Zechariah chapter number 11, the Bible reads in verse number 1, "Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour the cedars. Howl, fir t
ree, for the cedar is fallen, because the mighty are spoiled; howl, O ye oaks of Bashan, for the forest of the vintage is come down. There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds, for their glory is spoiled; a voice of the roaring of young lions, for the pride of Jordan is spoiled."
In this chapter, there's a lot of judgement and a lot of wrath upon a lot of different groups of people in this passage. He's talking about judging the bad shepherds. We talked about last week how the word shepherd is used synonymous in the Bible with the word pastor. That's what the word pastor means, it's those who feed the flock. In the New Testament, God tells the elders, feed the flock of God, which is over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers. It talks about how he gave pastors and teachers for the edification of the church and to feed them with the word of God and so forth.
In this passage, he's talking about judging and punishing the bad shepherds. He also talks about punishing the flock. He also talks about giving the flock a shepherd that they deserve, a bad shepherd because they've been a bad flock. He talks about punishing the enemies of Israel. He talks about punishing Israel themselves. Really in this chapter, it's just a lot of negative preaching toward a lot of different groups of people that God's angry with. God's upset with a lot of different groups in this passage.
He's talking about in verses 1 through 3, Lebanon and Bashan. These are countries that are just right around Israel. Jordan also is one that today we know as a modern Middle Eastern country, just east of Israel. Lebanon is there. He's talking about punishing these different groups and he says, "Open thy doors, O Lebanon," verse 1, "that the fire may devour thy cedars." Lebanon in the Bible is always known for having great cedar trees. God's saying that as a punishing he's going to send a great forest fire that's going to burn up their cedar trees. Whether that's literal or whether that's metaphorical, the fact that he's going to destroy their glory, bring them down and bring punishing upon them.
Even today the flag of Lebanon has a picture of a cedar tree on it. It says in verse 2, "Howl, fir tree, for the cedar is fallen, because the mighty are spoiled; howl, O ye oaks of Bashan, for the forest of the vintage is come down. There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds, for their glory is spoiled; a voice of the roaring of young lions, for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. Thus saith the Lord my God: “Feed the flock of the slaughter, whose possessors slay them and hold themselves not guilty; and they that sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich’; and their own shepherds pity them not.
What I always think of when I read this verse, number 5, "Whose possessors slay them and hold themselves not guilty," it always reminds me of when the police do some kind of a misconduct and then thy do an internal investigation where they investigate themselves. Then they usually always find themselves not guilty as they investigate themselves. You know, "We did an internal investigation and we decided that we didn't do anything wrong." That's what this reminds me of.
In their own eyes, they're not guilty, they hold themselves not guilty. The Bible says, "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes and yet is not washed from their filthiness." The Bible says that, "Every man's ways are right in his own eyes, but it's the Lord that weighs the spirits." God is the one who decides who is right. These people hold themselves not guilty. In their own eyes they're very righteous and Godly. It says that they possess the flock but they don't feed the flock. They don't pity the flock. They're not really taking care of the flock. They are more like those who own the flock. Let's look at some New Testament scriptures that tie in with this. These people say partway through verse 5, "Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich." This sounds like some preachers that are on TV today, who literally will get on TV and praise the Lord for their great riches.
They've been teaching things which they ought not for filthy [lukers 00:04:32] sake. I don't know if you've heard this. I don't know how many TV preachers you've listened to, hopefully not that many. I know that there have been times when over the years, I had tuned in to these as a teenager or driving down the road, tuned into them on the radio. I remember one time, I was flipping channels and I tuned to Joyce Meyer. Joyce Meyer was talking about how she had these real expensive rings on her finger and how anybody who criticizes her for wearing these really super expensive rings is not right with God. Why aren't they just happy that God's blessed her so much that she has these riches and that she has these wonderful expensive rings on her fingers?
In reality, the Bible says that women should not be adorned in costly apparel, gold, silver and precious stones. She's just bragging about having these super expensive jewelry and how, "Well that's just God blessing me." Let's look at some New Testament scriptures that kind of tie in with this. Go to 1 Timothy chapter 6. Very familiar passage, one of my favorite passages actually. 1 Timothy chapter 6. This is where we derive that famous statement that the love of money is the root of all evil. All the modern versions will kind of tone this down to saying, "Well, it's a root of evil." The King James Bible says that love of money is the root of all evil.
I've heard so many people criticize this verse and say, "Well the King James Bible is wrong because how could the love of money be the root of all evil?" When man fails to understand God's word, sometimes he changes God's word. He doesn't understand so he says, "Well this can't be right. Let's change it to something else." That's what these modern versions have done. These so called scholars that are so smart somehow can't figure out how the love of money is the root of all evil, even though they're so smart supposedly. What you have to understand is that according to Hebrews 11 verse 3, "Through faith, we understand." Through faith we understand that the [inaudible 00:06:45] framed by the word of God. The things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
According to the Bible creation is not understood by a scientist in a laboratory somewhere as well as by the person who just understands through faith. What do I mean by that? Through faith we understand because of the fact that understanding the Bible starts with believing the Bible. If you just wait until you understood everything in the Bible and then you're going to believe it, once it all makes perfect sense to you and you understand all of it, then you're never going to believe the Bible because you're never going to understand everything in the Bible. The Bible is so much deeper than our minds are capable of going. The person who with child like faith believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit and picks up the Bible every day and says, "Open thou mine eyes that I may be behold wondrous things out of thy law." That person will understand the Bible.
Even Jesus when he was on this earth was constantly telling the disciples, "Unto you, it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Unto them it is not given. That hearing, they may hear and not understand. Seeing they might see and not perceive." God is the one who gives wisdom to the wise, it says over an over again in the book of Daniel. He's the one who gives the interpretation of a dark saying. These unsaved so-called theologians and scholars that don't have faith in the preservation of God's word, they don't have faith in the traditional text of God's word, so they seek to innovate new Bible versions and new underlying Greek texts to publish. You know, the twenty-seventh addition, the twenty-eight addition of the UBS Greek New Testament. If you actually just take the Bible for what it says and just believe it, that the love of money is the root of all evil, actually understanding will come.
Look at verse 10 there, "For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." People who don't understand the statement, "The love of money is the root of all evil," have failed to read the context. The context actually explains why that statement is so true. Look at verse number 9, it says, "But they that will be rich," meaning those who want to be rich, "Fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts." Does it say, "People who want to be rich, they just love money and only sins associated with greed afflict them?" Only sins that have to do with money. That's the only type of sin they go into. Is that what it says? No. It says, "They that will be rich, fall into temptation and snare and to many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition."
Then it says, "For." What does "for" mean? Because, "The love of money is the root of all evil." When you start out a statement with "for" you should see what it's there for. What comes before? He says, "People who want to be rich, go into all these other foolish and hurtful lusts and that's why the love of money is the root of all evil, because it does that to them." Does everybody understand that? There have been all kinds of stories. Like people said, "How could the love of money be the root of all evil? What about rape?" Here's the thing, people who love money have often committed the sin of rape. There are even stories you could read up on. There was a famous rapist that I read up on, and it all started when he got into Amway, literally, and started going to these seminars with Amway that were telling him, "You need to be rich. It's okay if you lose your friends because you're going to have a Porsche and you're going to live in a mansion."
He went to these Amway meetings that taught the love of money. This guy just got worse, worse and worse of a person. Eventually, he did become a famous serial rapist. I forget the guy's name off the top of my head. The bottom line is that what the Bible is teaching here is that when you get caught up in the love of money, you are opening yourself up to all types of sin. That's why the love of money is the root of all evil. Even before people become lustful of things like fornication and adultery, they already start loving money even before that because even a little child who hasn't even reached puberty can still love money. Even a 5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 year old can love money. Right? Can desire and covet goods, things that they don't have and toys and go through the catalog and, "Oh I want. Oh I wish I had this. I want this. When I grow up I want to be rich. I want to make all kinds of money." They're already going down a bad road.
Children, I hope you're listening to this sermon and deciding that you're going to be a contented person and not one who loves and desires money. We brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. Having food and raiment, let us be there with content. They that will be rich fall, the Bible says. What made me think of Zechariah chapter 11 is when we back up. The Bible talks about corrupt teachers. It says in verse 5, "Perverse disputings of man of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth. Supposing that gain is Godliness from such which [inaudible 00:12:31]." Do you see that? Supposing that gain is Godliness. They think that when you gain money, when you gain wealth, that that makes you Godly.
There are the prosperity preachers of this world who say that God's blessing in your life will manifest in you having all these riches and making all this money. Whereas the Bible teaches the exact opposite. Brother Miller preached on it recently when I was out of town. I'm not going to re preach that sermon. The bottom line is that there are false teachers out there who say, "Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich." As it says in Zechariah. Here, it says they think that gain is Godliness and we need to stay away from people like that that teach that. That teach that the blessing of the Lord is financial riches and that it's a fancy car, fancy house. We need to put ourselves away from covetess people that are like that.
He says these people are destitute of the truth. That word, "destitute" of the truth, that's a pretty strong word. It makes me picture somebody out in the middle of the desert and there's no water anywhere. If the truth represented water and foliage, they're just in a Sahara Desert of just wasteland of just no truth at all in these people. He's saying that's how far you are from the truth if you think that gain is Godliness. Again, the modern Bible versions, they pervert this point too. If you look this up in one of your modern perversions of the Bible, instead of saying supposing that gain is Godliness, it will say well they think that Godliness is gain. They'll get it backwards to the point where, you know, Godliness with contentment is great gain. We brought nothing into this world and it's certain we can carry nothing out. They mess that up. They mess up pretty much everything that they touch because they're not saved. It's spiritually discerned and so they don't get it.
They laugh at the verse that says the love of money is the root of all evil because they're too foolish to understand it in the context of verse 9. That verse came to mind. Go back if you would to Zechariah chapter 11. He said, "Blessed be the Lord," these people that sell them. These people who don't take care of the flock. They don't pity the flock. They hold themselves not guilty. They say, "Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich." They don't care that the people are suffering or that the people are not learning the word of God. That the people are failing. Just as long as they're making money, they're laughing all the way to the bank.
It says in verse number 6 of chapter 11 there in Zechariah, "For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land,” saith the Lord. But lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of his king; and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. And I will feed the flock for slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves: the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me." Jump down if you would to verse 11. I'll come back but in verse 11 it says, "It was broken in that day, and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord."
Notice what he says here. He's talking about how he's going to punish the shepherds, he's going to punish the great man of the land but that he's going to feed the poor of the land. He's going to take care of his flock which are the poor. Jesus said, "Blessed are ye poor. Yours is the kingdom of heaven." If you would, flip over to James chapter 5. James chapter 5 in the New Testament. We have a tendency to elevate people who are rich and to look down upon people that are poor. Right? James actually talks about this a lot. He pretty much brings this up in some way shape or form in all 5 chapters of the book of James. James this is kind of a reoccurring theme.
This kind of goes with the pastors who wear the fancy Italian suits and they drive the Jaguar. They drive the fancy car and they wear the jewelry. A lot of times people will have more respect for that person when they walk in the room because they're dressed so nice. They think, "Oh, this pastor must be a really big important pastor because look at the riches. Look at the fancy clothing and the fancy cars." That's actually a wicked mentality. The Bible says that that type of respect of persons where we look at a rich person and think of them as being more important than a poor person, is a wicked sin according to the book of James. Over and over again he deals with this. Let's just look at a few examples.
Verse 1 of chapter 5, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupt and your garments moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days." These are pretty strong words, aren't they? Rebuking the rich. He says, "Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You've lived in pleasure on the earth and been wanton. Ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You've condemned and killed the just, and he did not resist you."
The Bible does teach that there are some righteous people who are rich. The Bible gives instructions to them. For example in 1 Timothy 6 he's charged them that are rich in this world they be not high minded nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good. That they be rich in good works. Ready to distribute. Willing to communicate. Laying up and storing for themselves a good foundation against the time to come [inaudible 00:18:29] to what? The Bible is saying that rich people can do right and they can be used by God. They can be a blessing but they have a tendency to be bad people. Why? Because those that want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish [inaudible 00:18:46] lusts.
The Bible teaches that we should not labor to be rich. We should not desire to be rich. We should not strive to be rich. That people who do are bad people. Therefore, most rich people are bad people. Does everybody understand the logic here? If you spend your life seeking money, loving money, wanting to be rich, that makes you a bad person. Therefore most of the people who get to that destination of riches are bad people. There are some people who are born with great riches and are good people. Or people who work hard at their job or work hard in business and they're not really setting out that they really want to be rich, but God just blesses them and they just end up making a lot of money and just doing really well financially.
Those aren't bad people because they're keeping their priorities right. They're still loving and caring for their family. They're still active in their local church. They still love the Lord and put in first, but they get rich in the process just because they succeed. Their business booms or they might strike some great discovery, some great invention, or start up a business at the right place at the right time. There's nothing wrong with that. God gives instructions to that person of how to retain their integrity and Godliness as a rich person. It's not that all rich people are bad, it's just that most rich people are bad people. By the way, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved. That's what the Bible says.
The Bible says with man it's impossible but with God all things are possible. The rich man can be saved but it's very difficult. The Bible says, "How hardly shall they that trust in riches enter into the kingdom of God." It's very hard for them, that trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God. That's what we're talking about here, the bad rich people which is most of them. Go back if you would to James chapter 2. The Bible says in verse 1, "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come into your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment, and you have respect him that weareth the gay clothing."
Again, "gay" used to just mean cheerful, happy. It used to be that people that had money would wear really bright colors. They could afford the died fabrics that would produce those bright colors. Whereas poor people are just wearing the basic color that the cotton is, the color that the linen is, or whatever the case may be. Now a days of course, it's really cheap to wear "gay" clothing. You see joggers all the time with the bright orange, the neon pink and the neon green. It doesn't mean that they're independently wealthy. That could come from Walmart, for a few bucks you can get the neon t-shirts and whatever.
Back then, it was a status symbol because you had to make dyes and they didn't have the chemistry that we have today to make cheap dyes so they would have to get them from very expensive sources. If somebody has "gay" clothing it means that basically, they come in dressed in a very bright colors and a very cheerful. It's not saying that they got their clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch. Or that they got their clothes at Urban Outfitter, and they're wearing "gay" clothing. That's what it means today. We got to get the 16 11 definition here. It doesn't mean that they're showing up in like skinny jeans. Right? Looking like a queer little sissy.
It says you have respect in that weareth the gay clothing. This is sort of like dawn we now are gay apparel. "Say unto him, “Sit thou here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “Stand thou there,” we don't even have a seat for you. "Stand thou there" or, “Sit here under my footstool.” Are you not then partial in yourselves and have become judges with evil thoughts?" Watch this key verse here in verse 5. "Hearken, my beloved brethren: Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? But ye have despised the poor."
What's the Bible saying? God actually prefers the poor. We despise the poor. We look down on the poor. We look up to rich people like, "Oh wow, they're so wonderful because they're rich." God actually prefers the poor. He says, "But you've despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you and draw you before the judgment seats?" It's not usually poor people that are reigning over us and taking away our freedoms. Think about the members of congress, they're pretty much all millionaires, every single one of them virtually. They have all kinds of money and wealth. It's usually rich men who oppress us. It's usually rich men who would sue us, draw us before the judgement seats.
He says, "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" Again, God is saying here that we should never look down on people for being poor. Never look down on people for having a blue collar job either. And say, "Oh, oh, well he's a carpenter. He's a landscaper. A plumber, electrician," or whatever. "You know he's a garbage man." You know what? I have way more respect for a garbage man, plumber, carpenter, trash collector, ditch digger, landscape. I have way more respect for an honest blue collar tradesman than I do for a bunch of politicians, bankers and people that are working in all kinds of shady industries where they move numbers around and rip people off. What's wrong with having an honest job? What's wrong with working by the sweat of your face all the days of your life? We shouldn't look down.
I'm not against those who have a white collar job. If you work in an office, with computers and stuff, so long as you're not doing something dishonest, great. We should never think that somehow the blue collar job, that guy is lower. In the church, we're all equal. Especially in the church, we don't care weather you are dirt poor or whether you are making six figures. You know what? Everybody in this church should be treated the same and not be given preferential treatment because they have more money or less money. God has chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith. No gain is not Godliness. It's not blessed be the Lord for I am rich. No, actually, it's the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. It's blessed be the name of the Lord because I have nothing but I'm saved. Having food and raiment say blessed be the Lord. Not just, "Well God's blessed because I'm rich." No. God's blessed when I'm not rich too.
We should just be content to have food and raiment. I believe that God will always provide us food and raiment. The Bible says, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. My God shall supply all your need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus." Let's go back to Zechariah chapter 11. He says, "I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock." He's calling them flock of the slaughter because he's talking about how the bad shepherds were slaying them. He says, "I will feed them." Then he says partway through verse 7, "And I took unto me two staves." Staves is the plural of the word staff. Okay? S-T-A-F-F, a staff. Like a shepherd has a staff. Staves in the Bible, it's a very common word and it's just the plural of the word staff.
He says, "I took two staves. The one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me." I talked about this last week. These shepherds are again the false pastors, false teachers, the false prophets. He says, "I loathe them. I hated them." A lot of people will teach this doctrine that God loves everybody. It sounds great on the surface. It's pretty easy to fall for this because you hear it so much. If you haven't read the Bible cover to cover, it's pretty easy to believe this lie that God loves everybody. In fact, I grew up being taught and believing that God loves everybody.
One time I was a teenager and this girl walked up to me and she asked me, she said, "Does God love everybody?" This was before I read the Bible cover to cover. I was only 15 years old. She walked up to me and said, "Does God love everybody?" I said, "Yes he does." She said, "Okay, what about this verse?" She showed me the verse where it said, "Jacob I loved but Esau I hated." I looked at that verse and I said, "Well you know what? I guess you're right, God doesn't love everybody." You know? When I saw it in the Bible. Then when I read the Bible cover to cover, I found like 22 verses where God talked about hating people.
For example, in the book of Hosea, he even in the same verse he says, "All their wickedness and guilt is in Gilgal. Therefore, I hated them." Then he even says a few phrases later, "I will love them no more." Some people will try to say, "Well, he both loves and hates them. Kind of a love hate thing." No, he said, "I hate them. I will love them no more." Sometimes people seek to oversimplify the Bible. Oversimplify the things of God. I will say this, the Gospel is simple, being saved is real simple. The Bible talks about how the Gospel is known as the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. We don't want the devil to beguile us from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus, unto some complicated Gospel, some complicated process to be saved. No, salvation's real simple. You just have to have that child like faith in Jesus, just like a little child.
Somebody told me recently, "There's no way you were saved when you were 6. There's no way you could have understood that when you were 6 years old." This person doesn't understand the simplicity of the Gospel. I understood it perfectly well when I was 6 years old. That I was a sinner, that I was doomed to hell and that Jesus died for my sins because he loved me. That he rose again from the dead and that if I just would put my faith in him, I would be saved. I understood that as a little 6 year old child. I trusted Jesus Christ as my savior and I knew I was saved and I've known I was saved ever since. It's very simple.
Here's the thing, not everything in the Bible is that simple. Is it? The Bible talks about how there's the milk of the word and then it talks about how there's the strong meat of the word. There are some things in the Bible that are simple, some that are complicated. There are some books in the Bible that are very easy to understand. A lot of times we'll tell people, "Hey start reading the book of John because it has a lot of really easy to understand teachings in it." Right? We don't tell people, "Hey, start in the book of Hebrews." "Oh you just got saved? Okay, well let's start you out in Ezekiel." Whoa. It's a strong meat. You want to start them out on the milk, something easy, then they can build up to that which is more difficult and that which is harder.
We got to be careful that we don't try to just oversimplify everything in the Bible. Some things are not as simple as you might want them to be. The Bible says, "How long, O ye simple ones will ye love simplicity?" Scorners delight in their scorners and fools hate knowledge. Sometimes we need to learn that some subjects are not as simple as we want it to be. It sounds real simple to just say, "Well God is love, therefore God loves everybody, no matter who. He just loves everybody." Pedophiles, the Pope, Charles Manson, he just loves everybody. That's not what the Bible teaches though. In fact, frequently throughout the Bible there are scriptures where God talks about hating people. For example, the Bible says in Psalm 11 verse 5 it says, "The Lord trieth the righteous; but the wicked and him that loveth violence, His soul hateth."
God so hateth those who love violence according to Psalm 11 verse 5. God talks about how all the people who dwelled in the land of Canaan before the children of Israel committed all these horrific abominations and he lists all the perversions that they committed in Leviticus 18 including sodomy. He lists many perversions. He says that because they did all these filthy things I abhor them. There are many places where God talks about hating, abhorring, loathing. One of the people that God hates according to the Bible is those who are a false prophet. That's why he says, "Let them be accursed." People who speak lies in the name of the Lord and damn souls to hell with a false gospel, he says of these shepherds that he cut off, "My soul loathe them."
You're, "Oh wait, it said loved." No, don't do that see and say reading method. Okay? Sound that out. Use phonic. L-O-T-H, not L-O-V-E. L-O-T-H-E-D. My soul loathed them which is synonymous with he hated them. It says their soul also abhorred me. It's teaching us also that these false teachers, they're not just a little bit dictatorially challenged, but that they actually hate God. That's why they teach lies. Again, I've preached other sermons on that. There's plenty of scripture. You don't believe me on that, well you just go home, get your Bible out, get a concordance out or get on the internet and use a Bible search engine. Look up the word hate, abhor, loathe, and you'll see that there are plenty of examples of this, about God despising certain people. God loved.
You say, "God so loved the world." Yeah, God so loved the world. God loved everyone at some point. Everyone has a chance to be saved. He died for everyone. He loved everyone. There comes a time where it gets to late for people where he says, "I'll love them no more." You can't love someone no more unless you used to love them. Right? Everybody starts out obviously loved of the Lord. Jesus died for everybody. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. When people grow up and they hate God and don't even want to retain God in their knowledge, the Bible does say in Romans 1 that he will give them over to a reprobate mind. He will reject them and doom them and damn them. That is a Bible doctrine.
You say, "Well I just like it better that God just loves everybody." Yeah, but that's not true though. That flies in the face of scripture. We have to study the whole Bible and not just take the parts of the Bible that we like but take the whole Bible and get a balanced view of the love of God and the hatred of God. The wrath of God and the mercy of God. The judgement of God and the grace of God. We need to understand all of these doctrines in order to have a mature view of scripture and understand the Bible fully. He says in verse number 9, "Then said I, “I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die, and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.” And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people."
I got to hurry for the sake of time. There's so much to cover in this latter part of the chapter. Notice what he says here in verse tonight, "I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people." You might say to yourself, "Why would God break his covenant? God doesn't seem like the type that would break a promise or break a vowel or break a deal that he made. Right? He says that he's going to break his covenant."
Also if we go to the Mosaic law, there's a scripture where he says, "You shall know my breach of promise." What does that mean? You have to understand that the covenant that God made with Israel was not unconditional. It was a conditional covenant. A covenant is an agreement or promise or deal between 2 people. Go to Hebrews and I'll show you what I mean. Hebrews chapter 8. It was not an unconditional promise that God made unto Israel. If God made an unconditional promise to Israel and then he broke that covenant, that would make God a liar, wouldn't it? Yeah. God cannot lie, the Bible says. The Bible says in hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie promised before the world began. God's never going to break that promise of eternal life because the condition of our eternal life is believing on Jesus.
Once we believed in Jesus, we're saved. Then at that point, there's nothing that we could ever do to lose our salvation because we have eternal life at that point. The Bible says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not, is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Notice the past tense. He hath not believed meaning he never believed. Once you believed, you have eternal life. The one that's not saved it says he hath not believed. That's why Jesus will say one day, "Depart from me, I never knew you." Not, "I used to know you." That's a promise God will never make.
The promise made to Israel was not a promise that said, "Hey if you just believe on me, you'll be the chosen people forever." No, he said in the Old Testament, and we're not talking about salvation here with this first covenant. We're talking about the fact that he told the children of Israel, "If you will keep my statutes and if you will worship me and follow my word, then you will dwell in this promised land. Then you shall be my people and I will be your God." That was the conditional promise he made to Israel. You will be a chosen generation. You will be the chosen people if you follow my word. You will inherit this land if you do right. That's why when they lacked faith in the wilderness, he didn't bring them into the promised land. Why? He didn't owe that to them. If they didn't do their part, he didn't do his.
That's why when they sinned against the Lord, he would often take them out of the land, put them in captivity in a foreign land. That's why there were times like even in the Old Testament in the book of Hosea where he says to them, "You're not my people, I'm not your God." Then he permanently took that away from them in the book of Matthew when Jesus said, "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation, and bringing forth the fruits thereof." That parable of the fig tree represents Israel where it withered up and Jesus said, "No fruit will ever grow on you again."
Look at Hebrews chapter 8 verse 7. The Bible says, "Now if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, He saith, “Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord." What he's saying here is that the new covenant is not according to the old covenant. You know what that means? The new covenant is a completely different covenant. It's not according to the old covenant. It's not according to the covenant he made with their fathers in the day where he took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant and I regarded them not thus saith the Lord.
This new covenant's not like that. Once you believe on him, you're the chosen people and he'll never leave you or forsake you. It's a different covenant in the New Testament. It says here that he found fault with them, that's why he had to make a new covenant. He says, "They continued not in my covenant." Look at the very end of verse 9, "And I regarded them not, saith the Lord." Let me ask you this, should we regard those whom the Lord regardeth not? If God looks at the children of Israel today who reject the Lord Jesus Christ, who have not continued in the old covenant. In fact the old covenant has been abolished because look at verse 13, "In that He saith “a new covenant,” He made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." 2,000 years later, it's gone. It vanished away over 1,900 years ago. Now we have this fraud of the nation of Israel that I don't regard as the nation of Israel because God doesn't regard them.
He says, "I regarded them not." What does it mean to regard them? It basically means to acknowledge them and respect them as being the people of God. He's saying, "I don't regard them as that." To regard something or someone as something means to consider them that. God doesn't consider them his people so I don't consider them God's people either. It wouldn't make any sense to do otherwise. Does everybody see that in the scripture? It's pretty clear in this passage. It says, "They continued not in the covenant, and I regarded them not. I made a new covenant and under the new covenant, the way to be the chosen people is not by being part of a physical nation, it's by believing in Jesus."
You say, "Yeah but it's a new covenant with Israel and Judah." Right, it is. Everybody else too. It also includes Israel and Judah. If they want to be graft in ... If the wild branches can be graft in how much more can the natural branches be graft in if they'll believe on Christ. If they don't believe on Christ, they are nothing. They're nobody. People resist that doctrine simply because there's a political agenda as to support Israel. That political agenda has a lot of money behind it. They have a whole army of preachers that have been paid off, TV preachers who say, "Blessed be the Lord for I am rich." And they teach this pro Israel doctrine. Then it filters down into the seminaries, colleges and it gets taught and repeated. It's not Biblical. It doesn't have a shred of evidence in the New Testament. Everything in the New Testament is clearly over and over again teaching that if you don't have the Son, you have the wrath of God on you. Jesus is our savior. You don't have the Father if you don't have the Son, et cetera, et cetera.
I think the best way to illustrate this would be in business when you make a contract with someone, there's something called material breach of contract. Then there's immaterial breach of contract. Who knows what I'm talking about? Put up your hand if you know. I knew you would know. Few people know what I'm talking about. If I make a contract with somebody sometimes it will be like 30 pages long and have all this fine print in the contract. Right? There's material breach of contract and immaterial breach of contract. Meaning, that if there's a contract and it lists a whole bunch of obligations, like for example, let's just use our contract here where we're renting this facility right here to have services in. We have a big long rental agreement. Super long. It has all kinds of rules and stipulations.
One of those is that we pay the rent every month. If I don't pay the rent, that's material breach of contract. Meaning, that's enough to where I've broken my end of the deal sufficiently to where he can break his end of the deal and throw us out. You didn't pay the bills. That's material breach of contract. What if we started just doing something really destructive to this building? We started burning a bunch of incense in here or something like we're Catholics or Orthodox. We're staining all the walls with black smoke. We're beating on drums real loudly during the week and the medical office next door is like, "Whoa we can't even perform our business." Or whatever. Whatever crazy things we do. It has to be really extreme of a breach of contract to be a material breach where, "Hey this deal's off. This deal isn't on." I was reading the rental agreement and it said in there, "Don't put any holes in the wall. Don't hang things on the wall." Like you put a nail and hang a picture or something. There was something in the contract like that.
What if I hammer a nail into the wall and hang a picture on the wall and then the landlord's like, "Ah! You just made the contract null and void. Your lease is done now because you put a hole in the drywall." No, because that's an immaterial breach of contract. Yes, I broke the contract but it's not a big enough deal to where the contract is just null and void. Whereas not paying the rent, that would be a material breach of contract. Does that make sense? If the landlord took away my personalized parking spot out there or something, he'd be breaking the contract but it wouldn't be like a material breach of contract like, "I'm not going to pay the rent because you took away my personalized parking spot." It's like, "Well no, you still have to pay the rent." It's an immaterial breach.
God has a contract with the children of Israel which says, "Look, you have to worship me, follow my ways and keep the commandments." Look, are they going to be perfect? No, of course not. They're going to make mistakes here and there because they're human. That's like an immaterial breach of contract. When you crucify the Son of God, that's a material breach of contract. When you spit 3 times every time you hear his name. When you sit there and say, "We will not have this man to rule over us." When you say "His blood be on us and on our children," that's a material breach of contract at that point. When you start bringing in idols and worshiping Baal and sacrificing your sons and daughters unto idols.
When you bring in a graven image and set it up in the house of God, that was a material breach of contract. Does everybody understand? It's not just if they committed any sin but rather if they broke the major, main agreement. Maybe that went over some people's head but I hope you understood what I said because I think that's a good way to understand this covenant, this agreement that he had with the children of Israel.
Let's hurry up here for sake of time. Put your finger in Zechariah 11 and let's go to Matthew 27. Matthew chapter 27. Matthew chapter 27 and then we're also back in Zechariah 11. Look what the Bible says in Zechariah chapter 11, verse number 20. I'm sorry, verse number 12. Zechariah 11 verse 12. "I said unto them, “If ye think good," this is the Lord speaking, "If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear.” So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, “Cast it unto the potter” — a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel."
If you would, flip over to Matthew 27 where we are and look at verse number 1. This is about Jesus being betrayed of Judas. It says in verse 1, "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontus Pilate, the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? See thou to that!” And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.” And they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called the Field of Blood unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they the of children of Israel did value, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.” Who was it that was priced at 30 pieces of silver?
Congregation: Jesus Christ.
Pastor: Jesus Christ was priced at 30. Judas goes to them and says, "How much money will you give me to betray Jesus." They say, "We will give you 30 pieces of silver." That is the price that he was priced at. Now look back at Zechariah chapter 11 verse 12, "And I said unto them, “If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear.” So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord," notice the capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, "Said unto me, “Cast it unto the potter” a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." That's Jehovah, that L-O-R-D, what's known as the tetragrammaton, the 4 letter Old Testament name of God, that we pronounce in English as Jehovah.
He's saying right there, I was valued at 30 pieces of silver. Who was valued at 30 pieces of silver? Jesus. This is another great proof of the deity of Jesus Christ because it says in Matthew 27, "Him that was priced," referring to Jesus. And here, Jehovah God, the Lord says, "I was priced at 30 pieces of silver." That's a great ... I've shown that to Jehovah Witnesses before in their Bible because they think that Jesus is not God. They think he is a created being. They think he's Michael the Archangel, et cetera. It says here that Zechariah he throws down this money in the house of the Lord which is actually picturing hundreds of years later when Judas would throw down the money in the house of the Lord, the 30 pieces of silver. It's prophetic.
What some people get hung up on, again it goes back to what I was saying earlier in the sermon about, "Through faith we understand." Is that in Matthew 27, notice it said in verse 9, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet." People will often say, "Well, you know, that's a mistake in the Bible because it wasn't really Jeremy, it was Zechariah that taught that." Has anybody ever heard that brought out before? When people are trying to show contradictions in the Bible. Then there are other theologians who try to explain this because again, they're not that smart. They come at it from this angel.
"Well back in those days, when you got a copy of the Bible you'd often get them bundled. Like you'd get an Old Testament major prophet sort of bundled with the minor prophet. So the book said Jeremiah on the cover and the Zechariah was like an added bonus feature." This is what James White was coming at me with. I said to him, "Well do you have any evidence?" I asked him. I said, "Do you have any evidence of the Jew," because the Jews would often refer to the minor prophet by the major prophet that it was associated. As I said, "Do you have any evidence of any examples of that ever happening? Can you show me some documentation of the Jews of Jesus' day ever." He's like, "Well yeah, Matthew 27." That's called what? A circular argument. The only instance is the one we're talking about. You know of any other instance? No.
Here's the thing that they're not paying attention to. It says right here in verse 9, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet." That was spoken by Jeremy the prophet. Does that say that it was written in Jeremiah the prophet? No, it doesn't. It says it was spoken by Jeremy the prophet. I, the Bible believing Christian that I am, I just read that and you know what I walk away saying? Jeremy spoke that! That's what it says! Let me ask you this, does the fact that it's written in the book of Zechariah prevent Jeremy from having spoken it 100 years earlier or a few hundred years earlier? There's no way Jeremiah could have said that 100 years earlier because Zechariah wrote it 100 years later. Maybe Zechariah could write something that Jeremy said that didn't make ... Let me ask you this. Do you think that the book of Jeremiah contains everything that Jeremiah said in his whole life? Every sermon he preached, every word that he prophesied? No.
Jeremiah preached and prophesied for decades and then God put together the scripture as he saw fit of what would be written in the book of Jeremiah. That part didn't make it into the book of Jeremiah. Why? Because God wanted it to be written in the book of Zechariah, that's where he wanted it to be. Zechariah was going to act it out and throw down the money as a symbol unto the Israelites of that day and so forth. Again, it's not really that hard to take care of these so called contradictions if you actually just read it for what it says without a preconceived idea. It was spoken by Jeremiah. Jeremiah said a lot of things buddy. It's sort of like Enoch prophesied and we have it recorded in Jude. It's not recorded in the Old Testament. It's not recorded in Genesis anywhere. "Oh but the book of Enoch." Yeah, but the book of Enoch is a fraud and a fabrication. Obviously when people are reading the Bible and they see, "Oh, Enoch prophesied." It doesn't say it's written in the book of Enoch. It just says Enoch said this.
Then obviously some charlotton's going to come along and say, "Oh, Enoch said that. Let's create a book of Enoch filled with lies and let's put that quote in it." Right? "We'll put that quote in it and then people will think it's real." Sort of like the Bible will talk about other books like the book of Jashur, or it will bring out, "Hey the book of the writings of [inaudible 00:53:58] the prophet." Then of course there's going to be people who come out and write a fake book and call it the book of Jashur and write a false scripture and say, "Hey, this is the Epistle of the [inaudible 00:54:07]." You know. There's always going to be somebody that's willing to step in and create that false document. The fact that Jeremy spoke it is attested by Matthew 27. I believe it. Not that complicated. Zechariah wrote it down.
Again it says, I'll just quickly finish this up in Zechariah 11, verse 14. "Then I cut asunder my other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. And the Lord said unto me, “Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. For lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still; but he shall eat the flesh of the fat and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idle shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm and upon his right eye; his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly destroyed."
We don't really have time to go into every phrase there but the bottom line is he's talking about giving people the shepherd that they deserve. Raising up in the line of Israel a wicked shepherd that would leave the people astray and then punishing both the people and punishing their bad shepherd. Okay. God has a lot of enemies, my friend. There are a lot of people in this world that are displeasing to God. There are few people that please God. That's pretty clear as we read the Bible. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father we thank you so much for your word Lord and there's so much that we can talk about Lord, because your word is so deep. Father, I pray that a few things from tonight's sermon would stick with us. First of all, that we would always approach your word by faith and not go into it doubting it because if we go into it doubting it, then we're going to get all kinds of misunderstandings. Whereas through faith we understand it properly. Lord, help us to also understand that if we want to be blessed by you, we do need to keep your commandments Lord. Thank you for the New Testament. Thank you for our unconditional eternal live once we've met the condition of believing in Jesus. Lord, help us to be blessed by you by keeping your commandments Lord and doing the things that are pleasing in your sight. In Jesus name we pray, amen.