ZECHARIAH 13:8-9 - THE THIRD PART
THAT WILL BE REFINED
8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one–third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring the one–third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
This is yet another verse that is misunderstood and wrongly claimed by some ‘Christian’ groups, particularly the Iglesia ni Cristo (1914). They teach that the first and second thirds or parts that were cut-off were the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians in the first-century, referred by Apostle Peter as ‘to you’ and ‘to your children’ in Acts 2:39. The supposed reason for their being cut-off is that they were either killed or apostatized by the false prophets. Is that really what was prophesied by Zechariah?
REASON FOR CUTTING OFF THE TWO GROUPS
For us to know who these people are, first we need to understand what is the reason God cut off the two groups of them in the land? Who are these people referred in the prophecy of Zechariah?
7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
Against the Man who is My Companion,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered;
Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
The prophesied Shepherd and Companion of God is none other than The Lord Jesus Christ. He was the One whom they will strike or kill, and thus God will scatter the sheep or the people of Israel (Jeremiah 50:17). Because of what they have done to The Son of God, He has officially cut off His ties with them that only one third or part was saved. Who are these people who are grouped by God into three groups? The people of Israel. The olden people of Israel, considered by God as His own people, were only divided into two divisions or groups - the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. God allowed this division as a result of their disobedience unto Him. Although they were already divided, God still recognize both partitions as His people. However, that changed when they killed God's Son on the cross. Because of what they did, God disowned them. But because of His truthfulness with His Covenant with Abraham, He decided to leave a third part or group, a remnant of Israel. This remnant has become the saved third group prophesied by the Prophet Zechariah.
What confirms the validity of our understanding concerning the prophesied third group saved by God? The parallel prophecies of God's other prophets who shared the same spirit of prophecy:
10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.”
11 It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time
To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
12 He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
The parallel prophecy of Joel also confirmed this:
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
The saved third (group) is the remnant of God’s people. They were referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah as the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah, thus proving our earlier point that the first 'two-thirds' or two groups point to the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. This remnant will be saved, or in prophetic terminology ‘assembled and gathered’, by the prophesied Root of Jess who was set up to be the banner or God’s message of salvation (Isaiah 49:6), which we know was fulfilled in The Christ. On the day that The Lord Jesus was killed and became The Christ or Messiah, the day when He became the banner to the people, the Gentiles will also seek Him to be their light for salvation (Isaiah 49:6) so that, as prophesied by another prophet, Joel, “whoever (from among the saved remnant or group) calls on the name of The Lord shall be saved.”
This is the un-biased presentation of the prophecy in Zechariah 13:8-9 as confirmed by God's other prophets - and they don't point to the INC1914 group to be the specific fulfillment.