A FEW FACTS ON THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

the-millennium

1 PREMILLENNIALISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH

Most of the earliest Church Fathers believed in a literal kingdom on earth which would follow the return of Christ. Philip Schaff, an amillennialist historian admitted:

“The most striking point in the eschatology of the Ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millennarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius; while Caius, Origin, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustine) opposed it…. It distinguishes, moreover, two resurrections, one before and another after the Millennium, and makes the millennial reign of Christ only a prelude to his eternal reign in heaven, from which it is separated by a short interregnum of Satan.” – Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church 2.XII.158.

2 WHY A MILLENNIAL KINGDOM?

Old Testament and New Testament promises require it.

Scripture contains many prophetic passages which include promises which require an earthly kingdom for their fulfillment (e.g., Mat. 19:28). Without a future earthly kingdom, huge portions of the Old estament must be spiritualized into meaningless generalities.

Biblical covenants require it.

Four unconditional covenants were made with Israel: the Abrahamic, Land, Davidic, and New covenants. Elements of each of these covenants remain unfulfilled and require a future earthly kingdom to bring them to pass. For example, Israel must occupy the Promised Land in peace, never to be removed again (Amos 9:1415).

Passages which don’t fit now or the eternal state.

The Old Testament contains numerous passages which cannot find fulfillment in the present state nor the eternal state. They describe a time of great blessing which is far beyond our current experience, but which includes birth, sin, death (Isa. 65:20), and the sea none of which are found in the eternal state (Rev. 21:1, 4).

To demonstrate righteous rule in the original creation.

With Jesus ruling from the throne of David on earth, the world will see what life should have been in the original created order which was “very good.”

3 MILLENNIAL PASSAGES

Identifying Millennial Passages

In many cases, Millennial passages can be readily identified because they describe an incredible time of blessing and promise, but they contain elements which are abolished in the eternal state. Watch carefully for passages which sound like “heaven on earth,” but which include mention of sin, death, rebellion, judgment, a Temple, or the sea. None of these occurs in the eternal state and provide indicators that a millennial passage may be in view. Also look for the transition between the Tribulation (or Day of the Lord) with great judgment and bloodshed, followed by promises of restoration.

Key Millennial Passages

Although there are many millennial passages, some of the most prominent include: Ps. 72:1-20; Isa. 2:2-5; Isa. 11:1-10; Isa. 66:19-24; Eze. 37:21-28; Eze. 47:1-12; Zep. 3:8-12; Mic. 4:1-13; Zec. 14:8-11, 16-21; Mat. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; Acts 1:6-7; Rev. 20:46.

4 BIRTH AND DEATH IN THE MILLENNIUM

Raptured and Resurrected Saints

Raptured and resurrected saints participate in the Millennial Kingdom, but they do not contribute to the growth in population because they have glorified bodies (Mark 12:25).

Living Saints Survive the Tribulation

Isaiah indicates children will be born and people will die at a great age (Isa. 65:20). Who bears these children? They are from the faithful who remain alive on earth at the Second Coming. This includes the believing Jewish remnant, many who were kept safe (Rev. 12:6) and other Jews and Gentiles which managed to survive. They enter the kingdom from the “sheep and goat judgment” (Mat. 25:3134).

No Post-tribulation Rapture

This precludes a posttribulational rapture. If all the believers are taken in the Rapture at Christ’s return and then immediately return to earth, there are no believers left in their natural bodies to form the initial birthing population of the Millennial Kingdom.

5 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

Duration

One thousand years. (Rev. 20:25)

Theocratic Rule

God will rule in the person of Jesus Christ on the throne of David. King David reigns as a prince under Christ. (2Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:20-37; Isa. 24:23; Jer. 30:9; 33:15-17; Eze. 34:23-24; 37:24-25; 45:22; Dan. 7:13-14; Hos. 3:5; Luke 1:30-33)

Representative Rule

The twelve apostles will represent Christ ruling over the twelve tribes. Church age and Tribulation saints will represent Christ ruling over the Gentiles. (Isa. 32:1; Dan. 7:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mat. 19:28; Luke 22:30; Rev. 3:21; 5:10)

Universal Rule

Christ’s rule will extend both spiritually and literally over the entire earth. (Ps. 2:69; 72:8; Dan. 2:44; 4:34; 7:14, 27; Mic. 4:12; Zec. 9:10)

Seat of Government

The earthly Jerusalem will be restored, blessed, and greatly expanded to serve as the seat of government and worship. (Isa. 62; Isa. 65:18-19; Eze 48:15-19; Luke 21:24; Rev. 11:2)

Global Environment

The heavens and earth will be renewed to restore the environment to Eden-like conditions and repair the damage from man’s long reign of abuse and the judgments of the Tribulation period. (Isa. 65:17; Mat. 19:28)

Populace

Resurrected and glorified saints will rule in the midst of Christ’s “brothers” (the faithful Jewish remnant), and the “sheep” (faithful Gentiles) who survive the Tribulation and enter the kingdom to form its initial population. Children will be born to those who enter the kingdom in their natural bodies. (Dan. 12:2; Isa. 26:19; 65:20, 23; Mat. 25:31; Rev. 20:4)

The Curse

Many aspects of the curse (Gen. 3:1519) will be reversed. People will live to a great age, but death will still occur. As before the flood, animals will revert to vegetarianism and will no longer fear man. Living waters will flow from beneath the Sanctuary of the Temple bringing life to the regions they water. (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:20, 25; Eze. 47:8-12; Zec. 8:4; 14:8 (cf. Rev. 21:12)

Productivity

The earth will be fruitful and men will enjoy the fruit of their labors. (Ps. 67:6-7; 72:16; Isa. 35:1; 55:13; 65:22; Joel 2:24-26; 3:18; Amos 9:13-14)

Mt. Zion

The region of Mt. Zion will be lifted up to form the Mountain of the Lord’s House (where the Millennial Temple will be). (Isa. 2:2; 56:7; Eze. 20:40; 40:2; Zec. 14:4, 10-11; Mic. 4:1)

Israel

Israel will finally inhabit the Promised Land permanently and in peace. She will serve as the focal point of the nations because Jesus will reign from Jerusalem. (Gen. 13:15; 17:8; 1Chr.17:9; Ps. 105:8-11; Isa. 60:21; Jer. 3:18; 7:7; 30:3; 31:8-9; Eze. 37:25; 39:25-29; Amos 9:11-15)

Peace

All implements of war will be destroyed in favor of implements of productivity. Nations will no longer go to war. Disagreements between nations will be judged by Christ from Jerusalem. (Ps. 72:37; Isa. 2:5; 9:7; Eze. 37:26; Mic. 4:3)

Worship

A temple will stand in Jerusalem and all the nations will go up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Tabernacles. Sacrificial offerings will be resumed. (Isa. 2:3; 56:6-7; 60:20-23; Eze. 43:20, 26; 45:15, 17, 20; Jer. 33:18; Dan. 9:24;

Joel 3:18; Hab 2:7-9; Zec. 6:12-15; 8:20-23; 14:16-21; Mal. 3:35)

Demonic Realm

Satan will be bound in the abyss and demons will be imprisoned in the regions of Babylon, Edom, and possibly the abyss. (Isa. 34:8-17; Rev. 18:2; 20:3)

Language

The curse of Babel (Gen. 11:7), which introduced varied languages will be reversed. All the earth will have one language. (Zep. 3:8-12)

(Source: Tony Garland – Spirit & Truth)

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THE VERY BASICS OF END TIME PROPHECY PART 10

BASIC PROPHECY

END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Two great events will bring the Tribulation to a close—the War of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. As the Antichrist leads the armies of the world against Israel with genocidal intent, Jesus Christ will return to earth, accompanied by the armies of heaven.

Jesus will seize the Antichrist and the false prophet and cast them alive into the lake of fire. At the Second Coming, the Old Testament saints and believers who died during the Tribulation will be resurrected.

After the Tribulation, in Matthew 24:29, the second coming of Christ is presented. He describes the signs in the heavens that will indicate that the Son of Man is coming, and finally the gathering of His chosen ones from around the world.

THE WAR OF ARMAGEDDON

The word Armageddon is found only one time in the Bible (Revelation 16:16), yet this one word is probably the most familiar biblical term from end times prophecy.

The word Armageddon is made up of two words in Hebrew: Har (mountain) and Megiddo (a city in the northern part of ancient Israel). The ancient city of Megiddo was built on a hill, and it is therefore called the mountain of Megiddo—Armageddon. The city of Megiddo overlooks a beautiful, large valley known as the Plain of Esdraelon. The armies of the earth will gather here in the last days and face total defeat by the returning King from heaven (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:19-21).

Armageddon is also often equated with the last battle or war on earth, but this is not the case. The last war in history will be the final revolt of Satan in Revelation 20:7-11 called Gog and Magog (not to be confused with the Gog and Magog invasion at the beginning of the tribulation). This war occurs one thousand years after Armageddon.

Armageddon is the climactic war of the Great Tribulation when all the armies of the earth gather to attack Israel and attempt to finally eradicate the Jewish people. They will capture Jerusalem, but then Jesus Christ will return to destroy the invading armies and deliver the faithful Jewish remnant.

The War of Armageddon is the subject of many biblical passages. Here are ten key Scriptures:

  1. Psalm 2
  2. Isaiah 34:1-16
  3. Isaiah 63:1-6
  4. Joel 3:1-17
  5. Zechariah 12:1-9
  6. Zechariah 14:1-15
  7. Malachi 4:1-5
  8. Revelation 14:14-20
  9. Revelation 16:12-16
  10. Revelation 19:19-21

The most vivid description of the severity and brutality of Armageddon is found in Revelation 14:17-20. The Lord is saying that at Armageddon He is going to throw all the nations into His great winepress and that His intense, blood-splattering judgment will extend throughout Israel from Megiddo to Bozrah.

Some believe they will gather from all over the world to challenge the Antichrist. After all, by the end of the Tribulation, with all God’s judgments pouring forth, the world will be in terrible shape. The nations may view the Antichrist as the source of the trouble and want to destroy him. Others believe that the armies are gathered to finally eradicate the Jewish people. The latter makes more sense because Revelation 16:13-16 indicates that the unclean spirits (demons) that gather the armies together will emanate from Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet. It doesn’t make sense that the Antichrist would gather the armies together to destroy himself.

Phase 1 – The Euphrates River dries up, preparing the way for the kings of the east (Revelation 16:12).

Phase 2 – The Antichrist’s allies assemble (Revelation 16:12-16). The armies assemble to annihilate the Jews once and for all.

Phase 3 – The armies attack Jerusalem, and it falls (Zechariah 14:1-3).

Phase 4 – Jesus Christ returns personally to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).

Phase 5 – Christ and the armies of the Lord destroy the armies gathered against Jerusalem in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:9-17; Zechariah 12:1-9; Zechariah 14:3).

Phase 6 – Christ descends upon Bozrah/Edom—in modern Jordan—to destroy its inhabitants and to deliver the Jewish remnant (Isaiah 34:1-7; 63:1-5; Joel 3:19). Earlier, when the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and sets up the abomination of desolation, one-third of the Jewish people will flee into the hills and the wilderness, where they will be supernaturally protected by God for 3½ years from the ravages of the Antichrist and Satan (Revelation 12:6, 14). The Scriptures seem to indicate that they will hide in the rock city of Petra in the southern part of modern Jordan (Micah 2:12-13; Daniel 11:41).

Phase 7 – The armies at Armageddon are destroyed (Revelation 16:16; 19:19-21). At Armageddon, the Antichrist will rally the remaining troops to fight against the Lord Jesus and His army (Revelation 19:19). Jesus won’t have to lift a finger. The sword of His word will smite the nations (Revelation 19:15).

First is the great bird supper (Matthew 24:28; Luke 17:37; Revelation 19:17-21): carcasses will fill the entire region; the birds of the air will gather to feed on the carnage. Second, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 19:20). These two pawns of Satan will be the first two occupants of the lake of fire. Thus ends the campaign of Armageddon. There will be no more war on earth for one thousand years.

THE SECOND COMING – REVELATION 19:11-13 MATTHEW 24:27-30

Jesus will return to the earth from the same place He left—the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). He will be accompanied by a great crowd. This crowd will follow in His entourage as He splits the clouds riding on a white stallion. This crowd will be made up of both angels and redeemed human beings. All believers in Christ have a roundtrip ticket. All who have been raptured will return to the earth with Jesus at His second coming, the climax of the Tribulation. (Zechariah 14:5, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Jude 1:14, Revelation 19:11, 14)

The coming of Christ to earth will fulfill the numerous promises that He will come again (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 25:31; Acts 1:9-11). Christ Is Coming to defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Revelation 19:19-21). Christ is also coming to regather and restore faithful Israel and to judge the living.

When Christ returns, all the Gentiles who survived the Tribulation will appear before Him. He will determine if they can enter His Kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46). This judgment is called the judgment of the “sheep and the goats.”

After the Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-21), one of the next events is the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation believers to reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4-6; Daniel 12:1-4).

Lastly, Christ is coming to bind the devil (Revelation 20:1-3) and to establish Himself as King (Revelation 19:16). He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords! He will sit on His glorious throne and reign over the earth (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44; Matthew 19:28; Luke 1:32-33).

Acts 1:11 says, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (NASB).

His coming will not be hidden but will be visible to all the world. Matthew 24:23-27 describes His coming.

Suddenly As the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 24:27, Revelation 3:3)

Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29)

Gloriously (Matthew 24:30) Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. Every creature will bow before Him and be subject to His authority (Philippians 2:11).

SEVENTY-FIVE DAYS TO GLORY

There seems to be an interval of time between the second coming of Christ and the official inauguration of the millennial kingdom. Daniel 12:1-3 describes the time of coming Tribulation for Israel and then the resurrection of Old Testament saints. The Tribulation for Israel will last 1,260 days, which is 3½ years (Daniel 12:7). This is the latter half of the seven-year Tribulation. Then, after these great events we read the enigmatic words in Daniel 12:11-12: “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration is set up to be worshiped, there will be 1,290 days. And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days!”

The 1,260 days is not too difficult since this time period is frequently set forth in Daniel and Revelation as the final 3½ years of the Tribulation. The 1,290 days is thirty days beyond the end of the Tribulation, and the 1,335 days is another forty-five days beyond that. These time periods describe an interval of time between the end of the Tribulation and Christ’s second coming and the beginning of the Millennium.

While we cannot be certain about everything that will transpire during this time, it is safe to say that during this time period Christ will remove the abomination of desolation, cast the Antichrist and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20), throw Satan into the abyss (Revelation 20:1-3), judge those living on the earth (Matthew 25:31-46), resurrect and reward Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Daniel 12:1-3), and assign responsibilities for the administration of His Kingdom. During this interval, the celebration of the marriage supper will begin on the earth (Revelation 19:7-10), and possibly the construction of the millennial Temple will commence as well (Ezekiel 40–48).

The fact that those who make it to the 1,335 days are blessed means that they have made it to the beginning of the millennial kingdom (Daniel 12:12). They have come through the judgments and are allowed to enter the kingdom.

IMPRISONMENT OF SATAN

Both amillennialists and postmillennialists contend that the binding of Satan occurred at the first coming of Christ and that Satan is bound right now during this present age. They often view the casting of Satan from heaven in Revelation 12:7-9 as parallel with Luke 10:18-19. They point to Mark 3:27 and Matthew 12:25-29 as the fulfillment of the binding of Satan during the earthly ministry of Christ. For them, Satan’s activity and power are restricted during this present age. However, this contradicts the way Satan is pictured in the New Testament. Satan is called “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30), “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), “the commander of the powers in the unseen world” (Ephesians 2:2), and he is “like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil schemes against believers (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11), hinders us (1 Thessalonians 2:18), accuses us (Revelation 12:10), and blinds the minds of the lost (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is anything but bound today. He is aggressively opposing the work of God. As someone once said, “If Satan is bound today he must have an awfully long chain.” Satan is characterized as the arch-deceiver in the New Testament. Yet, Revelation 20:3 says that when he is bound Satan will “not deceive the nations anymore.” This does not fit the current situation. It demands a later time after the Lord’s coming.

Revelation 20:1-3 is very precise and specific in its description of Satan’s binding. It describes four distinct actions by the angel who binds him. Satan is “laid hold of,” “bound,” “[thrown] into the abyss,” and the abyss is “shut and sealed over him” (NASB). The language is very compelling and clear. Nothing even similar to this happened at the first coming of Christ. But it will happen when Christ returns, after which Christ will reign for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).

Amillennialists and postmillennialists have a serious problem explaining Satan’s release at the end of the one thousand years, which they take to be the present age. Revelation 20:1-7 specifically mentions “a thousand years” six times. Whenever John mentions a time period that is general or nonspecific, he identifies it as such by phrases like “a little longer” (Revelation 6:11) or “little time” (12:12). Revelation 20:3 says that at the end of the one thousand years Satan will be released for “a little while.”

RESURRECTION IN REVELATION 20:1-6

Premillennialists maintain that the resurrection in Revelation 20:5 refers to physical, bodily resurrection at the end of history. The Millennium must occur after the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead.

ISRAEL’S SALVATION ACCORDING TO ZACHARIAH 12-14 (PART 2 OF 2)

Israel saved

ZACHARIAH 14

TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF CHRIST

THE PROMISED MESSIAH WILL RETURN AS THE TRIUMPHANT WARRIOR-KING TO DEFEAT ISRAEL’S ENEMIES AND USHER IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

Just as God fulfilled His detailed promises very literally regarding the first coming of the promised Messiah, the events surrounding His second coming and the Day of the Lord must also be taken at face value. Yes, there are figures of speech involved. But you cannot do justice to the text to spiritualize away the details that are revealed in this chapter or to try to substitute the church for the physical nation of Israel as the focal point of these promises. Just when things look the darkest for the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, the Warrior-King will return in power and triumph to destroy all enemies and rescue His besieged remnant. The worship of the one true God will be exalted in the millennial kingdom with very severe judgments for those people who persist in the foolishness of rebellion.

THE LORD WILL RESCUE HIS REMNANT (14:1-3, 12-15)

The first verses of chapter 14 go back to the last two verses of chapter 13, and to the battle mentioned in 12:2-9.

“1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”

The earlier description did not mention that Jerusalem would be overrun before the Lord would intervene, but that is the picture here (14:2-3). The people will be overcome by their opponents and will have to watch helplessly as their own possessions are leisurely shared out by their conquerors before their very eyes. It is a picture of the seemingly hopeless situation of the people of God. But as the enemies are leisurely dividing the spoil from Jerusalem in its streets, thinking that they have defeated the Jews, then Jesus will return.

When the Romans came against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. they came with a multinational army and brought terrible destruction on the city and its people. Yet there was none of the deliverance that Zechariah will describe in the following verses, so it is difficult to say that this was fulfilled in the Roman attack upon Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

“12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.”

The enemies of God as well as many of His own people are destroyed by plague, mutual slaughter, and by the sword of Judah (Judah also will fight at Jerusalem). The description of flesh dissolving makes some think that Zechariah is describing the effects of a neutron or nuclear bomb. But In the glorious deliverance the Messiah brings, Jerusalem will become a wealthy and influential city again.

“4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”

Jesus will return in glory with all the saints, the armies of heaven, as described in Revelation 19:14. When Jesus returns, His feet will touch down on the very place from which He ascended, the Mount of Olives, it will be split in two, the surviving remnant will escape, and Jesus will rout His enemies.

The Israelites would flee for safety through this valley with mountains on either side (cf. 2 Sam. 15:16, 30; 2 Kings 25:4; Ezek. 11:22-25). The valley would reach as far as Azel (lit. “be joined to” or “be at the side of, near;” cf. Mic. 1:11), some distance east of Jerusalem. Matthew 24:16-20 provides a set of instructions for the Remnant. Christ tells them where to go: the Judean mountains. Based on Jeremiah 49:13-14 and Isaiah 63:1-3, many believe that the Jews will flee to the old Bozrah region in southwest Jordan, where the ancient fortress city of Petra is located.

In 760 B.C. Judah was hit by a gigantic earthquake, recorded in Amos 1:1. Josephus said this happened when Uzziah walked into the temple as a kingpriest. 250 years later, Zechariah referred to that stupendous earthquake.

THAT DAY OF THE LORD WILL BE UNIQUE IN MANY RESPECTS (14:6-11)

“6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 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.”

Joel had said, “The sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining” Joel 3:15. And Isaiah, “The moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jersalem and before His ancients gloriously” Isaiah 24:23; and, “Behold the day of the Lord cometh, The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine” Isaiah 13:9-10. All know well our Lord’s words Matthew 24:29. John, like Zechariah, unites the failure of the heavenly light “with a great earthquake, and the sun became as sackcloth of hair: and the moon become as blood; and the stars of heaven fell upon the earth” Revelation 6:12-13.

The new creation shall be ushered in, as the first was, by a day of lurid gloom and “darkness visible,” which shall not, however, deepen into night, but brighten at its close into the everlasting dawn. “At evening time there shall be light.”

“8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”

The Israelites divided their year into two seasons instead of four: summer and winter (cf. Gen. 8:22; Ps. 74:17; Isa. 18:6). Probably the water will be literal, but it certainly has symbolic significance as well (cf. Ps. 46:4; 65:9; Isa. 8:6; Jer. 2:13; Ezek. 47:1-12; John 4:10-14; 7:38; Rev. 22:1-2).

Ezekiel 47 records a vision that may describe this scene. Ezekiel saw a river flowing from the throne of God and down to the Dead Sea, bringing life and vitality everywhere.

“9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. 10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”

Geba was six miles north east of Jerusalem. Though it actually lay in the traditional territory of Benjamin, it was taken as the northernmost limit of Judah (1 Kgs. 15:22; 2 Kgs. 23:8). Rimmon was 35 miles south west of Jerusalem, and was on the southern border of Judah where the hill country merged into the Negev (Josh. 15:32; 19:7). Since the mountains around Jerusalem are no longer needed as a defense, they can be flattened into a plain. This will be the first time in a long time that Jerusalem will be a safe place to live.

THE GENTILE NATIONS IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM WILL WORSHIP THE LORD IN JERUSALEM AT THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES (14:16-19)

Following the Lord’s victory at that battle (cf. Rev 19:11-16), will come the full restoration of Israel as anticipated in Hos 14:4-7; Joel 3:18-21; Am 9:13-15; Mic 4:1-3; Zep 3:14-20.

“16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

Instead of coming to Jerusalem for battle now the nations come to honor God and to remember His faithfulness to Israel in the wilderness by keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. God won’t make people worship Him during the millennium, but the advantages of worshipping and honoring God will be more evident than ever. Egypt is probably specifically mentioned because they were a nation not especially dependant on rain, yet they too would be punished if disobedient.

CONCLUSION – TOTAL CONSECRATION TO THE LORD (20-21)

“20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.”

This was the great inscription on the metal band around the high priest’s headpiece (Exodus 28:36). In the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom horses won’t be needed for war any longer – now even they can wear the emblems of holiness to the Lord.

These were the cooking utensils used by worshippers to cook for their own the sacrificial meat intended for them from the peace offerings. The bowls before the altar were used to gather and sprinkle sacrificial blood on the altar. These show that animal sacrifice will continue in the millennium, but not as atonement for sin – which was perfectly satisfied by the atoning work of Jesus. Sacrifice in the millennium will look back to the perfect work of Jesus.

These were the cooking utensils used by worshippers to cook for their own the sacrificial meat intended for them from the peace offerings. The bowls before the altar were used to gather and sprinkle sacrificial blood on the altar. These show that animal sacrifice will continue in the millennium, but not as atonement for sin – which was perfectly satisfied by the atoning work of Jesus. Sacrifice in the millennium will look back to the perfect work of Jesus.

The Canaanites throughout Israel’s history represented people who were morally and spiritually unclean, reprehensible to Yahweh, and doomed to death (cf. Gen. 9:25; Isa. 35:8; Ezek. 43:7; 44:9; Rev. 21:27). Probably that is the significance of the name here, not just the ethnic Canaanites alone. There would be no more people like the Canaanites in the land because all would acknowledge Him as God and King.

(BIBLE VERSION: KJV)

(MAIN EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCE 1: “THE LORD REMEMBERS AND WILL AGAIN CHOOSE JERUSALEM — COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH” by Paul G. Apple, October 2007)

(MAIN EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCE 2: “The Blue Letter  Bible – Zachariah: StudyGuide2017-Zec/Zec-14.cfm” – David Guzik)