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Zechariah 14

Sunday Morning Bible Study

December 7, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

The historical background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of Ezra.

Zechariah lived during the time that the Jews had begun to return from Babylon and rebuild their Temple.

The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the years of 520-518 BC.

One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of prophecy about the coming Messiah.

We now in section in Zechariah, when he gives a series of prophecies that look far into his future.

Chapters 9-11 dealt primarily with the first coming of the Messiah.

Chapters 12-14 will deal with the second coming of the Messiah.

These last three chapters are a single prophecy, and constitute what some have called, “second to none in importance” (Feinberg) in regards to its prophetic value in “understanding the events of the last days for Israel – the time of the Great Tribulation, and the establishing of God’s kingdom on earth” (Feinberg).

Except for one verse (13:7), the rest of the prophecy lies in our future.

(Zechariah 13:7 NKJV) “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.
So one last time, we are setting our DeLorean time machine for our own future. Buckle up your seat belts and let’s hit the road… 
Video:  Delorean Time Machine

14:1-15 The day of the Lord

:1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.

:1 the day of the Lord is coming

This is a time of judgment, culminating in the return of Jesus Christ.

This is a specific time described by the prophets.

It is not a literal twenty-four hour day, but a period of time.

:1 your spoil will be divided

The city of Jerusalem will be captured towards the end of the battle of Armageddon.

The spoils of the city will be divided among the nations that are attacking it.

:2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

:2 gather all the nations

It would seem that the entire world will have turned against Israel.

:2 houses rifled … women ravished

Sounds kind of barbaric.

Here’s an interview with Andrew White, the Anglican bishop that used to be in Bagdad, but has since been evacuated to Israel.

Video:  Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad
The news reports tells us that the Islamic State is not only beheading children, but looting households, raping women, and selling women and children into slavery.

This is from “The Guardian”, a British newspaper back in October:

Mostafa Kader was one of the restive crowd, grieving for an uncle who had been beheaded by militants, and a young mother and her daughter both brutally raped and murdered.
Kader fled 10 days ago, leaving his village, which lies 16km from Kobani centre, in the small hours of the morning. He and his wife took their five-year-old, their toddler and what little else they could carry.
His uncle planned to join them but at the last minute changed his mind, unable to leave a village that had been his home for more than eight decades. The militants beheaded him, refugees arriving later told Kader.
"He was 85 – he could not even lift a weapon," said the young father, baffled by the brutality. Even more haunting were stories from his wife's village, where the fleeing family found the bodies of her sister and an eight-year-old niece lying in pools of blood.
"They had been raped, and their hearts were cut out of their chests and left on top of the bodies," he said, struggling to hold back tears. "I buried them with my own hands."

:2 Half of the city shall go into captivity

Initially, half of the city is captures.

:2 the remnant …shall not be cut off

Perhaps it’s this “remnant” that’s left that will be like “supermen” (12:8)

(Zechariah 12:8 NKJV) In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them.

:3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.

:3 the Lord will go forth and fight

Jesus returns to Jerusalem and fights the battle.

It’s interesting to look at what the other prophets have written and compare them.  It’s like looking at the same event from different perspectives.

John wrote,

(Revelation 19:11–16 NKJV) —11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

Three hundred years before Zechariah, Isaiah recorded something similar, and even tells us how Jesus’ robe was stained with blood:

(Isaiah 63:1–6 NKJV) —1 Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.”

When Jesus returns to earth from heaven, it will be to rescue the Jews.

His first stop will actually be in the land of Edom (Is. 63:1), where many Jews will have been hiding out from the antichrist (Rev. 12:14).

One of the places they may be hiding is in the ancient city of Petra (Is. 16:1-4)

After Jesus rescues the Jews in Edom, He will move with His armies to Jerusalem to rescue the remnant in the city from the armies that are surrounding it.


God’s fight

There are some battles that we must fight.
Joshua led the armies of Israel into battle to conquer the Canaanites. 
(Joshua 1:5 NKJV) No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

Even though God promised to be with them, they still needed to swing their swords and fight the battles.

There are other battles that God will fight.
When Jehoshaphat was being invaded by Ammon, Moab, and Edom, a prophet spoke up:

(2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV) …Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

We get into trouble when we confuse the two.
When it comes to temptation, we want God to do all the fighting.

We ask people to pray that we will be delivered from “lust”.

But though God will help us with the battle, this is a battle where we must swing the sword.

(Colossians 3:5 NLT) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

There are going to be other situations where God wants to be the one to handle things.

Sometimes it might be a situation with someone in your life that is causing you problems.

You want to take this person out back in the alley and teach them a lesson.

But sometimes God would rather you shut up and let Him handle it.

May God give us the wisdom to know when our battle is something we need to let Him handle, and when it’s something that we need to take care of.

:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

:4 His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives

Video:  Mount of Olives and Jerusalem map clip

The Mount of Olives is the hill located on the east of the Temple Mount.
Is there anything special about the Mount of Olives?
The Mount of Olives is not only next to Jerusalem, overlooking Jerusalem, but it literally overlooks the Temple mount itself.
Whenever you see pictures that display the “Dome of the Rock” (where the Temple was/will be), the picture is being taken from the Mount of Olives.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey down the Mount of Olives (Luke 19:37)
(Luke 19:37 NKJV) —37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
On that day that He rode into Jerusalem …

(Luke 19:41–44 NKJV) —41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Before Jesus was crucified, He spent His last night praying in a garden (Gethsemane) on the Mount of Olives. (Luke 22:39; Mat. 26:36)
(Luke 22:39 NKJV) —39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
(Matthew 26:36 NKJV) —36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”
The last place Jesus stood before ascending into heaven was on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12)
(Acts 1:9–12 NKJV) —9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
Ezekiel recorded that the Messiah would come through the “eastern gate” to the Temple. (Eze. 44:3)
(Ezekiel 44:3 NKJV) As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey, tradition has it He entered in through that same eastern gate.
In 810, the Arabs walled up the eastern or “Golden” gate, thinking this would keep the Messiah from entering it.

The Muslims also built a cemetery in front of the eastern gate, thinking that would also keep the Messiah from entering the gate, lest he be “defiled”.

There is also an ancient Jewish cemetery on the other side of the Kidron Valley, on the Mount of Olives.  The Jews believe that when Messiah comes to Jerusalem, the dead will be raised, and those buried closest to the Eastern Gate will rise first.
The cemetery is still functioning today.  It has been in operation for three thousand years.  It supposedly costs at least $50,000 to be buried there.

:4 the Mount of Olives shall be split

When Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives, the mountain is split.

With half of the mountain moving north, and half moving south, a new valley will appear that will lead from the Temple eastward towards the Dead Sea.

:5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.

:5 Azal‘Atsel – “reserved”

We don’t know where this is.

:5 the earthquake in the days of Uzziah

The earthquake took place 240 years before Zechariah (Amos 1:1)

(Amos 1:1 NKJV) —1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

The Jewish historian Josephus links this earthquake with the time when Uzziah tried to enter the Temple and became a leper (2Chr. 26:16-20)

The earthquake took place in 760 BC, 240 years before Zechariah.

:5 …And all the saints

Jesus returns with … us. (Rev. 19:14)

(Revelation 19:14 NKJV) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

:6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish.

:6 no light…lights will diminish

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 13:10 NKJV) For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.

(Zechariah 14:6 NIV) On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness.

Joel wrote,

(Joel 2:30–32 NKJV) —30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 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.

:7 It shall be one day Which is known to the Lord Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.

:7 at evening …it will be light

Perhaps at the end of the day it gets light.

One commentator suggested it will kind of a “murky” light.

:8 And in that day it shall be— That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.

:8 living waters shall flow from Jerusalem

“Living” water is water that comes from a spring rather than rain water collected in a cistern.

We talked about this last week.

Ezekiel tells us the water actually flows from God’s throne in the Temple (Eze. 47:1)
(Ezekiel 47:1 NKJV) —1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
(Ezekiel 47:8–10 NKJV) —8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
Half of the water will flow through the new valley into the Dead Sea, the other half into the Mediterranean.
The water can now flow to the Dead Sea because of the new valley.

:8 both summer and winter

All year long.  The water doesn’t depend on the season or the weather.

:9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be “The Lord is one,” And His name one.

:9 “The Lord is one,” And His name one

The great cry that identifies Judaism is:

(Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

But when Jesus returns, the Jews won’t be the only one crying this out, the whole earth will.

Jesus will be king of the entire planet.
(Zechariah 14:9 NLT) And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped.

:10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.

:10 Geba to Rimmon

Video: Jerusalem hills

Currently, Jerusalem sits in the Judean hills that run north and south through Israel.
Geba was north of Jerusalem, while Rimmon was a town on the border with Edom to the south.
The picture is that all the land of Israel will be leveled to the same altitude, except Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will be higher than all the surrounding land.

:10 inhabited in her place

All the places listed are to show that the city will go back to being just what it’s supposed to be.

:11 The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

:12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.

:12 Their eyes shall dissolve

I have a video of this.  Warning:  You may want to cover your eyes.

Video:  Melting a Chocolate Bunny

John also records the destruction of Israel’s enemies:

(Revelation 19:17–18 NKJV) —17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

:13 It shall come to pass in that day That a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;

:14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.

:14 the wealth of all the surrounding nations

This time the plunderers are plundered.

:15 Such also shall be the plague On the horse and the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.

:15 On the horse and the mule

They too will melt.  Think chocolate bunnies.

Want to see another version of the melting bunny?

Video:  Melting a Chocolate Bunny2

Some have suggested that Zechariah might be describing some sort of neutron bomb (and not the hair dryer that melted the bunny).

:12 this shall be the plague


The Right Side

Jesus is coming.
Are you on His side?
Jesus said,
(Matthew 12:30 NKJV) He who is not with Me is against Me…
How do you get on the “right side”?
It’s not by being good enough.

God knows you will never be “good enough”.

That’s why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross.

He died to pay the price for your sins.

All God is looking for is that you turn to Him and ask for His help.

God wants you to simply trust Him.

(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

14:16-21 Millennium

:16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

:16 everyone who is left

At this point in world history, there will be two kinds of people on the earth.

Those of us taken in the Rapture will have our glorified bodies.
Those who believed and lived through the Tribulation will have their old bodies.
It’s from these people that the nations will send representatives every year to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be the de facto capital of the world, and Jesus will rule.

:16 the Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles (or “Sukkoth”, Lev. 23:33-43) falls around October each year.

Part of the feast was designed as a celebration of the end of the harvest season, when all the crops have been harvested.

The Feast of Tabernacles was set up to remind Israel of the time when God delivered them from Egypt and they wandered for forty years in the wilderness, living in tents or “tabernacles”. 

It was also a time when God lived with the people, when His presence was in the Tabernacle. 

Jesus was also an embodiment of this feast.  John records:

(John 1:14 NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The word “dwelt” is literally the word “tabernacled”.  Jesus settled down with us when He took on human flesh.

When Jesus returns, the most important of the Jewish feasts to be celebrated will be the Feast of Tabernacles.

Why?  Because God will literally be “with them”.
He will dwell with us.

:17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.

:18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

:17 there will be no rain

This will be the penalty for any nation that does not honor God by sending representatives to Jerusalem for the Feast.

Even though the world will be made up of believers, those who are still in their old bodies will still have a sin nature.

:20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

:21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.

:21 there shall no longer be a Canaanite

Canaanites were the epitome of the ungodly.

When Israel first conquered the land of Canaan, they were commanded to wipe out the evil Canaanites.

It’s not until Jesus returns that this is actually, finally obeyed.


When God first instructed Moses about how God was to be worshipped, part of the instruction involved the clothing that the high priest would wear when he came into God’s presence in the Holy of Holies.

The Jewish high priest had a unique set of clothing.  He was to wear a turban on his head with a gold tag (or plate) attached to it.

(Exodus 28:36 NKJV) “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD
Yet now after Jesus returns, even the bells on the horses will have this inscription.


God’s goal: Holiness

When Jesus returns, He will clean house.
Pots, pans, even the horses will be “holy”.

Holiness speaks of purity.  It speaks of being right with God.

There’s something in each of us that longs for the day when everything will be right with God.
We identify with Paul who wrote,

(Romans 7:19 NLT) I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

We want to walk in purity, but we keep screwing things up.

This is the ultimate goal that God wants for all our lives.
(1 Peter 1:15–16 NKJV) —15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Some of us have the mistaken idea that achieving “holiness” is how we get God to love us, and maybe how we get God to give us things.
The truth is, God is already madly in love with us.
You can’t get Him to love you any more than He already does.
Video: Values – Patience with wet cement

If you were that child’s grandfather, would you stop loving the kids because he walked in your wet cement?  Of course not.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to teach him to not walk in wet cement.

God wants us to learn holiness because it’s what’s best for us.

It’s what being a “grown-up” Christian is all about.

Sometimes all we can think about is how much we’ve failed, and we just quit on trying to be holy.
(1 John 3:1–3 NLT) —1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

Instead of thinking about how much you’ve failed, think about who Jesus is.

Yearn to be like He is.

Arden K. Barden wrote,
It is not the way we deal with our human situation that is the basis for hope (as in “I have hope because I’m doing a good job with life…”) --hope is the basis for how we deal with our human situation.
It’s our hope in the soon return of Jesus that gives us the strength to keep going, to keep changing, to keep fighting the fight, to keep swimming against the current of the world.

Yesterday we had a guest speaker at our Men’s Breakfast.  Nathan Muldoon is a distance swimmer.  He’s swam to Catalina.  He shared with us how he swam the English Channel.

Nathan talked about the difficulties he faced as he swam.

He started in the middle of the night (2am) and got disoriented in the dark.

At one point the winds picked up, he was swimming into three foot swells, and he found himself swimming against a growing current.

A couple of miles off the coast of France he was losing ground and France started getting farther and farther away.

He was told by his team on the boat that followed him that he needed to sprint for an hour (after having been swimming for nine hours).  Then they told him he needed to sprint for another hour.  Then another hour.  The team prayed for the wind to calm.

Finally the wind and the currents changed, and he began to make progress.

Nathan swam for 15 hours.  And he made it.

Beloved, life is a marathon swim.
You have to keep going.
You have to keep heading in the right direction.
There will be a day when we will stand on that distant shore.
Holy is what we will all be one day.
I think God wants us to get a taste of it now.