The following “Witnessing Christ from the Old Testament” study covers the books of Haggai and Zechariah 1–3, 7–14
You can find the LDS outline of the study and resources here.
Theme: “Holiness unto the Lord”
After decades of captivity, a group of Israelites, including the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, were allowed to return to Jerusalem. Some in this group remembered what Jerusalem looked like before it was destroyed. Imagine their feelings as they saw the rubble that had once been their homes, their places of worship, and their temple. To those who wondered whether the temple would ever again resemble the Lord’s “house in her first glory” (Haggai 2:3), the prophet Haggai spoke the Lord’s words of encouragement: “Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, … fear ye not.” “I will fill this house with glory, … and in this place will I give peace.” (Haggai 2:4–5, 7, 9.)
But it wasn’t just the holy temple that needed rebuilding. In many ways, God’s people were spiritually in ruins. And rebuilding a holy people takes more than hewing stones and aligning them to build a temple wall. Today, temples bear the inscription “Holiness to the Lord,” and those words apply not just to a building but to a way of life. Engraving these words on “the bells of the horses” and “every pot in Jerusalem” (Zechariah 14:20–21) is helpful only if they are also engraved on every heart. True holiness requires that the Lord’s words and laws “take hold” (Zechariah 1:6) in us, allowing His power to change our natures so that we become holy like Him (see Leviticus 19:2).LDS Study Resources
Haggai and Zechariah, along with Ezra and Nehemiah, are part of the post-exilic writings.
Listen as Mark and Molly Parsons examine what God’s Word means to us as Christians, what God’s Word means to our LDS friends, and how we can share the true gospel.
- What does it mean to be holy (set apart)? How does someone become holy? Why will holy people do holy things?
- In Haggai 1:5 and Haggai 1:7, God encourages the people to “consider or give careful thought to their ways?” Have you considered your ways recently? What might you discover if you did? What does it mean to “consider your ways?” What was God looking for the people to consider and why? How do “our ways” get aligned with the “Lord’s ways”?
- Why are the Lord’s words “I am with you” in Haggai 1:13 so powerful for us today?
- In Haggai 2:4, God encouraged Governor Zerubbabel to be strong. Where was this strength to be found?
- In Haggai 2:9, God told his people that the glory of this new temple would be greater than the glory of the first temple. What did he mean by that? Why would the glory of the new temple outshine that of Solomon’s temple?
The Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, would teach in this temple. The Gentiles would come into it seeking the truth. Even after the physical temple was destroyed, the temple would remain, built by the living stones of New Testament believers. True peace reigns in the New Testament temple because of Jesus’ forgiveness.
- In Haggai 2:23, God uses his servant Zerubbabel to teach his people what he would ultimately accomplish; to what is he referring?
- Once again, Haggai prophesied about the Lord’s intention to shake all nations. After that would happen, God said in Haggai 2:23 he would establish Zerubbabel as a signet ring. How would that take place? According to Matthew 1:12, Zerubbabel was the grandson of Jeconiah, the last king of pre-exile Israel. God would send Christ, Zerubbabel’s son, as the stamp of his signet ring on his contract with us, to forgive us and grant us peace. Zerubbabel served as a reminder of the coming Christ.
- What was God teaching his people to see about themselves and him in the Book of Haggai?
- Holiness is a central theme throughout the Book of Zechariah. Where does holiness come from, and what does it do?
- God, in Zechariah 2:13, encourages the returned exiles to be still before the Lord. What did this mean, and why can we today also be still before the Lord?
- What point was God illustrating with High Priest Joshua’s dirty and clean garments in Zechariah 3:1–9?
- In Zechariah 3:9, God promised that he would remove the sin of the land in a single day. What did he mean by that? What single day was he talking about?
- The name “The Lord Almighty” is used in reference to God throughout the Book of Zechariah. What is the significance of this name? To the people in Zechariah’s day? To us today?
- In Zechariah 7, God encourages his people to show justice and mercy. Where was the source of this justice and mercy to be found?
- In Zechariah 8:7–8, God gives some amazing promises to his people. How would those promises have comforted the people in Zechariah’s day? Why are they also a comfort to us today?
- The Book of Zechariah contains many prophecies about the coming Messiah that are fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. Read Zechariah 9:9–11; 11:12–13; 12:10; 13:6–7; and 14:1–9 and recall how each is fulfilled in the New Testament, specifically on the night Jesus died for the sins of the world.