THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH AND THE MERCY OF GOD (Part 9)
Jehovah God Purifies the Priesthood and His People
“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan was standing at his right hand to resist him. Then the angel of Jehovah said to Satan: “May Jehovah rebuke you, O Satan, yes, may Jehovah, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this one a burning log snatched out of the fire?”” (Zechariah 3:1,2)
Jehovah is a slow to anger and merciful, He will have mercy to whom He will have mercy (Exodus 33:19; 34:6). It is evident that after 70 years of exile in Babylon, the true worship has undergone a true permeation of Babylonian customs or teachings (Zechariah 1:12). Jehovah showed understanding and mercy towards the high priest Joshuah. Nevertheless, he made sure that the situation did not last indefinitely because Jehovah is a Holy God: “Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and standing before the angel. The angel said to those standing before him, “Remove his filthy garments.” Then he said to him, “See, I have caused your error to pass away from you, and you will be clothed with fine garments.” So I said: “Let a clean turban be put on his head.” And they put the clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments; and the angel of Jehovah was standing nearby. The angel of Jehovah then declared to Joshua: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘If you will walk in my ways and carry out your responsibilities before me, then you will serve as a judge in my house and take care of my courtyards; and I will give you free access among these who are standing here’” (Zechariah 3:3–7).
This purification of the priesthood and of the people of God is also symbolized by the measuring of Jerusalem, that is to say, with the purpose to enter into the divine criteria of holiness to reach everlasting life: “So I asked: “Where are you going?” He replied: “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is her width and what is her length”” (Zechariah 2:2; 3:5–7). Measuring a city like Jerusalem or the temple sanctuary, according to Revelation 11:2, means the obedience to Jehovah God’s standards for holiness, both inside and outside the Christian congregation. The fact that the angel, in Revelation 11:2, asks the apostle John to “measure”, means that Jesus Christ instructed the elders, the stewards of the Christian congregation to judge or measure, in order to maintain the holiness in the Christian congregation (Matthew 18:18). Jesus Christ foretold that there would be several centuries of apostasy that would permeate Christianity (Matthew 13:24–30, 37–43). The consequence is that the Christian priesthood, and its teaching has been imbued with Babylonian practices and teachings, such as pagan holidays like Christmas, Easter (different from the Jewish Passover), All Saints’ Day, or even pagan teachings such as the Marian worship, the idolatrous worship of saints, the trinity, the immortality of the soul, fiery hell, the worship of the cross which thrones in many Christian congregations… All these pagan teachings of Babylonian or Greco-Roman origin, have no place in true worship (John 4:23,24).
While sincere Christians have been ignorant of such a situation for centuries, it is important that we purify the way we worship God and serve Jesus Christ, gradually removing all forms of unwanted spiritual practices in the eyes of God. This purification of the true worship was illustrated by the enigma of the woman and the ephah.
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