I have a question I can’t seem to find an answer for in regard to eschatology–will Jesus ever literally set foot on earth again? Seeing as how we are living in the Millennium right now, he won’t reign literally on earth. But doesn’t Zechariah 14:4 allude to Christ returning to earth and splitting the Mount of Olives? It seems to me that when Christ returns, the universe is in havoc anyway (in I Peter 3, I believe). And then Christ judges all people (Rev. 21) in which the “earth and sky flee away.” Wouldn’t that mean that Christ doesn’t ever set foot on earth again? And if he does, why?
By Lonnie Woodruff
From your letter it seems to me that you have a very good grasp of what the Scriptures say about the second coming of Christ. The only real problem is understanding how Zech 14:4, fits into this view of the second coming. In a moment I believe you will see that there is actually no problem at all.
First, let me talk just a little about Old Testament prophecies. The one thing we must always keep in mind is that the prophecies of the O.T. speak of the first coming of Christ. Read Act 3:24;
“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”
The prophets spoke of the first coming of Christ and the establishment of the church. He said this in connection with Acts 3:22-23 which says,
Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Moses prophesied that God would raise up Jesus whom we should hear in all things. Those who do not will be destroyed. This is definitely speaking of the first coming of Christ. All the prophets spoke of “these days.” The prophets prophesied of the first coming of Christ, so the prophecy in Zech is speaking of the first coming of Christ… not the second.
Now, I will readily admit that it is sometimes difficult to understand every word in some of the prophecies in the O.T. So, in order to understand their intent, we must look at the context and determine the period of time being discussed. That is true with Zech 14:4.
Let’s move down in the reading in chapter 14 and look at verses 8 and 9.
Zech 14:8 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.
Zech 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
This is a definite reference to the first coming of Christ. Through his death on the cross, Jesus gave us living water to drink. Read the passage concerning the woman at the well in John chapter 4. His death on the cross also provided forgiveness of sin for those who lived under the Law of Moses. Read the following passage.
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
So, living waters flowed from the cross in both directions. It forgave the sins of those living under the Law of Moses and provided a way of forgiveness for those of us who live during the Christian dispensation.
Jesus is now King in his kingdom and Lord over the entire earth. He is the one and only Lord and His name is one.
Now, these verses explain the context of Zech. 14:4. So, whatever the exact meaning of all those symbols in verse 4, we know they apply to the first coming of Christ.
Jesus will not come back to this earth to establish a future physical kingdom. He will, just as you stated, come back to take his people home to heaven. He will judge the people of this earth and the earth and heavens as we know them will “flee away.” His people will then live with him eternally in a place prepared for us. (John 14:1-3)
I hope this has helped. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to write.
May God bless your Bible studies,
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