Skip to comments.Theological Implications of Zechariah 14
Posted on 07/05/2012 3:44:31 PM PDT by wmfights
In my two previous blogs I summarized Zechariah 14. Now I want to highlight some key theological implications of this chapter.
First, Zechariah 14 affirms that there is a coming kingdom upon the earth. Verse 9 explicitly statesAnd the LORD will be king over all the earth. God will rule over the planet He created. Eugene Merrill is correct that, The God who led His people through spatial, temporal history will recreate the
cosmos in those same categories. This is why a literal hermeneutic is essential in the absence of compelling evidence otherwise.
Second, Zechariah 14 affirms that the kingdom follows tribulation. The kingdom comes following the siege and deliverance of Jerusalem.
Third, Zechariah 14 affirms the future significance of Jerusalem and the people of Israel. Jerusalem is not only delivered by the Lord, it appears to operate as the capital city of the Lords kingdom. Jesus himself predicted that a day was coming when Gentile domination over Jerusalem would come to an end (see Luke 21:24).
Fourth, the coming kingdom has universal implications. The kingdom does not just involve Israelit involves all the nations. The Messiah will be king over all the earth. The concept of Gods blessings being mediated through Israel to the Gentiles is affirmed once again (see Gen 12:2-3).
Fifth, Zechariah 14 affirms that there will be an intermediate kingdom that is distinct from the present age and the final eternal state. Wayne Grudem states the issue well:
Here again the description [Zech 14:517] does not fit the present age, for the Lord is King over all the earth in this situation. But it does not fit the eternal state either, because of the disobedience and rebellion against the Lord that is clearly present.
These conditions of Zechariah 14 can only occur in an intermediate kingdom between the present age and the eternal state. While people from all nations are being saved in the church age, the nations themselves do not obey our Lord (see Psalm 2). In fact, they persecute those who belong to the Lord. In the coming kingdom Jesus will rule the nations while He is physically present on earth. The nations will obey and submit to His rule, but as Zechariah 14 points out, whenever a nation does not act as they should there is punishment. On the other hand, in the eternal state there will be absolutely no disobedience on the part of the nations. The picture of the nations in the eternal state is only positive. The kings of the nations bring their contributions to the New Jerusalem (see Rev 21:24) and the leaves of the tree of life are said to be for the healing of the nations (see Rev 22:2).
Present Age: Jesus is in Heaven and the nations do not yet submit to Jesus as King.
Millennial Kingdom: Jesus rules the nations on earth and punishes those nations that do not act as they should.
Eternal State: The nations act exactly as they should with no need of punishment.
 Merril Eugene H. Merrill, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago Moody Press, 1994), 357.
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
Wonderful articles, wmfights! Thank you for the pings!
Thanks for the ping!
I think most Christians don't have a clue that a large number of Christian churches do not believe there will be an actual physical millennial reign of Jesus Christ on Earth (amillennialism). Also, most Christians who hold to the amillennial belief don't understand that premillennialism was the "orthodoxy" during the Apostolic Era and generations immediately following.
Dispensationalism is often condemned as a recent "fad" because of it's dramatic growth since the 1800's. However, the main feature of Dispensationalism is it's literal interpretation of Scripture and it's premillennial view. In these beliefs Dispensationalism is consistent with Apostolic Era premillennial views. IOW, Dispensationalism is based on some of our best "orthodox" Christian views and there is a legitimate argument to be made that it is the churches that have embraced amillennialism and an allegorical interpretation of Scripture that have deviated from Apostolic Era Christianity.
This passage is particularly relevant in my view. It is as if the church after the apostles were called home wanted to diminish all hope that Christ was going to come again very soon. Perhaps they feared a loss of attendance? I've certainly observed churches doing very harmful things to beef up their attendance:
The theme of the Book of Enoch dealing with the nature and deeds of the fallen angels so infuriated the later Church fathers that one, Filastrius, actually condemned it openly as heresy (Filastrius, Liber de Haeresibus, no. 108). Nor did the rabbis deign to give credence to the books teaching about angels. Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai in the second century A.D. pronounced a curse upon those who believed it (Delitzsch, p. 223).
So the book was denounced, banned, cursed, no doubt burned and shreddedand last but not least, lost (and conveniently forgotten) for a thousand years. But with an uncanny persistence, the Book of Enoch found its way back into circulation two centuries ago.
In 1773, rumors of a surviving copy of the book drew Scottish explorer James Bruce to distant Ethiopia. True to hearsay, the Book of Enoch had been preserved by the Ethiopic church, which put it right alongside the other books of the Bible
Though it was once believed to be post-Christian (the similarities to Christian terminology and teaching are striking), recent discoveries of copies of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran prove that the book was in existence before the time of Jesus Christ. But the date of the original writing upon which the second century B.C. Qumran copies were based is shrouded in obscurity. It is, in a word, old
There is abundant proof that Christ approved of the Book of Enoch. Over a hundred phrases in the New Testament find precedents in the Book of Enoch.
Another remarkable bit of evidence for the early Christians acceptance of the Book of Enoch was for many years buried under the King James Bibles mistranslation of Luke 9:35, describing the transfiguration of Christ: "And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him." Apparently the translator here wished to make this verse agree with a similar verse in Matthew and Mark. But Lukes verse in the original Greek reads: "This is my Son, the Elect One (from the Greek ho eklelegmenos, lit., "the elect one"): hear him."
The "Elect One" is a most significant term (found fourteen times) in the Book of Enoch. If the book was indeed known to the apostles of Christ, with its abundant descriptions of the Elect One who should "sit upon the throne of glory" and the Elect One who should "dwell in the midst of them," then the great scriptural authenticity is accorded to the Book of Enoch when the "voice out of the cloud" tells the apostles, "This is my Son, the Elect One"the one promised in the Book of Enoch.
The Book of Jude tells us in vs. 14 that "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied " Jude also, in vs. 15, makes a direct reference to the Book of Enoch (2:1), where he writes, "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly "
Many of the early church fathers also supported the Enochian writings. Justin Martyr ascribed all evil to demons whom he alleged to be the offspring of the angels who fell through lust for women (from the Ibid.)directly referencing the Enochian writings.
Athenagoras, writing in his work called Legatio in about 170 A.D., regards Enoch as a true prophet. He describes the angels which "violated both their own nature and their office." In his writings, he goes into detail about the nature of fallen angels and the cause of their fall, which comes directly from the Enochian writings.
Many other church fathers: Tatian (110-172); Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (115-185); Clement of Alexandria (150-220); Tertullian (160-230); Origen (186-255); Lactantius (260-330); in addition to: Methodius of Philippi, Minucius Felix, Commodianus, and Ambrose of Milanalsoalso approved of and supported the Enochian writings
One by one the arguments against the Book of Enoch fade away. The day may soon arrive when the final complaints about the Book of Enochs lack of historicity and "late date" are also silenced by new evidence of the books real antiquity.
For whatever reason, when we explore eschatology it seems that a lot of good Christians let their preconceived notions rule them rather than honestly seeking the truth of it. We are not questioning how we are justified or whom we have faith in. We are just trying to understand a little bit of the big picture. In the end the more I study the end times the more I'm struck by how great God's mercy is and how undeserving of it we are.
You may be interested in David Currie’s book - Rapture, The End Times Error That Leaves The Bible Behind. He was a former fundamentalist that once believed in the rapture as well. He goes through many verses which he once believed to pointed to the rapture. He also goes through the church fathers. It might be worth the investment to you. Just saying. Check out the reviews at amazon.
God Bless You on your journey!
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony and insights, dear brother in Christ!
Thanks for your input. I rejected allegorical interpretation in most passages.
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