The warnings of the prophets have been left in the dust by many Christians today. Many believe that these warnings were for the Old Covenant believers and are irrelevant to the New Covenant, yet a close study of the words of the prophets will reveal that not only were they speaking of current events, they were also foretelling events that would happen up until the end of the world. Jesus gave us a warning about heeding the words of Moses and the prophets in his parable of Lazarus and the rich man:
“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” ~ Luke 16:31 (Jesus)
For this reason we encourage every honest Christian to consider the sayings of the prophets found in the bible. This bible was written for those chosen by God as a book of remembrance:
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” ~ Malachi 3:16
There are many things that one can learn from considering this holy word of God via the prophesies of Zechariah and Malachi, two prophets of the Old Testament. They both indicated that the hearts of these men under the Old Covenant had grown cold, like stone, as they dealt with each other treacherously and without mercy in the law towards one another:
“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.” ~ Zechariah 7:9-12
“The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.” ~ Malachi 2:6-12
You can see here that the main fault of those under the Old Covenant, was that they did not have love for one another, nor did they have love for God. They had no mercy or compassion in their hearts for each other, and they had strayed after other “strange” gods with their hearts. They failed to understand that to walk in God’s ways and in His laws, meant that they must learn to love one another. For this reason they were found “partial in the law”, missing an important part. They were quick to stone their neighbor for any violation of the law of Moses that was committed, and slow to extend mercy, understanding, and love. Jesus also highlighted this fault under the Old Covenant:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” ~ Matthew 23:23 (Jesus)
Both the prophets and Jesus pronounced the importance of judgment, mercy and FAITH in the covenant, all attributes that were overlooked. Faith as we know would be the key to the New Covenant, where like Abraham we obey the law of God because we have faith in God and Jesus Christ, faith in the promise of eternal life with the Father and Son, and love for God and neighbor. The prophets also indicated that the ordinances of God remain and they call for Isreal to return to obedience to the ordinances as they had fallen away from these too. They had oppressed the poor, the widow, the fatherless, etc. and ignored many points of the law.
“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” ~ Malachi 3:5-7
““For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up……………Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” ~ Malachi 4:1,4
Notice that this warning of Malachi refers to the end of days when the wicked will be burned up, and he brings focus back to obedience to the laws of Moses. Yet those under the Old Covenant, and still today many under the New Covenant refuse to return to obedience to the Father, and rather fail to see the “profit” in keeping His ordinances. Then and now, many walk after wickedness, and see those that were humbled and obedient before the lord as pitiful. They prop up those that are evil, and call the proud-happy.
“But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” ~ Malachi 3:14-15
These Israelites were in error, and Malachi was pointing out their error. You can see that their error involved the condition of their hearts. Today, many Christians also fail to see any profit in keeping the ordinances of God. Zechariah admonished the people that those that walk in the ways of God and keep his charge, will judge his house. We all know that this judgment comes at the end of the world, also known as judgment day:
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” ~ Zechariah 3:7
We can find in the words of the prophets that a significant teaching of walking in God’s ways, was to walk in love, with mercy and compassion for your neighbor in addition to upholding the ordinances found in the law of God. This promise to be able to judge the house of Israel from Zechariah is a great privilege that is granted to those that are truly obedient in mind, heart, and actions to God’s law.
Zechariah also brought many prophecies which serve to give us a glimpse into some events that will come at the end of the world. He speaks of a time when the Jews will once again recognize Jesus (the one whom they pierced) and recognize him as the Messiah. He tells us that they will mourn over him, as one would mourn over the loss of their firstborn son.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” ~ Zechariah 12:10-11
He tells us of the time in the end where two-thirds of God’s people will be cut off and will die, and one-third will remain to be “tried in the fire”, most likely through the tribulation period that will come in the end prior to Christ’s return. We know from scripture that unless this tribulation would be cut short, no flesh would be saved:
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” ~ Zechariah 13:8-9
Zechariah also tells us the fate of those that have fought against Jerusalem in the end. This is a fate that is rather gruesome and descriptive:
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” ~ Zechariah 14:15
This is a horrible end to those that are wicked and have fought against Jerusalem. This description was given to warn us of the true wrath of God that will come one day soon. It reminds me of the scene from the movie Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark pictured right. Although greusome, this is a reality that will be experienced by those that stand as enemies of God. Finally, Zechariah also speaks of the new Kingdom that is ruled by Jesus (the King/Lord of Hosts), where all that are left of the nations that have been destroyed, will come to Jerusalem every year to worship Jesus and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (A holy feast that has existed for the people of Israel from the time of Abraham). It mentions that those who refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship Jesus will receive no rain, and if they continue to disobey, will be “smitten.” Remember, this is a future time where Jesus rules all things:
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” ~ Zechariah 14:16-18
Remember, the Feast of Tabernacles, one of seven holy feasts established by God remains for the people of God today. It has been destroyed by the Beast (Rome and Catholicism), ignored, and replaced with pagan holidays which represent the worship of other gods. For more information on the Feasts, see the “God’s Calendar” page of this site. You can see here that not only is the Feast of Tabernacles relevant today spiritually for the people of God, but it will remain relevant in the Kingdom of God that will be ruled by Jesus himself. There are many things we can learn from the prophets that are extremely relevant for us today, and we encourage you to study and search the scriptures so that you can consider these things. Jesus warned us not only to heed his words, but also the words of Moses and the prophets. Notice that the teachings of the prophets, and the teaching of Jesus are in unison. Uphold the law and don’t neglect its weightier matters- love, judgment, mercy and faith. The bible was written for our learning, and as a tool for remembrance of the truth for those that fear God. Please consider its testimony.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:18-19 (Jesus)