Thursday: Beyond Fasting
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

During Zechariah’s third year of ministry, a delegation from Bethel came to Jerusalem to ask the priests and the prophets a question (see Zech. 7:1-3).

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When they were in exile in Babylon, the people fasted during the fifth month to mourn the destruction of the temple (2 Kings 25:8-9). This was in addition to the fasts held in the fourth, seventh, and the tenth months (Zech. 8:19). In the fourth month, the breaching of the wall [...]

Wednesday: Not by Human Power
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Read Zechariah 4. What hope is being presented to the people?

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In this vision, Zechariah sees a lampstand fed by two olive trees, which refers back to the candlestick located in the Holy Place of the wilderness tabernacle (Exod. 25:31-40). The seven lamps are arranged around a large bowl that serves as a reservoir of oil.

The bowl, with its bountiful supply of oil, symbolizes the fullness of God’s power through His Spirit. The seven lamps shine [...]

11: Visions of Hope – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : Zechariah’s message was for God’s people not to lose hope, but to learn to serve Him in the present.

[Teaching plan for Visions of Hope June 10, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Zechariah 1:1-5.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. How does one “return” unto the Lord? Since He is talking to the church members who think they have a relationship with Him, how would [...]

Tuesday: God’s Readiness to Forgive
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Read Zechariah 3. How is the gospel portrayed here?

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With, perhaps, the exception of Isaiah 53, no portion of the Old Testament better reveals the wonderful truth of salvation by faith alone than does Zechariah 3. In this vision, the high priest Joshua is being tried on accusations brought forth by the official accuser, Satan. The accusations against the high priest also apply to the nation which he represented. The name Joshua (also spelled as Jeshua) means “the Lord saves” (see Matt. [...]

The Vision of Hope for Laodicea
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Daytona Beach sunrise.

Daytona Beach sunrise.

In the late fall of 2006 I bought a brand new car. A few days later, or nights actually, I lay in my bed wide awake. I glanced at the clock as it read 4 AM. Then the idea hit me. If I jump in my brand-new car right now, I can travel across Florida to the east coast in time to watch the sun rise. I had seen several sunsets on the west coast where I [...]

Wax On – Wax Off
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If you don’t understand this cultural reference, it’s from the movie, The Karate Kid. The main character in the movie is a teenage boy, Daniel who has just moved to town and is getting bullied. In order to stop it, he wants to learn karate. He meets up with the manager of his apartment building, Mr. Miyage, who agrees to teach him. One requirement of this agreement is that Daniel must obey Mr. Miyage’s [...]

Monday: The Lord Is Coming
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Read Zechariah 2.

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It records a vision in which the prophet is shown a renewed Jerusalem, so full of people that it overspreads its walls. It will attract countless Gentiles as well, a thought that must have sounded very strange to the people. Verse 10 begins with a call to joy, followed by the reason for such jubilation: the personal coming of the Lord to live among His people.

The Lord’s dramatic return to dwell in His rebuilt house [...]

Valleys and Mountains
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Mark 4:9, NKJV

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I recently began wearing hearing aids. Before that, my children would say I was “hard of hearing”. I accused them of mumbling. During the first church service I was aided, I was amazed I could hear the prayer requests from the very back pew when I was at the front of the sanctuary.

The audiologist tells me repeatedly, “We [...]

Sunday: Comforting Words of Life
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Read Zechariah 1.

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What is the essential message here? Focus especially on Zechariah 1:3. What is the Lord saying to the people?

The return from the exile to Babylon sparked joy in the hearts of the remnant people. But the return also caused anxiety. Would they be safe and secure in their land, or would enemies come again to harass them? Had God forgiven their past unfaithfulness, or would He continue their punishment? What did the future hold [...]

Sabbath: Visions of Hope
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gless11

Read for This Week’s Study: Zechariah 1, 2, Rom. 15:9-18, Eph. 3:1-8, Zechariah 3, 4, Exod. 25:31-40, Zechariah 7.

Memory Text: “‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,” declares the Lord Almighty’” (Zechariah 3:10, NIV).

Key Thought: Though Israel had been punished for its sins, it was time to live again in relationship with God according to His promises.

On the wall of an old castle in central Europe a short Latin inscription reads: “Dum spiro, spero!” It means, “As long as I [...]

Further Study: First Things First!
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“But even this dark hour was not without hope for those whose trust was in God. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah were raised up to meet the crisis. In stirring testimonies these appointed messengers revealed to the people the cause of their troubles. The lack of temporal prosperity was the result of a neglect to put God’s interests first, the prophets declared. Had the Israelites honored God, had they shown Him due respect and courtesy, by making the building of [...]

Inside Story: Standing Up for Jesus, part 2
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Bien’s family refused to allow her to attend the Adventist church.

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When she insisted, they tried to force her to live with her grandmother on a small island. Bien tried to hide her fear. She wanted to continue her schooling, but the island had no school.

She refused to be separated from the people at the church, people who were praying for her, who encouraged her, and who had shown her what true love was. When [...]