Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
A Snapshot of the Future
The clear and astounding TRUTH is that Revelation 19 and Zechariah 12 through 14 picture the glorious RETURN OF YEHOVAH GOD'S "SHEKINAH" PRESENCE to this earth to rule, with the Messiah directly under Him, from the new Third Temple in Jerusalem. YEHOVAH the Father Himself will return to Zion in His Shekinah Glory -- acting personally and directly to punish the wicked and rule as King over all nations.
by HOIM Staff
We invite you to read carefully the following text of three chapters of the Book of Zechariah. We have inserted at Zechariah 12:3 the LXX version (Greek Old Testament), since Luke quotes it expressly in Luke 21:24 (cp. Revelation 11:2). It throws very important light on the future events which will occur in the Middle East before and during the time YEHOVAH God and the Messiah return. It is an important part of our Christian vision and hope, to understand this section of Scripture, and talk about it with our friends.
Zechariah Chapters 12, 13 and 14
[Verse 1]: "This message concerning the fate of Israel came from the LORD (YEHOVAH God): This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit."
[Verse 2]: I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah."
[Verse 3]: On that day I [YEHOVAH God] will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves."
[Zechariah 12:3, Septuagint (LXX): "And it shall come to pass in that day that I [YEHOVAH God] will make Jerusalem a trodden stone to all the nations: every one that tramples on it shall utterly mock at it, and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it."]
[Verse 4]: "On that day," says the LORD, "I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies."
[Verse 5]: "And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, 'The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD of Heaven's Armies, their God.'"
[Verse 6]: "On that day I [YEHOVAH God] will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure."
[Verse 7]: "The LORD will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah."
[Verse 8]: "On that day the LORD will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the LORD who goes before them!
[Verse 9]: For on that day I [YEHOVAH God] will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."
[Zechariah 12:10, Tanakh]: "But I will fill the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion; and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son and showing bitter grief as over a first-born."
[Verse 11]: "The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo."
[Verse 12]: "All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David will mourn alone, as will the clan of Nathan,"
[Verse 13]: "the clan of Levi, and the clan of Shimei."
[Verse 14]: "Each of the surviving clans from Judah will mourn separately, and with the husbands separate from their wives."
[Verse 1]: "On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity."
[Verse 2]: "'And on that day,' says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, 'I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them."
[Verse 3]: "If anyone continues to prophesy, his own father and mother will tell him, 'You must die, for you have prophesied lies in the name of the LORD.' And as he prophesies, his own father and mother will stab him."
[Verse 4]: "On that day people will be ashamed to claim the prophetic gift. No one will pretend to be a prophet by wearing prophet's clothes."
[Verse 5]: "He will say, 'I am no prophet; I am a farmer. I began working for a farmer as a boy.'"
[Verse 6]: "And if someone asks, 'Then what about those wounds on your chest?' He will say, 'I was wounded at my friend's house!'"
[Verse 7]: "'Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, the MAN who is My partner,' [Yeshua the Messiah] says the LORD [YEHOVAH God] of Heaven's Armies. 'Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs."
[Verse 8]: "'Two-thirds of the people in the land will be cut off and die,' says the LORD. "But one-third will be left in the land."
[Verse 9]: "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"
[Verse 1]: "Watch, for the day of the LORD is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you!"
[Verse 2]: "I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city."
[Verse 3]: "Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He has fought in times past."
[Verse 4]: "On that day His [YEHOVAH God's] feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south."
This event is also predicted in the New Testament book of Revelation where YEHOVAH God returns to this earth on a white horse -- notice!
"Then I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd, like the sound of rushing waters, like loud peals of thunder, saying, 'Halleluyah! ADONAI [YEHOVAH, YHVH], GOD OF HEAVEN'S ARMIES, HAS BEGUN HIS REIGN!'....Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called FAITHFUL AND TRUE, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were MANY ROYAL CROWNS. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, 'THE WORD OF GOD.' The ARMIES OF HEAVEN, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations -- 'He will rule them with a staff of iron.' It is he who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of ADONAI [YEHOVAH, YHVH], GOD OF HEAVEN'S ARMIES. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: 'KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS'" (Revelation 19:6, 11-16, Jewish New Testament).
YEHOVAH God the Father's future universal role on earth in the form of the physical "Shekinah" presence is a major theme of the Old Testament. Verse 6 above inaugurates YEHOVAH God the Father's Kingly reign on earth -- although its establishment requires several stages: first is the RETURN OF THE MESSIAH in Revelation 10:1-7, the separation of YEHOVAH's true people (Revelation 11:1-2), the wedding feast of the Lamb (the Messiah) in Revelation 19:7-9, climaxed by the RETURN OF YEHOVAH'S SHEKINAH PRESENCE (Revelation 19:11-15); then Satan must be chained (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10) -- and only then does the Messiah actually rule as king and priest to his Father who resides in the new Third Temple in the form of the "Shekinah" presence (Revelation 20:4).
In order for the separation of YEHOVAH's people and wedding feast of the Lamb (Yeshua) to take place, Yeshua must FIRST return to this earth -- NOT afterwards as would be the case if Revelation 19 referred to the Messiah's return!
In Titus 2:13 we are encouraged "to expect the blessed fulfillment of our CERTAIN HOPE, WHICH IS THE APPEARING OF THE SH'KHINAH OF OUR GREAT GOD AND the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah" (Jewish New Testament). Verses 11-16 of Revelation 19 describe this eagerly awaited (by the early Christians) "Second Coming" of God's (YEHOVAH's) holy "Shekinah" -- NOT the Second Coming of the Messiah as millions have blindly assumed!
The clear and astounding TRUTH is that Revelation 19 and Zechariah 12 through 14 picture the glorious RETURN OF YEHOVAH GOD'S "SHEKINAH" PRESENCE to this earth to rule, with the Messiah directly under Him, from the new Third Temple in Jerusalem. May YEHOVAH hasten that day!
[Verse 5]: "You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the LORD my God [YEHOVAH] will come, and all His holy ones with Him."
[Verse 6]: "On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day!"
[Verse 7]: "Only the LORD knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light."
[Verse 8]: "On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously in both summer and winter."
[Verse 9]: "And the LORD [YEHOVAH God] will be King over all the earth [the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God at last!]. On that day there will be one LORD -- His name ALONE will be worshipped [Biblical Monotheism at last]."
[Verse 10]: "All the land from Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become one vast plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's winepresses."
[Verse 11]: "And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed."
[Verse 12]: "And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths."
[Verse 13]: "One that day they will be terrified, stricken by the LORD with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand."
[Verse 14]: "Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the neighboring nations will be captured -- great quantities of gold and silver and fine clothing."
[Verse 15]: "This same plague will strike the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in the enemy camps."
[Verse 16]: "In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King [YEHOVAH God], the LORD of Heaven's Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters [Feast of Tabernacles]."
[Verse 17]: "Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King [YEHOVAH God], the LORD of Heaven's Armies, will have no rain."
[Verse 18]: "If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the LORD will punish them with the same plague that He sends on the other nations who refuse to go. Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don't go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters [Feast of Tabernacles]."
[Zechariah 14:19, NKJV]: "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."
[Verse 20]: "On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: HOLY TO THE LORD. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the LORD will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar."
[Verse 21]: "In fact, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD of Heaven's Armies. All who come to worship will be free to use any of these pots to boil their sacrifices. And on that day there will no longer be traders in the Temple of the LORD of Heaven's Armies."
Much too often Christians have allowed themselves to hastily read through the texts, all the while ASSUMING that when the prophets write of YEHOVAH Himself acting in decisive ways, they actually refer to His Messiah. How often have you heard preachers and ministers say that "when Jesus returns, his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives." Unfortunately, this is CARELESS AND UNSCHOLARLY exegesis. As you can plainly see, after reading all the texts we have laid out above, it is clearly YEHOVAH God the Father who will stand on the Mount of Olives and take up residence in a newly built Temple -- and to rule over the world from Jerusalem!
The prophets understood this dramatic, personal intervention of YEHOVAH in history as a RETURN or "Second Coming." We read in Haggai that YEHOVAH declares: "ONCE MORE in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land" (2:6). Isaiah clearly yearns for this time to arrive:
"Oh, that You would rend the heavens and COME DOWN, that the mountains might quake at Your ['Shekinah'] PRESENCE -- as fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil -- to make Your name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, YOU DID COME DOWN, the mountains quaked at Thy ['Shekinah'] presence. For from of old they have not heard nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one WHO WAITS FOR HIM" (Isaiah 64:1-4).
Also, in Isaiah 24, the prophet proclaims --
"Behold, YEHOVAH lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants...They raise their voices, they shout for joy. They cry out from the west concerning the majesty of YEHOVAH. Therefore glorify YEHOVAH in the east, the name of YEHOVAH, the God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea...So it will happen IN THAT DAY, that YEHOVAH will punish the host of heaven, on high, and the kings of the earth, ON EARTH...Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, FOR YEHOVAH OF HOSTS WILL REIGN ON MOUNT ZION AND IN JERUSALEM, and His glory ['Shekinah' presence] will be before His elders...For behold, YEHOVAH IS ABOUT TO COME OUT FROM HIS PLACE to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed, and will no longer cover her slain" (Isaiah 24, selected verses).
This glorious time in the affairs of mankind, when YEHOVAH God Almighty Himself will dwell with the nation of Israel, is recorded by the prophet Ezekiel:
"Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever."
"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I [YEHOVAH God] will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore."
"My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I [YEHOVAH God] will be their God, and they shall be My people."
"The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:25-28).
The regenerated nation of Israel will be a priestly nation, administering to the needs of the surrounding nations. We read of this time in Jeremiah 3:17, which says --
"At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD [YEHOVAH God], and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD [YEHOVAH], to Jerusalem; they shall walk no more after the stubbornness of their evil heart."
Also, in Jeremiah 23:5-6 --
“Behold the days are coming” says the LORD [YEHOVAH], “that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness [Yeshua the Messiah]; a King [YEHOVAH God] shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD [YEHOVAH GOD] OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
YEHOVAH’s presence in Jerusalem is clearly spelt out in Zechariah 8. Notice --
"Thus says the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts: “Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD [YEHOVAH], and seek the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts. I myself will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts IN JERUSALEM, and to pray before the LORD [YEHOVAH]" (verses 20-22).
Strangely, in text after text, the role of the Messiah is not even mentioned in the Bible -- much less emphasized! Now don't misunderstand, this is NOT to minimize the Biblical doctrine of the Messiah. Rather, the point is this: A very BASIC teaching of the Bible has been totally ignored by untold millions -- that of the COMING OF YEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF!
The identity and role of Yeshua the Messiah had a very different connotation in the first century from that which it has had ever since the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Notes author Don Cupitt:
"The mainstream churches are committed to a certain doctrine about Jesus, but specialists in early Christian thought are questioning the arguments by which that doctrine was reached. New Testament scholars ask if the New Testament teaches it at all, and historians wonder at the gulf between Jesus himself and fully-developed Christianity. These questions are very unsettling, for they imply that Christianity [and this includes Churches of God] may be IN WORSE CONDITION THAN WAS THOUGHT. It is perhaps not a basically sound structure that needs only to be modernized, but may be in need of radical reconstruction..." (The Debate About Christ, London: SCM Press, 1979, p. vii, 4).
So, at this point, we need to clearly identify the names applied to YEHOVAH God the Father and those applied to Yeshua the Messiah. When you diligently study the Bible one thing emerges with vibrant clarity -- the identity of the Davidic Messiah (Christ) is NEVER confused with that of YEHOVAH (YHVH), the Eternal God of Israel.
To claim, as many Christians have, that the Messiah IS YEHOVAH (YHVH) God in the flesh -- or even to EQUATE the Messiah with YEHOVAH -- borders on blasphemy and reflects the worst kind of confusion and, certainly, an abysmal ignorance of the most basic texts in the Bible. Writes Jim Tabor --
"The Messiah is the one chosen and appointed BY YEHOVAH; he is the CHIEF AGENT OF YEHOVAH, who sits at His right hand. He is, accordingly, YEHOVAH'S anointed one. As exalted as his role and mission is, he is, and always remains, YEHOVAH'S faithful servant" (The LORD (YHVH) God and His Messiah, p. 16).
This is borne out in the Psalms:
"Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD [YHVH] and against His Anointed [the Messiah], saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us" (Psalm 2:2).
YEHOVAH the Father Himself will return to Zion in His Shekinah Glory -- acting personally and directly to punish the wicked and rule as King over all nations. This is the day pictured in Zechariah 14, Revelation 19 and Ezekiel 39 -- that we should be waiting for with increasing expectations and excitement. Let's retrieve YEHOVAH GOD from the dust bin and give Him His rightful place in the scheme of things, as well as the greater praise and adoration that is His due -- not forgetting to stay awake for the earlier return of His Son and Servant Yeshua the Messiah.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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