an instant moment.
In the spiritual world or the realm of faith, if you passively handle sin, you will greatly fail. You will go through and experience things in which you did not have too. When the devil is about to be cast out from you, it will not peacefully leave. It will prevent you from praying, but in your mind, you know that you must pray. Somehow, you may have a hard time praying. When you need to worship and praise, the devil will prevent you from worshiping and praising. You are in a situation where you need to evangelize but the devil will prevent you from evangelizing.
God spoke three things. First, God’s grace and mercy were in Jerusalem. The Israelites returned to Jerusalem. But the grace and mercy of God came first. The people of God misunderstood that God was going to repair the old temple. But the people who came back from exile were supposed to prepare themselves to receive the promised Holy Spirit. But these people had no idea and only thought about rebuilding the old physical temple. We are the holy temple of God and we are the ones who need to ready ourselves for the days of Holy Spirit. We need to properly prepare and build the temple (us, the church) and get ready for the coming days of the Holy Spirit.
In order to enter the kingdom of God, we need to keep our spirit, soul, and body pure and clean. By doing this, we are adorning ourselves as His Bride.
God said to remnant Israel, “In the future, a new spiritual era will approach. The Holy Fire will begin from Jerusalem.”
Who will dwell in Jerusalem? The people who call upon the name of the Lord. To the people who dwell in spiritual Jerusalem, God will stretch out the inking line on them. (a string attached to an inkpot and stained with ink for drawing lines ② a carpenter’s ink line.) When a carpenter finds a perfect size wood and desires to use this particular wood as a crossbeam, but finds the wood not straight but crooked, he has to make it straight by stretching out the inking line on the wood to cut straight. When God desires to use us and if we are crooked in some areas, God will cut those parts away. If there are little bumps on the wood, the carpenter will shave those parts as well.
People have many problems. People, in general, like to talk about other people. People sin through their thoughts, emotion, mind and etc. Since we are all called to be His fire servants, God will stretch out the inking line within the church. Once the inking line is stretched, God will begin to work to cut off or shave the crooked parts. This is when the test will come. When the test is right in front of your face, go lower and humble yourselves before God and repent.
In today’s verse, there are four horns that harass the people of God. The Lord has to handle and break it. This way, Jerusalem will be renewed. Do not passively handle your sin but aggressively deal with it. When we are spiritually weakened, the iron horns will arise within us. Please obtain victory through prayer. Amen.
Sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo
Head pastor of the Lord’s Church, Korea
Author of Baptize by Blazing Fire book series
Translated by Pastor Steve & Yoojin Kim
Pastors of Fire of God Church in San Francisco (Fremont)
Fire of God Church is a branch church of the Lord’s Church, Korea and is under the spiritual covering of head Pastor Kim, Yong Doo