5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah*; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense**. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
King David organized the priests, the sons of Aaron, into 24 divisions. The eighth division was the priestly division of Abijah.
8=NEW BEGINNING in Hebrew!
* Abijah was one of twenty-four divisions of the Levitical priests. 1 Chronicles 23-24 lists all of the twenty-four divisions. Abijah is found in 1 Chronicles 24:10. King David had divided the Levitical priests into divisions when there were too many priests to perform the work at the temple. According to David’s guidelines, each division served at the temple twice a year and at the major holidays. Fifty-six priests from one of the divisions served each day. It has been estimated that there were as many as 8,000 to 18,000 priests throughout Israel at that time. Consequently, the priest who offered incense at the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place each day was determined by a random lot—However, a priest could only offer this service once in his lifetime. The meaning of the name Abijah is ‘The Lord is my father’. The name Zechariah means “Yah Remembers or Remembrance of Yah.” There is also a secondary meaning of “Yah’s Male.” And that isn’t all that weird considering that the name of the archangel Gabriel means “God’s Guy!”
**Before a priest entered the Holy Place to offer incense, it was the custom for the people who were standing between the Holy Place and the Bronze Altar to leave the courtyard area and to begin praying. Everyone would be praying for him as he entered the Holy Place. Zacharias was going to enter the Holy Place alone. There would be no one nearby.
God Of The Seven, Oath Of My God and God Is Her Oath is the meaning of his wife’s name Elizabeth.
The Family Setting:
A certain priest named Zacharias… and her name was Elizabeth (1:5).
To be a priest was considered to be a great honor. However, to be a priest and to be married to the daughter of a priest was considered a double honor.
The name Zacharias is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Zechariah. It means “Yahweh remembers.”
The name Elizabeth is from the Hebrew Eli-shebah. It means “the promise of Elohim.”
When you place these two names together, you begin to see the truth that “God remembers His promise.” What would this promise refer to? It is the promise of a Forerunner to go before the Messiah. In the very last prophecy of the very last book of the Old Testament, God gave this promise:
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:5-6).
This was the last promise that God had given. The last time that God had spoken to man, He had spoken these words. There are the promise of a prophet. He would have a special ministry. He would turn the hearts of the people to God.
God is the master of the impossible situation. And when you throw up your hand and say, “I can’t do it!” that is when He steps in and says, “I can” I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS WHO STRENGTHENS ME. I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR IN CHRIST JESUS WHO LOVES AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME FOR NOTHING CAN SNATCH ME OUT OF HIS HAND AND NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS MY LORD AND SAVIOR!
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HE WHO BELIEVES!
Not only was Zechariah from the 8th division—it took a FULL SEVEN DAYS to CONSECRATE the priests (see Leviticus 8:33) AND THEN they emerged from the tabernacle on the 8th day.
God then manifested His presence to the people on the 8th day (see Leviticus 9:1, 4, 24).
not only that but the name of his wife–Elizabeth–also means “God Of The Seven, Oath Of My God.” SEVEN represents COMPLETION, Spiritual Perfection. In Hebrew, 7 is Zayin a WEAPON. The Perfect weapon is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of GOD.
The Word of God is ALIVE, His name is Jesus! The weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal (flesh and blood) but MIGHTY IN GOD to the pulling down of strongholds & every high thing that exalts itself AGAINST the knowledge of God. If we walk in the Light, AS HE IS in the Light (Jesus), we have fellowship (right relations) with one another and the blood of Jesus CLEANSES us from ALL unrighteousness! He delivers us from dis-order into perfect order in the Kingdom. 7 days represents a SABBATH CYCLE. In Revelation 10:7 the Mystery of God is FINISHED when the 7th angel blows his trumpet. In Revelation 16:7, “It is DONE” when the 7th angel pours out the 7th vial into the AIR. It took 7 days to consecrate AARON and his sons to the Priesthood (see Leviticus 8:31-35) BEFORE EMERGING from the tabernacle on the 8th day (NEW BEGINNING!) If any man is IN CHRIST, he is a NEW CREATION, the old has PASSED AWAY. My old self is CRUCIFIED IN CHRIST, the LIFE I LIVE I live by faith in the SON OF GOD WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME!
Joshua and the Israelite army marched around Jericho 7 days (see Joshua 6:15) before the city fell.
Jesus was RAISED from the dead on the 8th day to FULFILL the LAW of the wave-sheaf offering (see Leviticus 23:10,11) LIKEWISE, Pentecost occurred 7 WEEKS
later on the 50th day which was ALSO the 8th day (see Leviticus 23:15-17). Jesus PROPHESIED on the 8th day of TABERNACLES (see John 7:37-39) about the OUTPOURING of the HOLY SPIRIT! These FULFILL the LAW of the PRESENTATION of the FIRSTBORN SON on the 8th day (see Exodus 22:29, 30)
Note: We are COMMANDED to REMEMBER the SABBATH. Also in the passover, the communion, Jesus says to do this in remembrance of HIM. The week has a SABBATH, a REST-day. What must we do to enter in to the REST of GOD? To do the works of GOD? BELIEVE ON THE SON!
Elizabeth, is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Elizabeth, Elisheba, which was the name of the wife of AARON; the “mother of all priests”.
Back to good faithful Zechariah in the temple with his ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY ALONE WITH GOD IN THE SECRET PLACE COMMUNING WHILE
ALL THE OTHERS WERE IN PRAYER TOGETHER FOR HIM!
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
The BATTLE BELONGS to the LORD—-even as the City of Jericho was tightly shut up AGAINST the children of Israel, likewise
the womb of Elizabeth, Zechariah’s FAITHFUL GODLY WIFE was shut up AGAINST delivering his son. YET INTERVENES GOD
IN ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYERS! OBVIOUSLY it was GOD and not the barren womb of Elizabeth that PRODUCES the miracle
of John’s birth!!!!
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
Just as the battle plan for the walls of Jericho were “fought” IN THE SPIRIT BY FAITH IN GOD IN RETURNING & REST SHALL BE OUR CONFIDENCE. This is our confidence before God that if our hearts do not condemn us He hears and gives the desires of our heart. MIND you they are NOW HIS DESIRES for we have become TRULY HIS as King David was a man after God’s own heart. God gives us a new heart to serve Him in spirit and in truth. Not our will but His.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
God has always commanded His children to be FRUITFUL & MULTIPLY so to be barren is a part of the curse. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says that IF My people who are CALLED by My name will humble themselves
and pray I will hear from heaven AND HEAL their land. God who heard and answered the prayers of righteous Zechariah and his wife, Elisabeth even in their advanced beyond the natural age of child-bearing, will hear from heaven and heal this barren land called America as we trust and obey His Word!
Now sharing what happened. THE DREAM FULFILLED. THE PROMISE FULFILLED. As Joshua says of God in his life, NOT ONE OF GOD”S PROMISES (WORD) FAILED ALL WAS FULFILLED. Jesus FULFILLED
all the Law and Prophecies!!!
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.