Daily Encouragement

January 1 – Welcome to the Challenge!

January 1
Genesis 1:1-2:25
Matthew 1:1-2:12
Psalm 1:1-6
Proverbs 1:1-6

Welcome to the 2021 Bible Reading Challenge! We’re glad you’re joining with us in 2021 to read thru the Bible. The first day of year is a new day – we can move past the failures of the past and start the year right – and what better place to start the year than in God’s Word as we begin 2021!

Genesis 1:1 talks about where the world began. If you’ve been to the Creation Museum, you’ve seen an incredible exhibit on the amazing work of God. If you were in the planetarium and saw the Created Cosmos presentation, you saw how amazingly immense the universe is – and yet the universe is so insignificant to God He just says he “created the heaven.”

Genesis 1:3 – If you’re wondering how you can have light before the sun – ICR’s Defender Study Bible notes:

The existence of visible light prior to the establishment of the sun, moon and stars (Genesis 1:16) emphasizes the fact that light (energy) is more fundamental than light givers. God could just as easily (perhaps more easily) have created waves of light energy as He could construct material bodies in which processes function which generate light energy. The first is direct (since God is light!), the second indirect. For the creation of such light generators, see note on Genesis 1:14.


Need to remember the days of creation? Patch is here to help!

Matthew 1 – Congrats on making it thru your first set of genealogies! While many skim thru the genealogies – there’s some interesting names you can catch – 1:3 – Tamar, 1:5 – Ruth,  1:6 – Uriah; these three people would not be found in an elitist pedigree (each brings up a embarassing story), but God in His mercy allowed them to be part of the family tree of His Son!

Psalm 1 – Here’s an outline of the chapter – notice the parallelism of the contrast:

By the way – did you catch the blessing God has for you in Psalm 1? If you delight in His law – God has a blessing for you! (And if you want to memorize Psalm 1 – Patch the Pirate has a great song to help you!)

And if you need wisdom, Proverbs 1 reminds you that’s what this book is about.

Welcome to the Bible Reading Challenge – I’m excited to travel with you!


Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 31 – The Curse of the Old Testament, No Curse in the New Testament!

December 31
Malachi 3:1-4:6
Revelation 22:1-21
Psalm 150:1-6
Proverbs 31:25-31

Malachi 3:1 – A messenger who shall prepare the way of the LORD? Not preparing the way of a mere prophet, but the way of Yahweh Elohim, the LORD God! When the messenger arrives, behold “He shall come!” This is the same promise that Isaiah 40:3 shares, and was fulfilled by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, Matthew 11:10, John 1:23).

Malachi 3:5 – Who will He judge? Interesting that its similar to Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 22:15.

Malachi 3:11 – Why was Israel beset with famine? As a judgment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:3-4). Malachi reminds us of the lesson from Elijah in 1 Kings 17:13, if you will trust God with your resources (that came from Him), He will provide all that you need!

Malachi 3:14 – Ever get depressed and wonder what benefit there is to serving God? Demas did (2 Timothy 4:10). It’s ok to be depressed, but don’t let Satan change your beliefs – true, serving the Lord is not the highest dollar return on your time, but are you laying up treasure here or in heaven? (Matthew 6:19-21).

Malachi 4:2 – “Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! / Hail the Son of Righteousness! / Light and life to all He brings / Ris’n with healing in His wings!”


Malachi 4:5-6 – Elijah would come – John denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), but Luke clarifies that he would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17). Jesus Himself confirmed that John was the very messenger (Matthew 11:10) – “this is he.” And the Old Testament ends warning us that without repentance is “a curse.” (Malachi 4:6).

The Tree of Life”… A print from the Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations in the possession of Revd. Philip De Vere at St. George’s Court, Kidderminster, England.

Revelation 22:3 – The Old Testament ends with a curse – but the New Testament ends declaring “there shall be no more curse!”

Revelation 22:10 – Notice four promises of the unsealed prophecy:

  1. Reward (Revelation 22:12) – 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us that we will give an account of ourselves to God, and He will reward us (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).
  2. Reception (Revelation 22:14) – Jesus went to prepare a place for us (John 14:2-3), and He gave us power to become Sons of God (John 1:12) so we have the right to enter into the gates!
  3. Restrictions (Revelation 22:15) – Not everyone is going to heaven. Sin keeps you from heaven – even just one sin (James 2:10)!
  4. Return (Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20) – Jesus is coming!

Yes – the Wonderful word of the King is that Jesus is coming again!


Revelation 22:16 – Only Jesus can be the root and the offspring – the Father of David (Luke 3:38) and His Son (Luke 3:23)! He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13).

Revelation 22:17 – The final invitation of the Bible is to you to Come. Take of the water of life freely! Where is the water of life / living water found? Jesus told the woman at the well that He gives living water (John 4:10). If you haven’t come to Jesus yet – come to Jesus before Jesus comes again!

Psalm 150:6 – As we end this year of 2018 – I don’t know if you’ve been as blessed reading Revelation 22 as I have – I’m glad we came to Psalm 150 – Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Proverbs 31:30 – Beauty pageants focus on the wrong aspects of womanhood. Praise is for those who fear the LORD!

Daily Encouragement

December 30 – Any ol’ Thing or Only My Best?

December 30
Malachi 1:1-2:17
Revelation 21:1-27
Psalm 149:1-9
Proverbs 31:10-24 

Welcome to the last book of the Old Testament – Malachi! We’re just one day away from the end of the year – thank you for joining with us this year!

Malachi 1:2 – Stop and appreciate the first phrase of this declaration. “I have loved you!” God loves Israel, and God loves us!!

Malachi 1:13 – Have we ever thought going to church was “weariness”? Have we brought our best gifts to the LORD or have we brought our leftovers? As the satirical Patch the Pirate song reminds us, sometimes we say, “Any old thing will do for you


Our attitude should be, “Only my best will do for you!”

Malachi 1:14 – What does the LORD say about vows? Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 warns us that ”
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow.”

Malachi 2:7-8 – We see a strong warning for religious leaders. While we’re in the New Testament, we have similar warnings (James 3:1 – leaders will receive greater punishment, Luke 12:47 – shall be beaten with many stripes, Matthew 23:13 – problem with the scribes and Pharisees, 1 Corinthians 11:29 – “damnation to himself”).

Malachi 2:13 – Why won’t God receive our offerings? Peter tells us that if I am not “giving honour unto [my] wife” – my prayers will be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). Malachi elaborates on God’s hatred of divorce (putting away – Malachi 2:16). Jesus Himself reiterated this as well (Matthew 19:8). As we saw earlier, God’s treatment of us depends on how we treat our wives.

Revelation 21:4 No more night, no more pain. No more tears, no more crying again!


Revelation 21:7 – Not all are God’s children, only those who overcome? Who are the overcomers? Those who believe (Revelation 21:8).

Revelation 21:12-14 – Notice how God is uniting Israel (Revelation 21:12) and the Church (Revelation 21:14) for eternity in the eternal New Jerusalem!

Apocalypse 42. A new heaven and new earth. Revelation 21 v 29.
Petrus van der Borcht. . Phillip Medhurst Collection

Revelation 21:23 – Yes in the New Jerusalem, there is “No need of moon or stars by night, or sun to shine by day;”


Revelation 21:27 – God can’t let any sin into His heaven, and you must have an RSVP to enter. If you don’t know for sure that your name is in the Book of Life, make sure of that today! We saw yesterday what happens to those whose names are not found in the book (Revelation 20:15).

Psalm 149:5 – Yes it’s ok to sing alone and aloud! Praise ye the LORD!

Proverbs 31:10 – The Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat Burmese ruby sold at Sotheby’s in May 2015 for $25 million. I’m so thankful for my wife!

Proverbs 31:11 – We read earlier about the condemnation of men who cheat on their wives, and here we see praise for the woman who is safely trusted in by her husband. Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding in Cana (John 2), He loves Christian marriages!

Daily Encouragement

December 29 – Zechariah prophesied what the Angel said in Acts?

December 29
Zechariah 14:1-21
Revelation 20:1-15
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 31:8-9 

Zechariah 14:3 – Some think that the prophetic events were fulfilled in AD 70, but in AD 70 half the city wasn’t delivered by the LORD. According to Josephus, those who weren’t killed were enslaved (thanks to StackExchange for a great discussion). No, there’s coming a time when Jerusalem will again be under attack, and the LORD will defend them!

Zechariah 14:4 – Who will return to the mount of Olives? Acts 1:11-12 recounts the angels telling the disciples who were standing at the Mount of Olives , that Jesus who rose from the Mount, would return to the Mount!

Author’s Photo of the Mount of Olives

Zechariah 14:9 – In Mark 1:14 – Jesus began His ministry preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. But not until He returns again will the King reign on earth! And when the KIng reigns – there will be no more war (Zechariah 14:11).

Zechariah 14:12 – Calvary Chapel Jonesboro notes the similarities between this verse and a Neutron Bomb.

When this bomb blows the release of the neutrons are lethal to humans and any other animal life around it.  If you are within the radius of a neutron bomb you will be killed almost instantly.  If you are within the blast radius what will happen to you is eerily similar to what Zechariah describes in chapter 14 of his prophecy.  Any kind of flesh is destroyed by a kind of melting process as all the atoms are destroyed within it.  Thus Zechariah’s description of something that rots flesh, eyes, and the tongue are often compared to what happens at the detonation of a neutron bomb.


Zechariah 14:21 – No more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD? Hermenutics/StackExchange says:

The reason there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord is: if he be of a Canaanite heart, then his refusal to come will see him destroyed by the plagues and panic and drought of the day of the Lord. If, however, his Canaanite heart were converted and he come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, then he would no longer be of a Canaanite heart, i.e. not a Canaanite.


Revelation 20:4 – Many people hold to amillenialism – the view that there is not a literal ‘thousand year reign’ of Christ. However, six times in this one chapter we see recorded exactly one thousand years. And as we look around, it’s hard to argue that Satan is bound today. BibleStudyTools has a great chart of the attributes of the Millennium.

Revelation 20:8 – Notice that even though the Millennium is populated by faithful Jews and Gentiles, their offspring – even with Satan bound – will not all be faithful. God will allow Satan one last attempt to organize before the last judgment.

Revelation 20:10 – Hell is not forever. It will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). God didn’t make the lake of fire to burn man in – it was made for the devil (Revelation 20:10). But if your name is not found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:15), you’ll be cast into the lake of fire.

We don’t know what the lake of fire will look like – but on earth we can see “lava lakes” that burn eerily.
These are the Lava fountains in the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake, Kīlauea

Psalm 148:8 – Just like in Jonah, the stormy wind fulfills His Word! Why can’t we?

Psalm 148:14 – Let’s bring Glory to His Name!


Proverbs 31:8-9 – Today, there are poor and needy unborn children that are appointed to destruction. Let’s open our mouth for them!

Daily Encouragement

December 28 – The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

December 28
Zechariah 12:1-13:9
Revelation 19:1-21
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 31:1-7 

Zechariah 12:1 -The thought dawned on me the other day. Why would the God that “stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth” care about man? Why would the King of eternity care about temporal man? So much that He became a man (John 1:14) and is still a man (1 Timothy 2:5). The “transcendence” of God is an easy concept (for me at least) – that He is Great! But that He is Good to me – don’t miss the message of the Old Testament – the great God has a word for Israel, and this message He has for you and me as well!

Zechariah 12:4 – Revelation 9:16 talks about an army of 200,000,000 horsemen – what will stop them when they attack Jerusalem? The LORD will smite the horse and his rider!

Zechariah 12:10 – “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced”? The word “pierced” actually means “pierced” by the way according to the Englishman’s Concordance. When has the LORD been pierced? By his people?

In John 19:34, Jesus was pierced by the spear of the soldier. The very next verse John says “he that saw it bare record” – John can’t believe he saw it and then realized it was what Zechariah talked about almost 500 years earlier, and notes that (John 19:37).

But all Israel isn’t saved as Paul prays (Romans 10:1), but they will (Romans 11:26).

When Babylon has warred with the saints (Revelation 18:24), and attempted to war with Israel (Revelation 12:6), but the LORD protects Israel (Zechariah 12:7), then He will reveal Himself to them as He revealed Himself to Paul (Acts 9:5).

He will pour out “the spirit of grace and of supplications.” And they reference the “only son” – the “only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

Zechariah 13:6 – All of a sudden we see a shift from the false prophet that is thrust thru by their own parents (Zechariah 13:3), to the shepherd that is smitten and the sheep scattered (Zechariah 13:7). At first we think the whole passage is about false prophets – but Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7 as about himself (Matthew 26:31). However where this verse falls is much debated. John MacArthur thinks it talks about the false prophet covering up the marks of cultism. Most commentators agree, but some see an allusion to the Messiah.

Zechariah 13:9 – As Hosea 2:23 declares – God will reach out and say “It is my people!” God will reconcile His people to Himself! His people will declare “The LORD is my God!” – watch how this ties into the NT reading!

Revelation 19:1 – What will they say? Alleluia (Praise Ye the Lord) (Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:3, Revelation 19:4, Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:6).

Revelation 19:6 – George Frederick Handel wrote the Hallelujah Chorus using the words from this verse, and when it was played, King George II stood. The King stood for the King of Kings! (Revelation 19:16).

Revelation 19:7 – This passage talks about us – we are invited as the spouse of the Lamb – our wedding feast that John the Baptist alluded to in John 3:29, and Paul talked about in Ephesians 5:22-23.

Revelation 19:16 – See the Hallelujah Chorus above!

Psalm 147:1

Psalm 147:6 – The Great LORD (Psalm 147:5) who knows the name of every star (Psalm 147:4), identifies not with the “great” but with the meek (Psalm 147:6). Because compared to Him, nobody is great. Yes – He loves us, not because of anything good in ourselves (Titus 3:5).

Proverbs 31:4 – As Billy Sunday said, “I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic.”

Daily Encouragement

December 27 – What is the “latter rain”?

December 27
Zechariah 10:1-11:17
Revelation 18:1-24
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 30:33 

Zechariah 10:1David Wilkerson believes the “latter rain” is spiritual, talking about a revival move of the Holy Spirit. While the timing of the “latter rain” is a matter of eschatological dispute, Wilkerson adds helpful caution to his desire for Holy Spirit revival: “Many so-called Holy-Ghost movements vanished quickly because they were man-centered — focusing on gifts, blessings, self-improvement, happiness.”

However, we’re probably safer taking a narrower interpretation – within the context of the chapter, it’s referring to God’s future dealing with Israel not the Church. As the latter rain follows the early rain, God will deal with Israel again as merciful as in the past. Note the frequency of the word “again.”

  • “I will bring them again… they shall be as though I had not cast them off” (Zechariah 10;6)
  • “they shall remember me… turn again” (Zechariah 10:9)
  • “I will bring them again” (Zechariah 10:10)

Zechariah 10:4John MacArthur identifies this as a Messianic prophecy.

  • He notes “the corner” is the “precious cornerstone” in Isaiah 28:16, and the “stumbling stone” of Romans 9:32, and described in 1 Corinthians 1:23, Ephesians 2:20, Daniel 2:34, and Matthew 21:44.
  • He compares “the nail” to Eliakim in Isaiah 22:23, but where “the Eliakim nail will be cut off, not the nail that is referring to Christ. “
  • He argues that the “battle bow” is identified with Zechariah 9:13 and Revelation 19:11.

Zechariah 11:12-13 – 1 Peter 1:11 comes to mind – Zechariah must have wondered why God included this – and it wasn’t until Matthew 27:9-10 that it was identified as a Messianic prophecy. The New Testament attributes it to Jeremiah, the first of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

Zechariah 11:16 – God is raising up a bad shepherd? Similar to the lying spirit of 1 Kings 22:23, to bring judgment upon His people.

Revelation 18:4 – In 2 Corinthians 6:17, God says to come out from unbelievers – if you lose your father He will be a father to you.

Apocalypse 28. The destruction of Babylon. Revelation cap 18. Mortier’s Bible. Phillip Medhurst Collection

Revelation 18:24 – Many people wonder why God doesn’t judge the wicked – the problem is their timetable isn’t God’s. God will judge the wicked – He keeps track of every wrong.

Psalm 146:4 – Note the contrast – man returns to his earth (dirt), as opposed to the Maker of the earth (Psalm 146:6). Trust in the LORD!

Proverbs 30:33 – As James 1:20 tells us, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Daily Encouragement

December 26 – The woman rides the beast!

December 26
Zechariah 9:1-17
Revelation 17:1-18
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 30:32 


Zechariah 9:5Ashkelon was finally destroyed in 1270 by the Mamluk sultan Baybars, and is now an archaeological site.

Zechariah 9:7 – Modern Ashkelon and Ashdod are now Jewish cities under the sovereignty of the State of Israel.

Jesus enters Jerusalem and the crowds welcome him, by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320

Zechariah 9:9 – Notice: a) Rejoicing b) by Jews c) of Jerusalem d) the King e) having salvation f) riding upon the colt of an ass.

This verse is quoted verbatim in Matthew 21:5. Let’s see how it was fulfilled! (Salvation (e) was coming that very week!)

And brought the ass, and the colt (f), and put on them their clothes, and they set him (d) thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.And the multitudes (b) that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna (a) to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem (c), all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

Matthew 21:7-9

Zechariah 9:10 – His dominion – this goes back to Balaam’s prophecy of one having dominion in Numbers 24:19, and Bildad the Shuhite who knew that “dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace” (Job 25:2).

Specifically, this is the promise of Psalm 72:8 “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” David wished that of his son, Solomon, but Zechariah says that it hasn’t been fulfilled at the start of the post-exilic time period. Jesus the peace has come, and will return for His Kingdom (Mark 1:15, Revelation 19:16).

Zechariah 9:16 – The LORD will save His people! In Romans 11:26, we see all Israel shall be saved. Later on in Zechariah 12:10 we’ll see how it will happen in an incredible prophecy.

Revelation 17:3 – Where today do we find a woman riding a beast?

the founding myth of Europa and the bull has frequently been alluded to in relation to the continent and by the modern European Union, and can thus be considered not only a piece of toponymy, but also as a semi-official symbol or supranational personification of the European region.

2 Euro Coin, Europa Riding the Bull

Revelation 17:6 – From John Walvoord: “Many expositors refer this to Rome. Seven hills formed the nucleus of the ancient city on the left bank of the Tiber. These hills received the names of Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Capitoline.”

Revelation 17:10 – Also from John Walvoord:

What regal mountain, then, was in power at the time John wrote? There can be no question on that point; it was the Roman empire. Thus, then, we ascertain and identify the sixth in the list, which shows what sort of kings the angel meant. Of the same class with this, and belonging to the same category, there are five others—five which had then already run their course and passed away. But what five imperial mountains like Rome had been and gone, up to that time? Is history so obscure as not to tell us with unmistakable certainty? Preceding Rome the world had but five great names or nationalities answering to imperial Rome, and those scarce a schoolboy ought to miss. They are Greece, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt; no more, and no less. And these all were imperial powers like Rome. Here, then, are six of these regal mountains; the seventh is not yet come. When it comes it is to endure but a short time. 


Revelation 17:14 – The Lamb shall overcome! He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings! From our friend Patch the Pirate:


Psalm 145:3

Psalm 145:11 – While it’s considered a Christmas song, this song actually talks about the Second Coming of Jesus!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing


Proverbs 30:32 – Avoid pride, seek humility!

Daily Encouragement

December 25 – Prophecies of Jerusalem

December 25
Zechariah 8:1-23
Revelation 16:1-21
Psalm 144:1-15
Proverbs 30:29-31

On this day that people celebrate the Birth of Jesus – feel free to go back and read Luke 2 or Matthew 2 with your family!

Jimmy DeYoung Jr. teaching on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem (author’s photo)

Zechariah 8:3 – Over 2,000 years after Zechariah wrote these words about Jerusalem, it is still a controversial city.

  • The LORD is jealous of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:2)
  • The LORD will dwell in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3)
  • Old men and young boys will dwell there (Zechariah 8:4-5)
  • Jews will return to Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:8)
  • The Temple will be built (Zechariah 8:9)
  • God will bless the people of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:12)
  • The Jews in Jerusalem will be a blessing (Zechariah 8:13)
  • Fasting will be joy (Zechariah 8:19)
  • Gentiles will seek the LORD in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:22)

Zechariah 8:16 – Truth and Peace! As we’ve shown for the last few days, Jesus is the peace, and Jesus is the Truth! (John 14:6)

Zechariah 8:22 – In John 12:21, certain of the Greeks approached Philip and said, “We would see Jesus!” Yes – many people came to seek the LORD in Jerusalem – and once again they will come!

Zechariah 8:23 – We haven’t seen that happen yet – antisemitism is on the rise globally.

Revelation 16:1  – Sores, blood seas, blood rivers, scorching fire, darkness – notice the similarities between the 10 Plagues of Egypt: Sores/Boils (Plague 5&6), Water to Blood (Plague 1), Fire – fiery hail (Plague 7), Darkness (Plague 9).

Revelation 16:12 – The way of the Kings of the East. Some discuss whether or not it is the 200 million man army of Revelation 9:16. If so, the Chinese army is rumored to be around 200 million men. Others believe that it is a demonic army.

Revelation 16:15 – This is the fifth time that the LORD describes his coming as a thief. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3, Revelation 16:15, the coming is described as a thief – yet even some pre-tribulational experts say this refers to the Second Coming, not the Rapture.

The remains of the Tel Megiddo site in northern Israel

Revelation 16:21 – Instead of repenting, the men blaspheme God. It’s been said that the same sun that melts butter, hardens clay.

Psalm 144:1 – The Psalmist is thankful to the LORD for his offensive capability. then in the next verse for His defensive protection (fortress, tower, deliverer, shield).

Psalm 144:8 – We just read in Revelation 16:21 – that God will be judging those who blaspheme.

Psalm 144:15 – Are you happy?

Proverbs 30:31 – A king without insurrection – ah Rehoboam would have longed for that (1 Kings 12:16)

Daily Encouragement

December 24 – The Branch is King & Priest?

December 24
Zechariah 6:1-7:14
Revelation 15:1-8
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 30:24-28 

On this day that many spend meditating on the coming of the Messiah – we’ll see an important truth about His Second Coming!

Zechariah 6:1 – Sometimes in Zechariah we notice similar motifs to Revelation, but they have different meaning. In Zechariah the horses were designated for directions, while in Revelation 6:1-8, they are seen visualizing consequences (conquest, war, famine, death).

Zechariah 6:12Jimmy DeYoung sees this passage as talking about the Millennium:

Messiah’s Temple is the “House of Worship” that will stand in Jerusalem in the Kingdom, a physical Kingdom yet to come, in the 1,000 year period following the return of Jesus Christ back to earth.Verse 12 reveals that Jesus Christ, the “Branch”, is the one who will build this Millennial Temple.

The “Branch” is the name for Jesus in the Old Testament, which can be found in Isaiah 4:2Jeremiah 33:15Zechariah 3:8 and here in our key verse for our devotional reading today, verse 12.


The key to this passage is noticing that the Branch will have a throne, will be a priest, and will be peace (Zechariah 6:13). A throne means a civil ruler like Zerubbabel (in Zechariah’s day), a type of David. A king was forbidden from being a priest (StackExchange notes the priesthood was restricted to Levi, while the kingship was restricted to Judah). Uzziah as king attempted to offer a sacrifice (2 Chronicles 26:16), and was cursed with leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:19-21).

What Prophesied Man could be both King and Priest? The Branch is The Peace – and as we showed earlier, that is Jesus! In the Milllennium He will build the Ezekiel Temple.

Zechariah 7:9 – What is the message that the LORD sent? Quite similar to Micah 6:8’s message – Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.

Zechariah 7:10 – Why is God concerned about the widow, fatherless, stranger, and the poor? God commands protection of the widow and fatherless (Exodus 22:22), states that He executes judgment of the fatherless and widow (Deuteronomy 10:18), curses those who perverts the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow (Deuteronomy 27:19). God is a “father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows” (Psalm 68:5), “he relieveth the fatherless and widow” (Psalm 146:9).

The widow, fatherless, stranger, and poor are often taken advantage of – especially by those who use “false balances” (Proverbs 11:1). God demonstrates His power not by helping the rich get richer – but by making the weak strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Zechariah 7:12 – As we read in Hebrews 3:8, “Harden not your hearts!”

Revelation 15:3-4 – Patch the Pirate’s song “Great and Marvellous” is based on these verses!


Revelation 15:7-8 – God’s wrath is tied to God’s glory.

Psalm 143:10 – We need God to teach us to do His will! Let’s pray for God’s instruction!

Proverbs 30:25 – Solomon talked about the ant back in Proverbs 6:6 as a wise creature. What’s the lesson from these four creatures?

Are you as smart as a coney? Wise Agur used four small creatures to teach his students great wisdom (Pr 30:1,24). The ants prudently save for the future (Pr 30:25). The locusts know the power of numbers (Pr 30:27). The spider by diligence goes where most cannot (Pr 30:28). The conies wisely avoid risk and loss by choosing safe and strong protection.

Daily Encouragement

December 23 – Candlesticks, Olive Trees, Ephahs and more!

December 23
Zechariah 4:1-5:11
Revelation 14:1-20
Psalm 142:1-7
Proverbs 30:21-23

This menorah built for the Temple by the Temple Institute, is similar to the Menorah Zechariah saw.

Zechariah 4:6 – Joshua was the religious leader, a high priest, known for his robes, but they were dirty. Zerubbabel was the civil leader, a military general, is told that “not by might nor by power, but by my spirit.” The man of beautiful robes can’t trust in his robes. The leader of forces can’t trust in might or forces.

Zechariah 4:10 – “The day of small things” – Especially as we see lampstands referring to churches in Revelation 1:20, This verse is a great challenge given to every new church that starts with just a handful of people, in a rented storefront, with a tentmaker/part-time pastor. Maybe to outsiders it looks like God is doing greater things at the church down the road – but God rewards those not based on “might” or “power” but for faithfulness!

Zechariah 4:14 – Who are the anointed ones, the olive branches? We read about them in Revelation 11:4 – Moses & Elijah, the Law and the Prophets. What does the New Testament tell us about the Law & the Prophets?

  • The Golden Rule is the L&P (Matthew 7:12)
  • On the Two Great Commandments hang the L&P (Matthew 22:40)
  • The L&P were until John the Baptist (Luke 16:16)
  • The L&P did write of Jesus (John 1:45)
  • The righteousness of God without the law is witnessed by the L&P (Romans 3:21)

Zechariah 5:3 – What is cursed? 8th Commandment & 3rd Commandment. Some commentators think this 450 square foot flying scroll is the Ten Commandments (1 command from each side of the Tablets). At those dimensions (30’x15′), it is larger than the average hotel room (13’x25′) – the law will overwhelm the house of the sinner (Zechariah 5:4).

Hebrew dry measures, Hebrew liquid measures – Matson Photograph Collection – Library of Congress

Zechariah 5:6 – What’s going on here? The law has gone forth, and the ephah (a container holding about 9 gallons), has a woman in it symbolizing wickedness (a Proverbs 7-type woman, not a Proverbs 31-type woman), but a lead lid was put on the ephah, keeping the wickedness in, and two women take the ephah away to Shinar (Babylon) (Genesis 10:10 – land of Nimrod, Genesis 11:2 – tower of Babel, Daniel 1:2 – palace of Nebuchadnezzar). Yes a land of wickedness will be based in Babylon (Revelation 17:5).

Matthias Gerung, The Triumph of the Lamb, the Fall of Babylon

Revelation 14:7 – Why should God be worshipped? He is the Creator. If God created us, then we are responsible to Him. That is why people in modern times try to flip that and argue that we created God – to avoid the responsibility to Him.

Revelation 14:8 – The angel is proclaiming judgment against Babylon – the land of Shinar – that we just read about (Zechariah 5:11)

Revelation 14:10 – For those who believe the God of the New Testament is all about love, compared to the God of the Old Testament – they should have a problem with this verse. God is love, but God is just. Let’s warn people to avoid the wrath of God!

Psalm 142:3 – When I’m overwhelmed – I can trust the LORD! As Job says in Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Not only that, but He prays for us when we don’t know what to pray! (Romans 8:26) “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”

Proverbs 30:22 – Is the Bible promoting class separation? No – Joseph went from prisoner to ruler (Genesis 41:41). Solomon says a man that isn’t diligent should not be ruling (Proverbs 22:29).

The odious woman seems analagous to the contentious woman of Proverbs 27:15… For a man who had 700 wives (1 Kings 11:3) – he probably had some good advice on what women to avoid!