Zechariah Chapter Thirteen


Read Zechariah 13:1 – The Purging Fountain


v.1In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”


            This chapter is another series of prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  It begins with a reference to a “FOUNTAIN” is to be “OPENED IN THE HOUSE OF DAVID”.  A fountain that would provided for “SIN AND FOR UNCLEANNESS.”  This, without doubt is the “Fountain Free” that is the basis for one of invitation songs that we sing from time to time.  David, in his prayer psalm after recognizing his sin with Bathsheba pleaded with God to:


Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalms 51:2  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” v.7


One of the blessings that Ezekiel enumerated as being found in the kingdom of Christ was:


Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”  Ezekiel 36:25


A blessing that is confirmed by God’s herald who announced the coming of Jesus, John the baptizer:


John 1:29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”


These sins would be taken away by washing; a concept that most of our denominational neighbors fail to understand because they deny the necessity of being baptized for remission of sins.  But that concept that which is behind the instructions of Ananias to Saul in Damascus:


Acts 22:16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”


Read Zechariah 13:2-6 – Idols and False Prophets


v.2And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”


            In this one verse the scripture sets forth three things that are going to happen “IN THAT DAY”, the day that the kingdom is established.  Evil spirits existed in prior days, sometimes God even used them to accomplish his purpose, such as the removal of Ahab as king of Israel (I Kings 22):


I Kings 22:22And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.”


And we read of evil spirits in many places in the New Testament but when their usefulness for God’s purposes ended they disappeared.

            The removal of idol worship can be confirmed by the records of secular history.  The kind of idol worship that Israel and  Canaan practiced and idol worship in general; basically disappeared in nations and cultures where the gospel of Christ was preached.  Some might say that Buddhism and certain places in the western hemisphere where natives worshipped idol would be exceptions.  This was also prophesied by Hosea:


Hosea 2:16-17And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.  17For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.”


            During the time of Christ and before, false prophets with special powers existed as we saw in I Kings 22.  Jesus speaks of them this way:


Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.


But just as special powers provided to the Apostles by the Holy Spirit, when their purpose was fulfilled and passed away; these would pass away as well.


v.3And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.”


            Many people would find this prophecy to be radical in the extreme.  The very thought that a mother or father would “THRUST” “THROUGH” one of their own children because they were a false prophet.  But this is the level of dedication to him that God requires.  We find this under the Mosaic Covenant:


Deuteronomy 18:20 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”


And the words of Jesus under His covenant:


Luke 12:52-54For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.  53The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”


Though we normally apply this scripture to those who would stand against members of their families that accept Christ, the reverse situation could just as be true.  This could especially true during the severe persecution that existed against the early church.  It may have even been a matter of self-preservation.


v.4And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:”


            The prophet is saying that those who reject the wisdom of God, those who prophecy falsely will be embarrassed when their predictions fail.  Jeremiah wrote:


Jeremiah 8:9The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?”


The end of the world has been prophesied by many to be imminent, back as far a 2800 BC according to one internet source but it still stands.  One preacher in the 1800’s set three dates and finally gave up and his followers disappeared.

            During the time of real prophets, they wore rough clothing:


Matthew 3:4And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.”


And poverty and manner of dress was not peculiar to John the Immerser but also was found among the prophets of God during the Mosaic Covenant, such as Elijah, Elisha, and others of the Old Testament.  They were poor to the point of having to borrow an ax to cut timber to build a dwelling place (2 Kings 6).  No so-called prophet today subjects themselves to these conditions.  How many millions did this self-proclaimed prophet in Texarkana that we are seeing in the TV news have accumulated?


v.5-6But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.  6And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”


            Those who had claimed to be prophets but were false prophets will be so embarrassed by their failures that they will deny their own words when they are confronted.  They will claim to be a “HUSBANDMAN” or a “TILLER OF THE GROUND (ASV)” or that they were a “BONDMAN” and had been all their lives.  When confronted with evidence that confirms them as false prophets they will deny the evidence, no matter how valid it may be.

Unfortunately, many false prophets and false teachers that I see today are so arrogant and disrespectful of the intelligence of others that they simply ignore any claims or evidence brought against them.  They claim intelligence and knowledge so far superior to anyone else on earth that they are amazed when someone points out their error.  They either ignore or shout down anyone who dares to question their teaching.  Al Gore is a prime example in the current realm of American politics.


Read Zechariah 13:7-12 – The Death of Christ


v.7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”


            Now the prophet turns to a prophecy regarding the Christ and his death.  The sword, representing death and destruction, will be brought against “MY SHEPHERD”, the shepherd of God that has been sent to gather his sheep, the children of God.  Consequently the sheep will be scattered and Jesus, himself, quoted this scripture:


Matthew 26:31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”


And they indeed were scattered to the four winds.  Even after the resurrection of Christ there were only 120 gathered at the time of the choosing of Mathias to replace Judas as an apostle.


v.8And 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.”


            In the winnowing process that God will put his people through; He declares that two-thirds will be cut off and die.  That only a remnant will be left.  Whether this represents actual numbers or not; we cannot tell.  Perhaps during the first century a third of those taught may have responded positively and survived spiritually.  Our success rate in converting people to God today is much smaller.  The Apostle Paul speaks of this remnant:


Romans 11:15  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”


The rejecting or casting away of this remnant by the world will constitute a reconciliation of the world; they don’t belong to the world so they are removed; removed by the cleansing of their sins.  As the expression we have heard often tells us, we must live in the world but that does not mean that we must be of the world.  The remnant in prophecy will not be of the world but separated or segregated from it by their obedience to the commandments of God.


v.9And 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.”


            The prophet closes this chapter with the greatest promise that God has ever made to mankind.  The remnant, the third part that will be tried, they will be strengthened, they will be refined like fine silver or gold but not by fire.  Isaiah wrote to the nation of Judah:


Isaiah 48:10  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”


Judah was tried and refined by affliction, the affliction of captivity in Babylon as Isaiah promised.  The remnant was then returned to physical Jerusalem to be protected and preserved as God’s children.  In like manner the remnant that turn to God and are reconciled from this world will be protected and preserved for entry into the New Jerusalem.  We need but do as the prophet Ezekiel taught:


Ezekiel 11:20That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”


In his general epistle Peter provide encouragement for the “REMNANT”, that we will enjoy an “INHERITANCE INCORRUPTIBLE” that we will be “KEPT” or “GUARDED BY THE POWER OF GOD”.  and closes these thoughts with these words:


I Peter 1:6-7Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”


William L. Schwegler, Sunday Morning Adult, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana; November 15, 2009