The Septuagint vs. the Masoretic Text – Part 1 By Randy Nettles The origin of…
The End Times According To Zechariah – Part 2
By Jack Kelley
Zechariah 14…The LORD Comes and Reigns
“A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.” (Zech 14:1-2)
As the final battle begins, the armies of the anti-Christ will attack and for a little while control the Holy City. It will be a terrible time for those who have not heeded the Lord’s earlier warning to flee into the desert. Their belongings will be taken from them and distributed to their enemies right before their eyes.
“Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” (Zech 14:3-5)
When it looks as if all is lost, the Lord will descend to the Mount of Olives, to the place He left from nearly 2000 years ago. As He does, an earthquake will cause the Mount of Olives to split in half forming a deep valley that runs to the Mediterranean in the west and to the Dead Sea in the east. I’ve been told that on a geological survey map you can see the fault line and trace the path of the coming earthquake. It will run straight through the current Temple Mount just west of the Mt. Of Olives, causing it, the Dome of the Rock, the Al Aksa Mosque and much of the Old City to disappear into the bottom of this valley.
The Lord’s return will cause the immediate defeat of His enemies, after which He’ll make His triumphal entry into the city followed by His legions of Holy Warriors.
“On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.” (Zech, 14:6-9)
According to Ezekiel, the water that will fill this newly formed valley to create a mighty river originates under the Coming Temple, located a few miles to the north. Connecting Ezekiel 47 to this passage, a growing number of scholars have come to believe that the next Temple will be built just north of Jerusalem, and not on the current Temple Mount. (I’ve held this view for almost 10 years and have documented my reasons in an article called “The Coming Temple”.)
In his vision, Ezekiel saw the water flowing from beneath the south side of the Temple and Zechariah shows it doing so on the day of the Lord’s return. Since the earthquake will have buried the current Temple Mount earlier in the same day, it’s easy to see how this all fits together. In any case, when the cascading water reaches this valley, half flows east into the Dead Sea and half flows west into the Mediterranean, forever drowning the rubble from the current Temple mount.
In the idiom of the day, flowing water was said to be living because it had a voice (as in a babbling brook) and because it nurtured life, whereas a pool of still water became stagnant and caused everything in it to eventually die. The bath of purification (mikvah) had to be taken in living water. Immersion in the mikvah brought ceremonial cleansing from sin and symbolized new life. Christian baptism originated from this Jewish tradition. Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to living water in John 7:37, in that He’s the source of our new life, cleansing and nurturing us, and in Ezekiel 47 this living water from beneath the Temple freshens the Dead Sea allowing fish to thrive there again, and fruit trees to grow along its banks.
This will also be the day of fulfillment for Philippians 2:9-11; “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
But that’s not all. Psalms 2 and 110 will also be fulfilled along with a host of other prophecies, as the Messiah-King takes possession of that which He’s paid for, Planet Earth. In the process the topography of the land surrounding Jerusalem will be forever changed.
“The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.” (Zech. 14:10-11)
The Arabah contains the Jordan River and the Dead Sea and continues to the Red Sea. It’s the lowest place on Earth, over 1300 feet below sea level at the Dead Sea. The area south of Jerusalem will be lowered to match it, while the city itself will be elevated. And finally, for the first time in thousands of years, it will be secure, a City of Peace at last.
“This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected — great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.” (Zech. 14:12-14)
Shades of Raiders of The Lost Ark! A Neutron bomb liquefies flesh while leaving solid structures like buildings, and apparently skeletons, intact. Some have estimated that as many as 400 million combatants will be assembled for the Battle of Armageddon not counting animals. Perhaps this is what produces the volume of liquid necessary to form a river of blood 175 miles long and 4.5 feet deep as mentioned in Revelation 14:20.
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.”
“On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.” (Zech. 14:16-21)
We also learn from Ezekiel 45:21-25 that three of the 7 Levitical Feasts will still be celebrated in the Millennium; Passover (but no lamb), Unleavened Bread, and Tabernacles. All the nations on Earth, having been repopulated by Tribulation Believers who were too late for the rapture but survived the Great Tribulation, will be required to observe these feasts. The Lord will dwell among His people, and His city will be the Holy City once again. And finally the commandment He gave to Joshua to destroy every trace of the Canaanites will have been fulfilled.
In this brief view of the End Times, Zechariah has revealed an enormous amount of information. These three chapters have given us glimpses of
1. A World Confederation aligned against Israel
2. The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (The Great Tribulation)
3. The National Conviction of Israel
4. The presentation and acceptance of Jesus as their rejected Messiah
5. A National Day of Atonement
6. The Cleansing of Their Hearts
7. Purging the land of idols and false prophets
8. The partial success of the invasion of Jerusalem
9. The appearance of the Messiah with the Saints
10. The Victory of God’s People
11. A changed and renovated Holy Land
12. The establishment of the Messianic Kingdom
13. The punishment of the Nations
14. The Celebration of the Kingdom Feasts
15. The complete restoration of the people of God to a Holy Nation
No other Old Testament Prophet gives us as much detail about the End of the Age in such a brief description. Not until the Revelation, written nearly 600 years later, would such a clear presentation be made. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.