Zech 6-8; 1 John 4
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains. And the mountains were mountains of bronze.
The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses,
the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses–all of them strong.
Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, ”What are these, my lord?”
And the angel answered and said to me, ”These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the LORD of all the earth.
The chariot with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go after them, and the dappled ones go toward the south country.”
When the strong horses came out, they were impatient to go and patrol the earth. And he said, ”Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth.
Then he cried to me, ”Behold, those who go toward the north country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country.”
And the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah.
Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, ”Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.
It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’
And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.
‘And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev.
Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,
saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, ”Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”
Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me:
‘Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted?
And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?
Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?”
And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying,
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,
do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.
They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts.
‘As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts,
‘and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”
And the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying,
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.
Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age.
And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvelous in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my sight, declares the LORD of hosts?
Thus says the LORD of hosts: behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country,
and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ”Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets who were present on the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.
For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for beast, neither was there any safety from the foe for him who went out or came in, for I set every man against his neighbor.
But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the LORD of hosts.
For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.
And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”
For thus says the LORD of hosts: ”As I purposed to bring disaster to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts,
so again have I purposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not.
These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;
do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.”
And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities.
The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts; I myself am going.’
Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’
1 John 4
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
We love because he first loved us.
If anyone says, ”I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.