Jack Kelley – https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-end-times-according-to-zechariah/
Zechariah assumed his role as a prophet in 520 BC, a few years after Israel’s return from the 70 year Babylonian captivity. The first half of his book describes eight visions that all came to him on a single night, February 15, 519 BC. Then there’s a short interlude where he relates the Lord’s answers to questions the Jews had about their current situation. Chapters 9-14 were written nearly 40 years later. 9-11 deal mostly with prophecies for the times leading up to and including the Lord’s first coming, and 12-14 focus on the End of the Age. These final three chapters are the object of our interest because they describe the End Times According to Zechariah.
Chapter 12 … Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed
This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God” .’(Zech 12:1-5)
In case there’s any doubt about Who’s speaking, the Writer identifies Himself as the One Who stretches out the Heavens, lays the foundation of Earth, and forms the spirit of man. The fact that these verbs are all in the present tense indicates that this is an ongoing effort.
Notice the two separate thoughts here. First the Lord says He’s going to send all the surrounding peoples reeling. I believe this is a reference to the Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 battles that only involve Israel’s next door neighbors and will set the stage for Ezekiel 38, the battle that will reawaken Israel to the Lord’s presence. These battles will take place before Daniel’s 70th Week begins. Later, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against Israel, He will show His ultimate strength in the battle we call Armageddon. This battle takes place at the end of Daniels 70th Week.
“On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place. “The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.(Zech 12:6-9)
Jerusalem will not fall completely and the surrounding areas of Judah will be spared as well, but by the time it’s over Jerusalem will be rescued and all the attacking nations will be destroyed.
Mourning for the One They Pierced
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives.(Zech 12:10-14)
But before the final battle begins, the Lord will send His Spirit of Grace, and the eyes of the spiritually blind will be opened, and they’ll behold their Messiah, Jesus, the One they crucified. They’ll all grieve bitterly, as if for a firstborn son, from the royal line of David, to the rest of Judah, represented by Solomon’s brother Nathan, to the priests of Levi and the other Levite families under Shimei, and to all the tribes and clans of Israel. It’s the National Awakening into a New Covenant relationship as foretold in Jeremiah 31:31, and both civil and religious authorities will lead the way.
By the way, there are two un-translated letters in the Hebrew text following the phrase “look upon me” in Zechariah 12:10. The two letters are the aleph and the tau, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Their better-known equivalents are the alpha and the omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used to describe the Father in Rev. 1:8 and 21:6 and the Son in Rev. 22:13. The same two un-translated letters appear in the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 following the phrase “In the beginning God …”. Are these clues that God placed there to identify Jesus as the Messiah, and to confirm His role as our Creator as well as our Redeemer? Does the use of the phrase “alpha and omega” at opposite ends of The Revelation and attributed first to the Father and then to the Son mean that they are One as Jesus claimed in John 10:30? It certainly seems so.
Zechariah 13 … Cleansing From Sin
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
“On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the LORD’s name.’ When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him.
“On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. He will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’(Zech 13:1-6)
As they finally see and accept Jesus as their Messiah, the blood He shed on the cross will wash them clean, and the life He gave will ransom them, just as it has us. The Angel Gabriel told Daniel that six things would be accomplished during Israel’s final 490 years, and one of them, sealing up vision and prophecy, is accomplished here. (Daniel 9:24) No longer will God use prophets to communicate with man, He’ll soon be dwelling among them again, and will deliver His Word personally. Anyone claiming to be a prophet will be executed by his own friends and family if necessary, to avoid offending the Lord.
The Shepherd Struck, the Sheep Scattered
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ “(Zech 13:7-9)
Here’s an overview connecting the Lord’s first and second coming. He quoted from this passage on the night of his betrayal. (Matt. 26:31) Today many well meaning but scripturally inept Christians go running through Israel telling people that they’d better come to Jesus because two thirds of them are about to die in the coming Great Tribulation. As far as I know, not one convert has resulted from this misuse of Scripture. Even a casual reading shows that two thirds are struck down first and it’s the remaining third that the Lord brings into the refining fire, a euphemism for the Great Tribulation.
By most accounts, there were 9 million Jews alive in the days before World War 2. Six million, two thirds, perished in Hitler’s extermination programs. Many of those left alive at the end of the war came to the newly re-born Nation of Israel and became its first residents. After the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, the Lord will gather the rest of them, not leaving any behind. This is the remaining third that will experience the Great Tribulation and upon whom He will pour out His Spirit. (Ezek. 39:28-29) It is this remaining third, the remnant of Israel, who will call on His name and be saved.
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.(Joel 2:28-32)
Next time we’ll cover chapter 14, the day the Lord arrives. See you then.
THE END TIMES ACCORDING TO ZECHARIAH PART 2:
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)
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
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
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
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. 07-03-05