The Zechariah 14 Question:
Past or Future?
Gen. James Green
T HE PREVAILING TEACHING in Church today (but it is losing popularity fast!) is, as Tim LaHaye and others state: “the next predicted event in God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church, which will bring about the completion of the body of Christ. Soon after that event, a series of Old and New Testament prophecies will be quickly fulfilled, including those relating to the Tribulation, the glorious appearing (second coming) of Christ, the judgment of God, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state...” blah, blah, blah! I was taught all this in the first 7 years of my new Christian faith (in a Pentecostal church). I have lots of recorded messages (tapes/DVDs) along these lines, especially dealing with the “rapture” of the church, which is A FALSE TEACHING (write for info. We also offer the refutation of this false doctrine in print).
But I’m not going to deal with that subject in this article. Now, I want to deal with Zech. 14, in which LaHaye places under the Battle of Armageddon (see “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy,” 2004, p. 113).
“AND HIS FEET shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from the east to the west by a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south” (Amplified Bible)
Most expositors/exegetists place our text in the future. Millions have been taught “dispensational premillennialism.” Prof. Tommy Ice, Rev. Tim LaHaye, and dozens and dozens of other Bible “experts,” teach dispensational premillennialism. In LaHaye’s book, under “dispensations” (pp. 84-90) and “premillennialism” (pp. 279-284), he tells us what these words mean. Right after Premillennialism he has “preterism” (Latin for “past”), which means that most, if not all prophecy was fulfilled by the time of the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem. This is correct I believe.
Just for clarity, let me point out their “proof texts” (for the pre-tribulation rapture of the church): “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord!” (1 Thes. 4:16 and 17, Amplified Bible).
The words “caught up” and “meet the Lord in the air,” we are told, mean “raptured” off the earth, just before the Great Tribulation strikes those “left behind”...so they explain it. To “prove” this, they take us to Luke 21:36: “Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man” (Amplified Bible).
LaHaye’s books etc. have sold into the millions and made both him and co-author Jerry Jenkins millions of $$. These two deceitful purveyors of the “Left Behind” series have sold the world ONE BIG LIE! (“Darbyism”). Well, you can read up on all this in my “Rapture?” magazines—free.
But let me present their favorite texts:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt. 24:36-44, KJV).
These tricksters try to convince the dumb sheep/lambs that these verses prove a pre-tribulation rapture. They try to tell us that the one that “shall be taken” (v. 40) are the Christians taken in the rapture, and the “other left” (v. 40) are the ones left behind to face the Great Tribulation. My point here is to show you just how deceitful these tricksters are. Turn to Luke’s account:
“I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Lk. 17:34-36).
Again, they try to convince us that the ones taken were “raptured;” the ones “left” were going to face the Great Tribulations. The truth lies in Matt. 24:39: “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away,” took “who” away?: Noe (Noah), or those of v. 38—those mockers? It was the “sinners”—the “pre-flood unbelievers” that were all TAKEN; it was Noah and his family that were LEFT BEHIND!!—the exact opposite of what the pretribulation rapture teachers/preachers tell us. Most Bible notes tell us: “…these words likely refer to church saints who are taken out from among the wicked when Christ calls the faithful to Himself at the rapture…” (Full Life Study Bible, p. 56, note on Mt. 24:40).
Actually, Noah and family never left the earth, or “flew away”—up, up and away in the sky! NO!, the ark of God rose on the flood waters, with the waters still upon the earth. Tell me, how can they even equate this to be a supernatural rapture of “catching up”? YOU CAN’T! The truth is that it was the sinners that were “taken (away),” and the righteous that were “left (behind).” Got it now??? Hope so.
THE VERSE before the “days of Noe” (Noah) tells us this: “But of that day and hour”—the same language that Zechariah the prophet uses often. The clue interpreting his prophecies called “the burden of the Word of the Lord for Israel” (12:1), lies, as is pointed out by many honest scholars, in the expression “in that day,” which is repeated often by the prophet.
Here in Mt. 24:36, Christ uses the words “of that day” (see Mk. 13:32 where Jesus uses “of that day.”). Prof. Adam Clarke’s Vol. 5, p. 234 (1831) note in reference to Mt. 24:36: “But of that day and hour” says:
“Ωρα here is translated ‘season’ by many eminent critics, and is used in this sense by both sacred and profane authors. As the ‘day’ was not known, in which Jerusalem should be invested by the Romans, therefore our Lord advised His disciples to pray that it might not be on a Sabbath (in which all gates were locked); and as the season was not known, therefore they were to pray that it might not be in the winter” (see v. 20).
My point of citing Clarke is because he was a preterist as opposed to a premillennialist. Clarke was a Methodist. John Wesley, who birthed Methodism, believed that “Christianity…is the last of all God’s dispensations. There is no other to come after this. This is to ensure to the consummation of all things” (Works, vol. 5, p. 314). Of course this puts the WORSHIP of ISRAEL (which they tenaciously hang on to) in the trash bin of history (see my articles on: “Is Israel God’s Chosen People Forever?”, plus many other related teachings exposing this “Racial Israel” lie!).
History proved out that Mt. 24:41 and 42 came to pass in 70 AD. This advice given by Jesus to His disciples allowed them to escape the destruction of that city by the Romans...those who rejected His advice were either killed or taken captive.
DOES OUR TEXT—Zech. 14:4—refer to a future date, or a past date? The number of those who used to believe the “future date,” but now the “past date,” is growing. One Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate newsletter expressed it this way:
We would contend that the expression ‘in that day’ most probably refers to the coming Messianic age, or the new revelatory period of this present Christian dispensation.” By “the coming Messianic age,” the writer alludes to Jesus’ time upon the earth when He introduced eternal salvation—to the Jew first, then the Gentile.
Let us ponder 14:1-3—the gathering together of ALL nations against Jerusalem. If this is yet future, as our deceitful “scholars” tell us, then we’re going to believe in a pretty BIG gathering of armies. The futurists await this BIG event. The futurists see verses 1-3 saturated with a future supernatural apocalyptic atmosphere. They claim this is the quintessence of apocalyptic: a LAST tremendous battle for Jerusalem (vs. 1 and 2); the intervention of God with heavenly hosts (vs. 3-5); the redemption of nature (vs. 6-8); the universal reign of God (v. 9); the revival of Palestine with Jerusalem secure (vs. 10 and 11); the punishment of God’s foes (vs. 12-15); the re-creation of Jerusalem as an international holy city (vs. 16-19); the transformation of the secular into the sacred (vs. 20 and 21). Actually, there are dozens of ways these verses have been interpreted.
IF WE’RE TO BELIEVE in the “past”—the Roman invasion of Palestine known as the “Jewish wars” (66-70 AD), we know that Rome was known in prophecy as the “Universal Empire,” conquering all previous kingdoms/empires (see Dan. 7:7, 19 and 20). One author/pastor has written:
“This concept of universality, involving completion and comprehensiveness, is signified by the ten horns that apocalyptically characterize the Roman beast.”
This writer goes on to state: “The 10 horns are the essential composite identity of the fourth beast, Rome, who never appears in prophecy without them.”
If this is so, the above clarification naturally allows the First Century Roman Empire to stand in for the “all nations” that fight (fought) against the city of Jerusalem.
The word “all” has two meanings: limited and absolute (according to the context). It has been said, and rightly so, that there is no warrant for assuming, as modern dispensationalists do, that EVERY/ALL nation/nations on earth is/are going to attack the city of Jerusalem in the “end time.” Get serious.
THIS PHRASE “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives…” (v. 4); verse 7 reads: “But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” What in the world does all this mean? (read v. 6 also).
Rev. Gary Cutler, editor, believes that the phrase, “his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives” refers to the evening transition period between the old and new covenant ages (14:7). This is the time between Malachi and the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The book of Malachi stands at the end of the books of prophetic canon. Cutler believes that in this waning period of Jewish history, the Gospel of Jesus the Christ bursts forth, and with it, the Roman wars against messianically-misguided Judaism, the results of which fulfilled all Jewish nationalistic prophecies, and ended, officially, the entire revelatory dispensation that preceded Jesus the Christ.
THE OLD covenant of Moses’ law, upon which Israel was founded, was abolished; a new covenant was born by the blood of Jesus: this leaves Judaism without any personal covenant relationship to God, EXCEPT, I repeat, EXCEPT for the new one. Racial Jews MUST go through the blood of Jesus—just like the Gentile/Jew believers—the new spiritual Israel (read 1 Peter 2:1-10 where the new covenant people are called a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation”).
When racial Israel rejected Christ (as a whole nation), being the natural branches, they were broken off because of unbelief. But the call to all is still sounding loud and clear—the racial Jews can, by belief in Christ, be grafted back into the vine again (Rom. 11:20, 23).
HIS FEET stood many times upon the Mt. of Olives, but, no doubt, Zech. 14:4 refers to his ascension up to Heaven (see Lk. 24:50; Acts 1:12). So, WHEN the crucified and risen Christ ascended at His royal place—the right hand of His Father—the “new age” began (Acts 2:22-36; 13:32-37; 1 Cor. 15:23-26; Col. 3:1; 1 Peter 3:22 and Rev. 4:2, 3 etc.).
Revelation 4:2 and 3 clearly states that Christ Jesus the Lord—the “stone” which the builders rejected (racial Israel), has NOW and FOREVER become the HEAD of the corner—the chief foundation and source of New Israel. This is called “replacement theology,” which is correct.
So, when His feet lifted off from the Mt. of Olives, He set in motion a new kingdom made up of both racial Jewish believers, and Gentile believers: this is the universal Ekklesia.
“THEN SHALL the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
This is perceived to be Christ as a warrior (see Rev. 6:2; 17:14; and 19:11-17); His warfare is not for destruction (as in the old days of Israel) but for salvation. Jesus fights to see souls redeemed. In fact, this is our job, or have you Churchites forgotten this? It is rightly stated that in the Old Testament that God fought many battles for His people (that is when they were in right standing with Him). You don’t think that God now has stopped fighting for us, do you?
Psalm 2:8 says: “Ask of Me (God) and I will give you (Israel) the nations as your inheritance…” Verse 9 speaks of warfare. But our “warfare” is not carnal, but spiritual—as Paul the apostle declares in 2 Cor. 10:4. We fight not only for ourselves, we fight for others as well. Too bad that “Christian” America does not act upon this (with the military).
Some Bible scholars take Zech 14:4 to means the equal parting of the Mt. of Olives from north to south, as Jesus would later ascend back to Heaven therefrom, was Zechariah’s apocalyptic way of describing the leveling of the playing field, in terms of the achievement of salvation for all the world—that Christ’s first advent, in it’s totality, was to be achieved. In Scripture, mountains represent both spiritual and physical barriers (and can also represent kingdoms). They also represent religious systems of worship where people sought to “experience” communion with God (see Isa. 2:2 and Micah 4:1 where this symbol is written about).
There is no doubt in my mind that “the top of the mountains” is pointing to the heavenly nature of both Christ’s reign and kingdom, as well as to the “heavenly Jerusalem.” You see, we do not need to see a third temple built, as the pre-tribulation rapture folks teach. NO! God’s true Israel—Spiritual Israel, is that temple; HIS HOLY PRESENCE DWELLS WITHIN US.
Gal. 4:26 tells us that: “…the Jerusalem above [the Messianic Kingdom of Christ], is free…” We who are born again, Spirit-filled make up this heavenly kingdom today—it is NOT FUTURE, it is NOW! (see also Phil. 3:20; Heb. 12:22-24; Rev. 21:2).
what is a true jew?
“THE BOOK OF ROMANS describes the circumcision we should seek is not the outward appearance, but an inward work of the heart that we might be like the true Jews (Yahudim, those who praise Yahweh). Yahshua denounced those who attempted to create attention to themselves in outward appearance. We are not to seek the attention and praise of men as do the Pharisees. We are to seek the praise of Yahweh by pleasing Him:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, “which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Yahweh (Romans 2:28-29 AV).
Paul goes on in Romans chapter three, pointing out it is the Jews who have been made caretakers of the Old Testament, upon which our faith is based. We can learn from the Jews a deeper insight as we seek the truth of Yahweh’s word. On the other hand we can help the Jews come to a deeper appreciation of the love and spiritual way of life Yahshua has for all of us.
While the Jews have been made custodians of the Old Testament only a few have noted that the goal of the saints is to be the bride of Messiah. In Revelation 21:9 an angel reveals the bride, the Lamb’s wife, to John who then sees a celestial city coming down from Yahweh out of heaven. The city hovers over the earth, and is comprised of the saints who were resurrected to the spirit realm in the first resurrection. It’s called the “New Jerusalem,” this is where Yahweh sets His throne and along with Yahshua, are the “Temple,” and they rule from there.
Take special note, this spiritual city, the abode of the coming King and His Messiah, has 12 foundations, named after the 12 Apostles:
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them were the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:14 MKJV). Notice the foundations of the New Jerusalem that is above has its foundations based upon the New Testament Apostles, not the Old Testament. Emphasis is on the New Testament teachings of the Savior and the writers of the New Testament:
Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of Yahweh, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20 MKJV).
We...who have come out of the churches are to follow the example of the Savior and are under the spiritual Melchizedek order as we seek the true worship of Yahweh under Yahshua our High Priest, We are not to be conformed to this world, nor to follow the ways of the Pharisees. We are to be bearers of spiritual fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 MKJV). The spiritual Melchizedek order has replaced the Levitical order of physical offerings. Our battle is in the Spiritual realm;
Finally my brothers, be strong in Yahweh and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Elohim so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13 MKJV).
We do not draw closer to Yahweh through wearing tzit-tzits on our clothing, or wearing phylacteries on our arm or forehead. We draw closer to Yahweh by having our spirit in tune with His Set-apart Spirit. Our thoughts, goals, ambitions, attitudes, and life itself is to be in complete harmony with Yahweh and Yahshua. Prepare yourself to join that glorious throng which will meet Yahshua in the air when He returns:
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Revelation 9:7, AV).
This article was taken from the publication “Orthodox Believers.”
The Messianic dispensationalism movement (of converted Jews) believe Jesus to be their Messiah. Invariably dispensational and evangelistic, they are convinced the temple (3rd) will be rebuilt and Jewish worship reinstituted. Contemporary Christian Zionists such as: the late Dave Hunt, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Tommy Ice, Randall Price, Grant Jeffrey and many more have written about rebuilding the third temple. They all believe that racial Israel will be the center of God’s will in the very near future. I’ve already written on this (false) mandate.
You see, in order to have THEIR way of seeing Scriptures fulfilled, the necessity of having a rebuilt temple to desecrate is a most logical conclusion if a literal futuristic reading of texts (Dan. 9 and Mat. 24) is accepted. But they have a BIG problem: their understanding is false. Even the early church did not believe in this, the temple had ceased to hold any significance. Tell me, what would a third temple mean? The Bible tells us that we (born-again/Spirit-filled) Christians make up God’s temple. The temple slaying of animals (blood sacrifice) would be a SLAP in Christ’s face! He was the Lamb that was slain! I can understand why orthodox Jews pray for this, but spiritual Jews need not.
“behold, the day of the lord cometh”
WHEN THIS WAS WRITTEN, what follows was in the future context. But is Zech. 14 STILL future? Texts like Deut. 1:30; 3:22 use similar wording when the LORD fought for Israel (past; see also Joshua 11:42). In these texts, God granted victories for His people, BUT they did not involve His bodily presence. So, why do many believe Zech. 14 will involve Jesus’ presence in the future?
“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day the Lord shall be one (in recognition and worship of men) and His name one” (v. 9, Amp. Bible). Psalms 47:2 says the very same thing.
Some use Zech. 14:5: “…and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” as proof of His second coming. BUT similar wording is use in the past tense: “THE LORD CAME FROM SINAI…HE CAME WITH 10,000S OF SAINTS…” (Dt. 33:2).
But let us deal with v. 4—a text of confusion for many. I was taught that since Christ ascended from the Mt. of Olives, He MUST come again “in like manner,” as Acts 1:11 reads, and He MUST return to the exact spot. BUT, the words “in like manner” do not imply “exactly the same spot” (see Lk. 24:50, 51 where Jesus “…led them (disciples) out as for as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven.” Bethany does not overlook Jerusalem, but is around the Mt. of Olives on its southeastern side.
One Bible scholar had written that Zech. 1:4, 5 about a valley being formed because the Mt. splits in half; we may be prone to think of this in a literal sense, and, therefore FUTURE. But let’s consider v. 10: “All the land shall be turned into a PLAIN…but Jerusalem shall remain lifted up on its site and dwell in its place of the former gate…” (Amp.).
Scholars leave the “literal” and explore the “figurative” because such wording about the city being “exalted” or “lifted up,” is commonly used by Old Testament prophets (see esp. Isa. 2 and Micah 4. Isa. 40:3, 4 has been used in modern songs—Luke 3:2-5 should be noted. Such texts do not (did not) refer to literal mts. or valleys. Hab. 3:6, 10 uses expressions like “hills bowing,” “mts. being scattered,” “mts. trembling” and the Lord “coming down.” Isaiah 64:1, 3 speaks of mts. flowing down at His presence; Isa. 55:12 refers to mts./hills singing and trees clapping their hands!
HENCE, TO MAKE A MONUMENTAL “END TIME” DOCTRINE OUT OF ZECH. 14 IS FOOLISH. The Old Testament has many references about “the coming of the Lord,” that does not imply His visible presence. We all love texts like Isa. 19:1-4 where the Lord rideth upon a cloud; Micah speaks of the Lord coming: “…out of His place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.” In these two verses, it speaks of “the mountains shall be molten under Him…,” yet I’m not aware of any liberal/End Time scholar that applies this to the second coming.
christ—in his people!
CHRIST DOES NOT have to appear personally. He resides within His “body of Christ,” which is universal. His true (I mean TRUE!) people walk the whole earth NOW! (This was called “the highway of holiness” in Isa. 11:16; 19:23, 35:8; 40:4 in the Old Testament). In the New Testament, we find John going: “…into all the country round about the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance unto the forgiveness of sin” (Lk. 3:3-6). Read the expression: “…make His (Jesus’) beaten paths straight. Every valley and ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be leveled down, and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough roads shall be made smooth; and all (ALL?) mankind shall see the salvation of God…” (quoted in Isa. 40:3-5). Was that literal? Is this literal?
You see, Jesus appears every day in and through his earthly body (of Christ, of which we Christians are part).
holy spirit’s presence
“BUT WHEN HE, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]” (John 16:13, Amplified Bible).
When Jesus bodily ascended up into Heaven (Spirit Abode), He promised His people another comforter:
“And I will pray (to) the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He (not it!) may abide with you for ever” (Jn. 14:16). In verse 17, Jesus calls the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit: “the Spirit of truth,” which “comforter” translates the Greek parakletos, meaning (literally) “one called alongside to help.” This Greek word also means: Strengthener, Counselor, Helper, Adviser, Advocate, Ally, and Friend. The word parakletos is applied to Jesus in 1 Jn. 2:1. Therefore He is our Helper and Intercessor in Heaven (Heb. 7:25), while the Holy Spirit is our indwelling Helper and Intercessor on earth (Rom. 8:9, 26; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 2 Tim. 1:14).
So, the Holy Spirit is with us and in us (I have teachings on this already, free upon request). This Holy Spirit is now universally available for ALL the earth’s people; but we know not ALL will receive Him.
Verse 4 of Zech. 14 mentions the east, west, north, and south, spiritually speaking=ALL the earth has the presence of Christ/the Holy Spirit; those who believe receive eternal or everlasting life; those who disbelieve receive eternal (same Greek word meaning ENDLESS!) death (in Hellfire!!) (Mk. 16:16).
Those who don’t adhere to the second coming to Jerusalem, believe parabolically/apocalyptically, that this “very great valley” stretches endlessly from east to west, even as the mountain barrier was removed from north to south—a graphic picture of total access into a great valley, called in apocalyptic symbolism “the valley of decision” (see Joel 3:14; 2 Cor. 6:2). Jesus makes reference to this in mat. 8:11.
mountain becomes a plain
ZECH. 4:7 STATES:
“For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a PLAIN [a mere mole hill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple]...” (Amp.). This prophecy was referring to those who opposed Zerubbabel in his rebuilding of the torn down temple—their pride (= mountain) was to be brought down like unto a PLAIN. So, since Zechariah spoke of a “mountain” becoming a “plain,” and a plain being lifted up (there are many such figurative expressions we could cite), is it not possible, as scholars point out, that a figurative meaning could be connected with the “valley” mentioned in Zech. 14?
If a valley had served as a hiding place in ancient battles, could not it here symbolize divine protection and/or a place of escape? We find in 9:8 where God “will encamp about My house as a guard or a garrison…” Verse 15 also mentions “The Lord of hosts shall defend and protect them…”
If Zech. 1:16: “I am returned to Jerusalem” does not imply His bodily presence after Israel’s Babylonian imprisonment, why do you think Zech. 14:4 implies it? Well, for one thing, it sells books and makes those “prophecy experts” famous. What I write is not exciting enough—not pro-Jew enough.
If we’re to believe like these “experts” believe (vv. 6, 7 literally)—that the literal sun would not set on Jerusalem—then half the world would have continual darkness (if the earth ceased to revolve, the sun/moon which determine times/seasons altered in their endless courses, how would anyone determine the date at which they would go to Jerusalem “from year to year to worship” and to “keep the feast of tabernacles”?—R. Woodrow).
let thereb be light!
BUT, IF WE UNDERSTAND “light” in the spiritual sense, it could and does refer to the truth of Jesus’ Gospel—He was and is the LIGHT of the world; the “Light” that Isa. 9:2 refers to (see Mt. 4:13-16). Zechariah’s light at evening time is similar to Isa. 60:20—sun=light: the Gospel of Christ will forever shine until the END,” For the LORD shall be thine EVERLASTING or ETERNAL light,” the very same thing Rev. 21:23, 25 speaks of—read these verses please.
JESUS WAS/IS the “Light of the world” and “If any man thirst let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said (see Isa. 12:3 and 44:3), out of His belly shall flow rivers of Living water” (see all Jn. 4:14).
We need to compare Zech. 14:8 with Joel 3:18—can we claim literalism?
Another valid point made by Woodrow is as follows:
A further indication that the prophet did not intend these words in a literal sense is seen in the following: Shittim was in the plains of Moab on the other side of the Jordan river (Numbers 33:49; Joshua 3:1). If a literal river were to flow from Jerusalem to Shittim, it would have to Cross the river Jordan to get there. Literal rivers flow into each other, but do not Cross one another.
another jewish holocaust?
THERE SEEMS to be no end to all this “End Time” madness, which, of course, centers on the Jewish nation. The theory of a great conversion of Jews during the Great Tribulation is paramount. In Hal Lindsey’s “There’s a New World Coming” (1973), he tells the Jews: “Israel will be converted to faith in her true messiah and then miraculously protected,” citing Zech. 12:8, 9. He goes on with his supposed revelation (from the Bible!), “As promised, God will strengthen the Israeli’s to fight with a ferocity never seen before on this earth. He will also supernaturally protect them from being annihilated” (pp. 45-46).
In 1995, he cast a pessimistic foretelling: “Only a tiny fraction of the world’s population will be left. Only a remnant will have survived. Many of the Jews would have BEEN KILLED” (“Planet Earth 2000 AD,” p. 264). In his “The Final Battle” (1995), Hal gives a very gloomy picture of what awaits the Jews: “…Zechariah gives us unusual, detailed account of how hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Israel battle zone will die. Their flesh will be consumed from their bones, their eyes from their sockets, and their tongues from their mouths while they stand on their feet” (citing Zech. 14:12, pp. 255-257). This is all put in future tense.
This is typical of these futurists. David Brickner’s “Future Hope,” has practically the same scenario (he is associated with Jews for Jesus). He writes: “There is terrible bloodshed as Jerusalem suffers horrible defeat…half of the people in the city are destroyed or taken into captivity. The destruction and devastation are hard to imagine. The nation of Israel is battered, broken, and beaten. She is nearly destroyed, but it’s not over yet” (p. 74). Another Jews for Jesus author, Louis Goldberg, refers to Zech. 13-14:
“So, you might ask, ‘with Israel once more on her ancient soil and enjoying freedom (really?) she has not known for 2,500 years, how in the world can we talk about another holocaust? How would nations and leaders permit such a situation ever to occur again?’” This begs the question! What caused Israel’s punishments (plural!) beforehand? SIN! And I might add: other nations cannot STOP God’s punishments. And one more thing: the 6 million Jews holocaust is a BIG LIE! Better check out the Red Cross; their statistics do not even reach half that number. They kept records—the original (body) count taken from those death camps. In fact, all of Europe at that time did not have 6 millions Jews, the number was half that. Stop believing this LIE!
Goldberg quotes Zech. 13 to PROVE that it will (in his calculations) lead to at least 2 ½ million Jews dying in Israel alone…calling it “another carnage.” Friends, there may be “another Jewish carnage,” but not because of End Time prophecy. The 70 AD was the only holocaust the Bible mentions. That was predicted by the Jewish Messiah—Jesus Himself.
Actually, these Jewish’ authors: Rosen, Brickner, Goldberg, are in reality “anti-Semitic.” Think about this. Another fact is that, according to Stephen Sizer (Christian Zionism), there are may Zionist agencies, while essentially dispensational in theology, that also believe in the regathering/ingathering of the Jews, and dissociate themselves from apocalyptic dispensationalism. They do not believe “…the distasteful belief that ‘once all the Jews in the world immigrate to Israel, 2/3's of them will die in Armageddon (another made up tale!) and 1/3 convert to Christianity” (see “Blessing Israel?” Christian Embassy Responds (Nov. 2, 1997, Kern). International Christian Embassy (ICE), therefore represents a more optimistic view. There is just too much on this subject, it deserves another article by itself.
future world peace?
WE’VE ALL BEEN told that if we (Christians or USA) bless Israel, that we will be blessed by God. Can we really say that the church/USA is blessed? HA! This nation has gone from BAD to WORSE since 1948!!
M.R. Dehann tries to convince us of world peace: “The salvation of this world’s ills lies in this one formula: bring God’s covenant people into God’s Holy Land…there can be no peace in this world until the nation and the land, according to God’s purposes are again wholly united…the key to lasting peace is the land of Israel and the Israel of the land…” HA! What a line of religious BULL! This was written in 1947 in his book, “Daniel The Prophet,” pp. 168, 170. God is through with this rebellious nation as a “covenant people.” If any Jew is to be saved, they will have to do what we all had to do: REPENT and BELIEVE the Gospel.
fulfillment of prophecy
THE ENTIRE book of Zech. was known to the New Testament writers. Chapters 1-8 exerted tremendous influence on New Testament apocalyptic literature. They, according to the Broadman Bible Commentary (vol. 7), are cited most often in the book of Revelation; chapters 9-14 strongly influenced the Gospels. So, the question of the fulfillment of prophecy must be tested against the New Testament’s understanding of the ways in which all prophecy is fulfilled in and through Christ. It is said that Christian interpretation must be careful not to draw direct lines from Zech. to some theme (like Zionism) without going through an understanding of Jesus the Christ, THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE CHURCH (EKKLESIA) HAS BECOME THE TRUE ISRAEL OF GOD. We must be careful not to confuse racial Israel with Spiritual Israel.
Sizer warns that such a fatalistic view of the future, with its pre-written scripts, will inevitably be predisposed to acquiesce in the face of anti-Semitism, since this fulfills the prediction of Jacob’s trouble.
bless or curse?
WE ARE WARNED that the departure from the historic Christian faith is most clearly evident in the reductionist belief that God will judge the world on the basis of how individuals and nations have “blessed” or “cursed” Israel.
Be warned! A belief that the (racial) Jews remain God’s chosen people, separate from the New Testament Ekklesia, flows from literalist hermeneutics. Drop your view—if you hold to it—that racial Israel is to remain elevated to a status above the New Testament Ekklesia, e.g., Spiritual Israel. This view is at variance with the New Testament; WE ARE TRUE ISRAEL BECAUSE WE HAVE PLACED OUR TRUST IN CHRIST; RACIAL ISRAEL AS A NATION HAS NOT.
It must be pointed out that belief in a FINAL restoration of the Jews is based on a literal/futurist reading of “selective” Old Testament prophecies—most in the past tense (read Ezra and Nehemiah); no further return is to be anticipated (we have teachings on “Israel 1948" —true or false?). New Testament writers apply such Old Testament promises/prophecies to saved Gentiles and saved Jews, not to unsaved Israel.
I have spent my share of time proving that the Jewish inheritance promised to Israel is CONDITIONAL, not unconditional (John Hagee and many others say it is unconditional; they avoid the “if-clauses” altogether).
Nothing in the New Testament substantiates the (false) claim that Jerusalem will forever remain exclusively God’s central focus—NO! the New Testament focus is upon the citizens of the Heavenly New Jerusalem. And this puts an end to the (foolish/false) rebuilding of the third temple. Why can’t these people see that the priestly caste and sacrificial system of Judaism is over? The perpetuation of an OBSOLETE system is utterly foolish; yet it continues. This is sheer rebellion.
All this “Jew Worship” has been generated by dubious exegesis of certain Biblical texts—this in itself has set Israel in an exalted place she has not earned. Israel is still in denial of Christ. One writer put it this way: “…it justifies the endemic racism intrinsic to Zionism, exacerbates tensions between Jews/Muslims—Jews/non-Jews.” This of course puts the Christian Zionists on edge in order to combat those who see the Jew problem as a world problem. The Jews must solicit pity, and demand protection because they are “victims of racism,” “xenophobia” and related “intolerance.”
It never has occurred to them, I guess, that God is not behind the recreation of the Jewish State: so the call to SUPPORT ISRAEL sounds louder and louder…even as I write. The US is bombarded with pleas, even demands and commands to support this Christ-hating nation. Now the U.S. is eyeball deep in the Middle East crisis. Israel has become front-and-center to U.S. foreign policy. These Christian Zionists have been influential in forging a tighter relationship with Israel by facilitating solidarity pilgrimages to the “Holy Land.” Tell me, what is holy about a nation that hates Christ (and secretly, Christians!)? We never hear an end of the “anti-Semitism” stuff—much created by the Jews themselves.
Christian Zionist organizations are unequivocal not only in justifying Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians, but also in helping them $$ wise. This all stems back to selective texts proclaiming (falsely of course) Israel’s right to the land. This is called Judaizing folks. Support for their reclaiming the land goes up and down by the world. The world ought to read the Bible. God does not bless rebellion, and Israel is in a state of rebellion…and Christian Zionism aids-and-abets their rebellion.
to build or not to build
AS STATED BEFOREHAND, the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple is a MUST—according to them—for Christian Zionism finds its consummation in the future hope of all Israel…and hastening Armageddon. These misguided “Christians” have become staunch benefactors of this false idea. As it stands today, WW3 is in the making because of Israel—using Islamic terrorism as the tool. It is no secret (now) that the CIA/Mossad has been using the Militant Muslims to:
1. Create the problem;
2. Incite a reaction, i.e. fear/hatred etc.;
3. Propose a solution—rid the earth of Islam!
I’m not suggesting that militant Islam does not need to be checked (see our “2 Faces of Islam” magazines), but Israel is not innocent in all this. One only needs to read Islam’s Qur’an and the Hadiths in order to see that Islam is a violent religion/State with world domination in view; the same holds true for the Zionist Jews (secular); read their Talmud and other writings for proof.
And don’t try this “Divine Retribution” stuff on me for telling the truth. These Christian Zionists are literally crazy in their protection of a people who call Jesus a BASTARD and Mary a WHORE. They need to read the Talmud for themselves (but be aware, there are 2 versions: one for the stupid non-Jews (who deserve death!); the other, the true one, for Jewish schools/colleges/synagogues). This “protect Israel no matter what!” is dangerous and contagious.
ALL THIS “PEACE” bull we’ve seen and heard of since 1948 is really deceitful. Since the Christian Zionists, secular Zionists and Orthodox Jews are convinced there will be an apocalyptic war in the future, there is no prospect for lasting peace between Jews, Arabs, and non-Jews. The imminent battle of Armageddon is always used to instill fear in all who believe it. I don’t!
WELL, there is no sense in writing a book, so I’ll close. I’ll ask the readers what was asked by Sizer:
“What difference did the coming of the kingdom of God in the person of Jesus the Christ make to the Traditional Jewish hopes and expectations concerning the land and people?”
If you, as a Christian, push harder for a Jewish kingdom than for the universal (Christian) body of Christ, you need to REPENT. These Christian Zionists believe that Christ’s coming made little or no difference to the nationalistic and territorial aspirations of first-century Judaism…they await Judaism to be fully recognized. This is fatal. Believing the coming of Jesus’ Kingdom means a postponement of Jewish hopes (and they believe this too!) for restoration, rather than the fulfillment of their hopes in their Messiah and His new and inclusive Messianic community, is misguided indeed.
Christian Zionism twists texts and marginalizes the universal imperative of the Gospel message for a un-Gospel Mess-Age.