And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. (Zechariah 14:9a)
The next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. At any moment, God could remove all born-again believers from the earth, before He pours out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting world. No prophecy remains to be fulfilled before the rapture. It is imminent. Sometimes the rapture is confused with the second coming of Christ to earth. In the rapture, the dead in Christ are raised and the living saints are translated. Then, seven years of tribulation—a time of horrific judgments—begins. At the climax of this cataclysm, Christ comes back with His church to commence His kingdom reign on earth. The second coming is what Zechariah describes in chapter fourteen.
He calls this time “the day of the LORD” (v.1). This is not a 24-hour day, but a period of prophetic significance, signifying the end of human history. Man has had his day—now God has His. This is the day the Jews anticipate will usher in the Messianic kingdom. This time is portrayed in Scripture as a time of awesome judgments. Here, it mentions the “spoil” of battle, for Jesus said it would be a time of wars and rumors of war. The culmination of this bloodshed will be at the battle of Armageddon (v.2-3). From the West, the Beast—the Antichrist—will bring the combined might of the United States of Europe; Russia and her allies will descend as vultures from the North; armies numbering in the millions will march from the Orient; and the Arab and African nations sweep up from the South. They all converge in the Middle East for War. Jerusalem will fall and the Jews will be on the verge of extinction, when Christ will appear with heaven’s armies to conquer.
Jesus will set foot precisely where He departed—from the Mount of Olives (v.4-5). The angels told the disciples who watched Jesus ascend that when He returned He would come to the same spot! That mountain overlooks the Eastern Gate—the sealed Golden Gate of Jerusalem. It overlooks the valley of Jehoshaphat—scene of the judgment of the Gentile nations. Here, Jesus wept over the city that rejected Him and said, “You shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Matt.23:39)
The first time He came it was in weakness, as a babe in a manger, but He will come the second time in power, as a King on a stallion. Christ returns with the angelic host and the raptured church. We are coming to reign with Him as His Bride. The earth will quake at His arrival. A valley created will provide an avenue for those still in Jerusalem to escape. God will keep His covenant with Israel.
The Lamb of God will be the light (v.6-7). This marks the dawn of a new day and dispels the darkness of sin. As Malachi puts it, “The Sun of Righteousness is risen with healing in His wings.”
The earthquake that splits Olivet will also open the stores of water beneath Jerusalem (v.8). These life-giving waters flow out of the rebuilt Temple according to Ezekiel. The desert will bloom. The paradise Adam lost, will flower again under Christ’s rule (v.9). Today the name of Jesus is profaned, His cause is scorned, and His rule is rejected—but not in that day! Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!