by Martin Cisneros
3 “Behold, I Apostle...etc... My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in which you delight. Behold, he is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:1
(I know we're accustomed from St. Paul's writings to thinking of our bodies and our Christian Assemblies as His temple, but His temple is just as equally the Scriptures. It's not like the Scriptures, themselves, don't make other, equally strong, comments about themselves that easily hint at that!)
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1Corinthians 6:17
13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 1Thessalonians 3:13
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come... Ephesians 4:11-13
Clearly everything the Gospel asks of each of us, or that He asks of each of us through His Spirit is 100% about preparing the way before Him, and while some may dispute my right to the usage of Malachi 3:1 in this instance about Hosea 2:18 Covenant ministers, there's no such thing as New Covenants of the Bible that were to come about through the Blood of Christ and His High Priestly ministry through the Body of Christ into all of the earth that are lesser than the other New Covenants. The Bible talks about the New Covenant being a better Covenant than the Mosaic Covenant, but it doesn't make those kinds of distinctions between the various New Covenants contained in the Scriptures, whether Isaiah 54, Jeremiah 31, or the Hosea 2:18 Covenant. These Scriptures I've presented clearly point us to the need to be mindful of His comings to us through the New Covenants of the Scriptures and clearly the Hosea 2:18 Covenant is one of those Covenants. We're all to prepare the way before Him, according to everything St. Paul ever taught about ministers of the Body of Christ throughout any of his epistles and everything He asks any of us to do in the behalf of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant is always with the long-term view of His Coming to His Body with the Hosea 2:18 Covenant through all His saints.
I want to look at Romans 4:13, 16, 17:
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed...
He said to all of the seed. Now, I realize that contextually, St. Paul is forming his argument that Gentiles will be saved through Israel's Messiah. But if the promise is to all of the seed, then we must include all of the seed the Scripture speaks of when it's introducing what St. Paul is talking about. Jeremiah 31:27-28 says Israel and Judah would not only be grafted with the seed of Gentiles but it includes the seed of beast. Continuing in Romans 4 with what we were reading:
17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
It says in Zechariah chapter 2:
4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zechariah 2:4-5)
The Mosaic law wasn't a path to God. The Abrahamic Covenants have always been the path to God and the Mosaic law, according to Galatians 3, was only put in force to deal with sin, partially and temporarily until the coming of Christ, but that this thing was always a matter of the coming of Christ rather than having real peace with God through animal sacrifice. People didn't have peace on that basis. On the contrary, the Bible says that through the law was the knowledge of sin, not of righteousness:
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
Zechariah 2:4-5 is not an animal slaughter passage. I believe this is proven by Isaiah 54:9-10, Jeremiah 31:27-28, Zechariah 8:10-11, and by Hebrews 12:22 that says the Church is His Jeremiah 31:27-28 "Jerusalem" and "Zion" that's comprised of Jews, Gentiles, and Animals. Human temples of sacrifice had walls and Jerusalem is without walls in this passage because of the multitude of people and animals, not because of the stench of animal carnage ascending to the highest heavens!
The last verse of the chapter tells all flesh to be silent because He's aroused from His holy habitation and a slaughterhouse situation is as noisy as any slave trade has ever been. If Noah's flood was the end of all flesh, 'cept for that of those in the ark, then this is talking about all flesh at the close of Zechariah 2 and no exceptions are understood in it's context:
13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:13)
(Side note: I personally believe all 14 chapters of Zechariah are every bit the love song that Song of Solomon is and that we're encouraged by the book of Zechariah to sing it. All 14 chapters are an Opera, if anyone is reading this whose music repertoire is limited to rock music and is finding it difficult to picture what I'm saying because of that.)
Therefore, we have every reason to believe verses 4 through 5 are a worshipful, peaceful situation for Jews, Gentiles, and Animals through Christ, their wall of fire.
Although the first chapter speaks of the rebuilding of God's house, the second chapter speaks of many Gentiles being joined to the Lord, which gives the whole passage a New Covenant, Ephesians 2, context:
11 “Many Gentiles shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst (i.e. dwell in the midst of Gentiles). Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 2:11)
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Chapter 3, of Zechariah, introduces Jesus baring the sin of the people, while chapter 6 reveals this Priest He's talking about to be after the Order of Melchizedek. Although that's likely in type and shadow form, in an actual historical fulfillment prior to the coming of Christ, but showing what would happen later, it's nonetheless revealing this book to have a New Covenant unveiling, which for animals is their Hosea 2:18; Romans 8:21 Covenant. Zechariah chapter 4 is the introduction of God's grace which sets aside the Mosaic dispensation for people and animals. And John chapter 1 says:
14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14, 16, 17)
We're the image of God. It's our responsibility what we do. It is not our responsibility what the animals do in response if we're really walking with God! To argue for our own continued violence and depravity against animals in what we eat and what we drink and wear is no different than trying to make an argument for sin based on what goes on in the Playboy Mansion or on HBO. How animals live is not an argument for how we should live when we have clear Scriptures telling us to find another way; to forsake our ways and to return to the Lord because He will have mercy and greatly pardon us. The book of Hebrews says:
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to ten thousand angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, (i.e. Jeremiah 31:27-34,) and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, (or where things are sown, viz., Jeremiah 31:27-28,) but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
This is evidently talking about a spiritual shaking that'll establish the building and planting of Israel, Judah, Gentiles, and animals according to Jeremiah 31:27-28 and Ezekiel 38:19-20 because if it were a shaking of what God has made rather than what man has made, then absolutely nothing would be left because God created or made all of us. Reading on in Hebrews 12:
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace (i.e. Psalm 130:3-4), by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
This fire is here, it's Covenantal, it's not held off to some distant age, other world, nor the bodily return of Christ Jesus among us, any more than the Scriptures ever indicated that Lord Jesus would have to return before the Gentiles were grafted into the House of Israel and the House of Judah. The same Scriptures that it's clearly evident that St. Paul based all of his argumentation upon regarding the immediacy of Gentiles coming into the inheritance of Israel through Israel's Messiah, Christ Jesus, mention Animals entering into the same justification of life and repeal of God's former judgments against them when God was dealing solely with the nation of Israel. Clearly in some places that mention animals you can make a partial claim that God is speaking of people, though you can't make it as an exclusive claim about very many of those passages even if there are a few generations where that's been the chosen reading of them from pulpits and seminaries. However, there are too many passages that speak of Mankind and Animalkind side by side in these Covenantal mercies with each receiving those graces that go along with what are clearly God's immediate blessings, benefits, and mercies towards them in these eras we've been passing through since the resurrection of Christ Jesus. We've been too quick to make many of these references solely Old Covenant passages with limiting their readings to that era with the assumptions that went along with that about the Animals having drawn the short straw on how things were going to turn out! Psalms and Prophets are after the Mosaic Law and are both commentary on the Mosaic Law and clear prophesies about coming eras of grace for all of Creation, including the Animals!
The place that each of us has as the Refiner's Fire that's refining the sons of Levi who are types of those ministers that are yet outside of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant-consciousness cannot be overstated. We still have ministers of the Gospel that are offering offerings in unrighteousness, for as long as they're treating their bodies, their closets, their cars, their homes, their planes, their boats, their offices, et. al. as the tombs of dead animals and of all that's been experimented with on animals.
I want to get into Zechariah 9:6-10, but first a place by the name of "Ashdod" is mentioned in this passage that I want you to have some background on. Upon Joshua's conquest of the Promised Land, Ashdod was alloted to the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:46).
In I Samuel 6:17 Ashdod is mentioned among the principal Philistine cities. After capturing the Ark of the covenant from the Israelites, the Philistines took it to Ashdod and placed it in the temple of Dagon. The next morning Dagon was found prostrate before the Ark; on being restored to his place, he was on the following morning again found prostrate and broken. The people of Ashdod were smitten with boils; a plague of mice was sent over the land (1 Samuel 6:5).
According to the Bible, during the 10th century B.C., Ashdod became, along with all the kingdom of Philistia, a patronage area of the Kingdom of Israel under the control of King David.
The capture of the city by King Uzziah of Judah shortly after 815B.C. is mentioned in 2Chronicles 26:6 and in Zechariah 9:6. In Isaiah 20:1, an Assyrian general named Tartan, sent by Sargon, gained control of Ashdod in 711B.C.
In Nehemiah 13:23–24, some 5th century B.C. residents of Jerusalem are said to have married women from Ashdod, and half of the children of these unions were reportedly unable to understand Hebrew; instead, they spoke "the language of Ashdod".
In Acts 8:40 there is a reference to Azotus, [which is the Hellenistic name of Ashdod,] and it was the place in which Philip the Evangelist reappeared after his role in the conversion the Ethiopian eunuch to Christianity was completed. Now, let's begin reading in Zechariah 9, starting with the 6th verse:
6 “A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines (i.e. including speciesism). 7 I will take away the blood from his mouth, and the abominations from between his teeth. But he who remains, even he shall be for our God, and shall be like a leader in Judah (i.e. in the Body of Christ), And Ekron like a Jebusite. 8 I will camp around My house because of the army, because of him who passes by and him who returns. No more shall an oppressor pass through them, for now I have seen with My eyes. 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is (faithful and) just and having deliverance, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:15); The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak prosperity (Heb: Shalom) to the Gentiles (implicitly to the animals as well because of Jeremiah 31:27-28, Zechariah 2:4-5, Zechariah 8:4-12, and Zechariah 14:20. Jeremiah 31:27-28 tells us about the mixed race, or at least one of the mixed races that would settle in Ashdod in the 6th verse quoted above); His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the land.’ Zechariah 9:6-10
There's no reason why the horses that are mentioned in Zechariah chapters 9 and 14 can't be the same spiritual horses that are mentioned in Zechariah chapters 1 and 6. Zechariah 1:6-13 and Zechariah 6:1-8 mention a vision of horses and in chapters 1 and 6 we're informed that they've walked to and fro throughout the earth and we're only told about those who've gone into the north country in chapter 1, verse 11 and in chapter 6 verse 8 that those that went into the north country have given rest. We're not told about the other spiritual manifestations involving horses in chapter 1 and chapter 6 within those chapters regarding what happen to the others, what their work was. Scripture's silent on that, then here in following chapters we've got horses slaughtered and horses that have been designated “holiness to the Lord.” All of these references to horses in the book of Zechariah are easily references to Jeremiah 31:27-28, what was destroying and what was bringing life, and the book of Zechariah ends on a note of life and holiness to the Lord where the animals are concerned, as typified by the reference to horses in the 14th chapter, verse 20.
We're told in Zechariah 9:
6 “A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. Zechariah 9:6
Clearly the historical fulfillment of this prophecy that would predate the higher level of fulfillment in our day was when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and set it before Dagon. What was Dagon? Dagon is a picture of a wrong relationship the Philistines had with fish. They had come up with a fish deity named “Dagon.” God didn't create fish to to gods, to be killed in human nets, to be impaled by human fish hooks, nor to be eaten or treated in any other way that is destructive of their bodies. God is after all of the pride of the Philistines. First, He came after them religiously by desecrating their idol, then He came after their militaristic pride through the proclamation of the Gospel into all of the Roman Empire and the vast numbers of Roman soldiers and every other type of prideful soldier that's been saved from those days until these, and there's at least 1 more matter related to the pride of the Philistines to be dealt with by the Spirit of God. It's the matter of killing fish for their bodily oils, for their flesh, for their bones, and for any other way that people have been cannibalizing them. God's working from the top downward, first with how human beings treat animals, then later He'll fully deal with how animals are treating animals. Crushing THIS is among the reasons why Lord Jesus is the Seed of David. David killed Goliath, the champion of the Philistine Army. Today, our Lord is after EVERY “fish story” and is dealing forcefully with both the stories and the exploitation of fish and He'll stop at nothing until that has fallen before His New Covenant Ark, which is this Hosea 2:18 Covenant together with the rest of the New Covenants of the Gospel that are given in Isaiah 54, Jeremiah 31, and elsewhere.
It says in Zechariah 9:
8 I will camp around My house because of the army, because of him who passes by and him who returns. No more shall an oppressor pass through them... Zechariah 9:8
It says in Zechariah 12:
8 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. Zechariah 12:8
God said He would camp around the House of Judah and the House of Israel (see: Jeremiah 31:27-28, Ezekiel 38:19-20, Zechariah 2:4-5) which implicitly includes the seed of Gentiles and the seed of Animals and no more would an oppressor pass through them! (Zechariah 9:8) No more can an oppressor pass through the sea because He holds every drop of water and all of the life in it in His Hand, according to Isaiah 40:11-15 and Zechariah 9 says His dominion is from sea to sea, which means all of the fish everywhere is under His protective custody through the Hosea 2:18 Covenant.
We're told in Zechariah 12, quoted above, that the feeblest preacher of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant in this day is like David, and since this is in the context of Him having already said that He would cut off the pride of the Philistines, according to Zechariah 9:6 and we're told in Malachi 3:1 that we're sent to prepare the way before Him regarding these matters, because as Ephesians 4 and 1Thessalonians 3 say, He comes with His saints, then it's time for the rest of the pride of the Philistines to fall in our day!
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I earnestly pray for the strengthening of every preacher of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant that they would have increased understanding of the bottomless depth of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant in the Scriptures, that they would have the fresh oil of Your Spirit upon their lives for digging out these wonderful truths and that they would have the courage to deal forcefully with this subject from their pulpits around the world. We ask for the full rain of your Spirit coming with total force upon the proclamation of this Hosea 2:18 Covenant and I believe that all of the Scriptures that go with the topic of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant around the Bible and the similarity of their language to Zechariah 10:1 gives me a greater Covenantal basis to ask for the fullness of Your rain at the time of Purim than any other Pentecostal preacher has ever had for seeking for that rain of Your Spirit based upon the merits of Christ Jesus and the level of abiding in Your Word that they were up to the level of. I thank You, Father, for granting it based upon the promise of Lord Jesus in John 14:12 that we'd do greater works than His and because Your heart yearns for all of these animals that You never created with the intent that they should suffer in our day as much as they've been suffering at the hands of unreasonable, ungodly, and unfaithful men, women, and children around the world. We ask You to remove that curse from them, to give them all of the fullness of the rest of Your Spirit, according to Isaiah 63:14, Joel 2:22, and so many other Promises You've made along those lines. I pray for all of us who are in the midst of studying the Hosea 2:18 Covenant and renewing our minds to it and receiving our discipline from Christ Jesus about this that we'll be doers of the Word and not hearers only, and that our eyes will be fully opened to seeing You at work doing in their behalf what very clearly only You can do because of how many people around the world are currently Hell-bent on their oppression, exploitation, suffering, and the various forms of profits that they're looking for in that RATHER THAN looking to You, instead. I believe we receive all of this grace and mercy to help in Creation's time of greatest Covenantal need, according to Mark 11:24, John 15:7, John 16:23, and many other promises of Yours, in Jesus' Name! Amen.