the place of struggles
Change of Filthy Garment
The books of the Bible are filled with many verses which gives connectivity to the Son of God. These verses have shown us the pre-incarnate Christ and so we shall look at the reference made in the Book of Zechariah, which stands out as one that typifies the conversion of the sinner to saint and also shows the point of exit of the Old Testament to the entrance of the New Testament. This book is symbolic of the mercy of God towards man by grace of Lord Jesus.
We will begin at Zechariah 3:1,
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”
Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev.12:10).
He comes to test your willingness to obey God, to see if you are still committed to resisting his traffic (1Pet.5:9).
The enemy will leave you for a small moment, merely to garnish his plan (Matt.4:11).
The aim of Satan’s is to have the place of authority in your life. He seeks to do this at;
a. The place where decision are made to affect your life, even from within the womb. The enemy will come at the unborn and if he was not successful in aborting then he will try to put them in bondage either emotionally or physically.
b. The place where purposes are given definition; the place of prayer, the place of prophecy
c. The birthplace of dreams and visions; hearing from God. He will cause distractions; your spirit to be overburdened by the noise of the world
d. The removal from the place of God through presumptuous sin; where Jesus sits in heavenly places,
e. God’s rulership, His authority
f. The place where God defines his domain; the word gives definition to God’s domain; His kingdom. Worldly distractions to disconnect from the word
The place of responsibility that you have
been given to glorify God, the place of your confidence and your peace.
Note that Satan was standing; he was in an offensive posture to prevent Joshua from loosing himself from guilt, not so much of his own, but of the nation.
So here we see Joshua was at a place of struggles; he was at a place of contending with the enemy, a place of conflict.
We are constantly being buffeted by the enemy for in this we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against a satanic host.
The enemy had now taken on a spiritual nature and not physical.
Israel was not under
siege of nations because they
were protected by the kings of Babylon (Persia) but the
enemy was internal strife;
idolatry, intermarriage with non-Jews and the rich having their greed to have
the better of them. There was a contention for the minds of the people as it is today.
And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? The Lord is making it plain to the enemy that this one belongs to me; he has been bought and paid for by the blood. This is a converted man or woman who been saved from hell’s fire by God’s grace.
It is typical of the way Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve a living God. He washes them from their sins in his own blood, and makes them kings and priests onto our God.
Joshua the high priest typifies Christ, who bore slander and injury to his body. He took upon himself the sins of the world that by his sacrifice we might be plucked from a life of eternal torment. In Zechariah 3: 4
“And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.
These filthy garments had a connotation of the world. It gave reference to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
It references all that was evil and wicked. David said concerning the wicked that my feet almost slipped (73:2, 3) when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalms 73:6, Tells us,
“Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment”
We again look at Zechariah3:4 which says,
And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Joshua would be clothe with a garment of righteousness not because of what he had done but because of grace.
Typical of Conversion
This is very typical of conversion where nothing was required on our part but a decision to make Jesus our Lord.
We could not purchase salvation it was a free gift, it cost us nothing but a decision.
The Lord says, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee”.
As the Lord did to the high priest Joshua, a typical is done for us; the pre-incarnate Christ here in Zechariah 3:4 typified man’s salvation. The New Testament says it like this in
Romans 10:9 it says, “For if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Robe of Righteousness
Romans 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.
Righteousness then is a gift given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus. In Isaiah 61:10,
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” This clothing was done in excellence.
God compared the clothing to bridegroom on the day of his life when he desires for his garment and jewelry to please his bride, the only person except God, whom he desires to please extravagantly and visa versa.Verse 11 continues,
“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.Now look at the comparison that the Lord makes; He says that as the earth readily answers the command and bring forth her bud, so even as the earth does, God will cause those that are his to spring forth with his righteousness to bless the nations. This shows that we have a responsibility to the nations to know our purpose to which we have been called.
As the earth and the garden have been given a message for a solution, so have the people of God.All of us who call on the name of Jesus are filled with his righteousness and that righteousness is a sign to the nations of,
· The greatness of God; in the beginning God created the heavens and earth
· The love of God; while we were yet sinners God sent his Son
- The mercy and the grace of God; that he would give unto us an open invitation into his throne of grace. He says, “Come boldly into my throne of grace that you may obtain mercy and grace to help in your time of need” (Heb.4:16). “That we may take mercy—that we may receive the pardon of all our sins; there is mercy for the taking. As Jesus Christ tasted death for every man, so every man may go to that propitiatory, and take the mercy that is suited to his degree of guilt.”
- “Grace is that by which the soul is supported after it has received this mercy, and by which it is purified from all unrighteousness, and upheld in all trials and difficulties, and enabled to prove faithful unto death.”
In Isaiah 52:1-3, He says;
1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion;
put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,
the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised
and the unclean.
2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
As we gave our selves over to sin without money we also will be redeemed without money.Beggars Mentality
But even with all this persuasion the church still sees herself as one under bondage.Mark 10:46-50 gives a story of Jesus in Jericho when blind Bartemaeus son of Timaeus met him.
Now this man had heard of Jesus.
He had said, “If he ever comes by me that will be the end of bondage!
He will not have to persuade me for my mind is made up that I will see.
In verse 50 it says, “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus”.Today, if you have not received the Lord Jesus as savior, then this is a good time. Whatever situation you may be in, the Lord Jesus would like you to “cast away your garment” and let him dress you with the robe of righteousness. Romans 10:11 says, “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed”. Confess Jesus as Lord today and welcome to a new you. May God bless you!