The Book of Zechariah
THE LATTER RAIN AND DECEPTION
1. I am going to speak tonight on a theme referred to in Zechariah 10:1 – “the time of the latter rain.”
2. Zechariah chapter 10 is a continuation of chapter 9 (cf. 9:17). In order for there to be a bountiful supply of corn and new (unfermented) wine, there must be “showers of rain” (10:1).
3. The time of the latter rain is spring (March and April). God’s blessings, both spiritual and material, are compared to an outpouring of rain (cf. Hosea 6:1-3).
4. These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. They can only be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, when Israel will be back in the land, restored, repentant, forgiven, and converted.
5. This is the “time of the latter rain” (10:1).
I. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL WILL BRING SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS
1. There are two great themes running through the book of Zechariah, and they are closely connected – the second coming of Christ, and the restoration of Israel.
2. The book of Zechariah is all about Israel, not the church. The house of Judah is “His flock” (10:3). Note also references to Joseph and Ephraim (10:6, 7).
3. Zech. 10:9-12 is about the dispersion and regathering of Israel.
4. I agree with the Scofield Study Bible, which says about 10:1, “Cf. Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23-32; Zechariah 12:10. There is both a physical and spiritual meaning: Rain as of old will be restored to Palestine, but, also, there will be a mighty effusion of the Spirit upon restored Israel.”
5. Notice the Scofield Bible says, “there will be a mighty effusion of the Spirit upon restored Israel.” Not the church, but “restored Israel.”
II. THE PENTECOSTAL “LATTER RAIN” DOCTRINE IS UNSCRIPTURAL
1. The Pentecostals and charismatics say that this “latter rain” is being poured out upon them, but this does not line up with the Bible. In fact, the Pentecostal “latter rain movement” has been marked from the very beginning by false doctrine and confusion.
2. The latter rain spoken of here by Zechariah (and Joel and Hosea) refers to the people of Israel. A request was to be made (“Ask ye of the LORD” – 10:1) for rain “in the time of the latter rain,” i.e., the spring rain that was necessary for good crops.
3. The “latter rain” in the Bible signifies spiritual as well as material blessings, specifically the second coming of Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (cf. Joel 2:23-32; James 5:7, 8).
4. Many of these so-called “Latter Rain” teachers have abandoned premillennialism for postmillennialism.
III. LATTER DAY APOSTASY (10:2, 3)
1. In contrast to the LORD, who answers prayer and sends showers of rain, the false prophets lie and tell false dreams. They lead people astray; they deceive people through idols and divination (10:2).
2. “The idols” (10:2) here refer to the teraphim, household idols (cf. Genesis 31:19; Judges 17:5; 18:14).
3. Divination is the occult practice of obtaining information from devils. It is a heathenistic, Satanic imitation of Bible prophecy. The devil is an imitator. He has imitation prophecies, imitation religions, imitation ministers, and imitation “bibles.”
4. The Hebrew word for “divination” means to cut or to divide. It had to do with the taking of a sacrificial animal, cutting it open, and looking at its liver – the form of the liver and the way it was shaped.
5. The liver was considered to be the seat of the victim’s life, and the shape of the liver supposedly told them the shape of things to come (cf. Ezek. 21:21).
6. There is a scene in Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, where Caesar’s wife Calpurnia is pleading with him to stay home and not to go to the Senate.
7. Caesar says to one of his servants: “What say the augurers (diviners)?” The servant replies, “They would not have you to stir forth to-day. Plucking the entrails of an offering forth, They could not find a heart within the beast.”
8. I think we will see a great increase in this type of demonic deception as we approach the Great Tribulation (cf. Matt. 24:3-5, 24, 25; II Thess. 2:8-12; Rev. 9:20, 21).
9. Another way that false prophets deceive people is through “false dreams” (10:2; cf. Jer. 23:32). Watch out for preachers (Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, et al) who talk about their dreams.
10.Four results of the demonic deception of the false prophets:
(1) God’s people would go astray and wander like lost sheep (10:2; cf. Ezek. 34:5, 8; Matt. 9:36). There are many discouraged and confused people wandering around tonight because they were misled by false teachers (cf. John 10:11-13).
(2) God’s people are “troubled” (10:2) when there is no shepherd to guide them. When the sheep are “troubled,” the wolves attack (cf. Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29-31).
(3) God will surely judge the false prophets, and He will “punish the goats” (10:3).
(4) God will judge the wicked and He will “visit His flock… in the battle” (10:3). Scofield’s notes say this refers to the Battle of Armageddon.
1. The theme of this chapter is the return of Christ, the return of the Jews to the land of Israel, and the restoration of Israel.
2. We will deal with this next week, Lord willing.