King Over The Whole Earth
By Timothy Lopez
Key Verse 14:9
“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”
We’re now drawing to the end of the book of Zechariah here in this last chapter. And this chapter intends to steer our eyes towards the future and towards God. When you read this chapter, you can sense that we have an interesting day is up ahead of us, a “Unique Day” that the bible calls the day of the Lord. Now there are many Old Testament prophetic books like Daniel and Ezekiel that discuss this subject along with the book of Revelation. And what most of the church acknowledges is that there is a time coming upon the earth that the Bible calls the Great Tribulation. And it’s hard to say this is the exact interpretation of this passage since some of the events described in this passage seem like events that already happened. But today, we’ll make an open and honest attempt to see how this passage applies to the end times with the Great Tribulation in mind. So, today’s message, as it might surprise you, will be eschatological in nature. As we read this passage, we get a good sense of some difficult times that are up ahead. In fact, they are so challenging that our Lord Jesus says they will be unequal to any other times. Evil and hardship will be rampant throughout the world at an unrivaled level. (Matthew 24:21) If you thought listening to the news depresses and angers you today, well get ready, because I’m sorry to say it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. And though Israel will have such a hard time headed towards them, we must remember who it is that is allowing it. It is the Lord Almighty, who always has a plan and purpose for our sufferings— in yours and in mine. And that is always for repentance, healing and restoration between the Lord and his people.
Let’s read verses 1-3. “A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.” Ever since the Lord God created the first day, Heaven and Earth have both seen many of them. In the beginning, when the world was young and fully under God’s holy and beautiful order, we’re told in the book of Genesis that those were some good days. You might have woken up this morning with a smile because you’ve been blessed in your life to have seen many good days— days that were under God’s heavenly guidance and mercy. Or, you could have woken up thinking “Oh Lord, I sure could use another good day right about now.” Regardless of our experiences, we must always remember that the best days of our lives are the ones where we humbly submit to the Lord’s loving will.
But the day in this passage doesn’t seem so good. There aren’t a lot of pleasant things happening on that day! King David once had the joy of confessing to God, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” (Psalms 23:5) But what’s happening here is quite the opposite. The Lord himself will allow all the nations to march against Jerusalem and do horrible things within its own walls. The book of Revelation painted this a little clearer— the Lord allowing Satan to deceive the whole world motivating them to march against Jerusalem. Something to keep in mind here is that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy; he comes to destroy completely! And if the Lord didn’t command Him to stay his hand, he would have the freedom to completely destroy everything, including our lives— your life and mine. His plan is to destroy everything belonging to you and me. But the Lord’s plan is different! The Lord’s plan is that you “May have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). And if we recall the previous chapter, the Lord allowed this suffering for a good reason— it was for the refinement of Israel! It was to refine and purify their lives of faith and repentance until they sparkle and shine like gold.
In verse 3 we see that after the terrible things that enemies bring upon Jerusalem and, after half of the city had been ravaged, and the other half taken into exile, that is when our Lord Jesus returns. Let’s read verse 4. “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.” Many like to believe that the church, the bride, is already with the Lord. Paul mentions to the Thessalonians that we actually meet with the Lord in the air when it is our time (1Thessalonians 4:17). But in this passage, the Lord comes and sets his feet on the earth, on a specific day, and at a specific place. Verse 4 states that it’s the Mount of Olives. Why this place? I’m not so sure what this place represents. We do know that our Lord submitted to the will of God at this place. The garden of Gethsemane is just at the foot of the mountain. It was where our Lord sweat drops of blood in anguish because of what our filthy and rebellious sins were about to crucify Him. You might also recall that when our Lord ascends to heaven, and the disciples are looking up in the sky in wonder, two angels visit them. And they say: “Men of Galilee… why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) The following verse mentions that they were on the hill called the Mount of Olives. We’re not sure why, but we know that it’s consistent with scripture. The place where the Lord submitted to a horrid death on the cross, like a lamb for the slaughter, will be the same place he returns for battle.
This might seem a little different than the Jesus you know. Right? I mean we know and like the gentle Jesus. Gentle Jesus meek and mild, gentle Jesus holds my child. Our Lord is gentle, and he is longsuffering, but as you read the gospels, you’ll notice that he says things that are bit edgy. Things that will prompt us to make real decisions to repent and turn to Him in faith. Now in verse 4, after our Lord descends down from heaven, while this great battle against Jerusalem takes place, and we’re told that the Mount of Olives literally splits, making a way for Israel out of this battle, and possibly a way to Jesus. There seem to be many interpretations about this, but I’d like to settle on the literal one, where this incident actually happens. I’d like to also note that although this great tribulation is going on, and although God has begun to judge Israel and the world, it doesn’t mean that people cannot still repent and turn to Him during this time. In fact, the very reason for this time of tribulation is so that many more souls call on the name of the Lord so that he would answer them. Both from Israel as well as from the Gentile nations. And in case you forgot, that is how our Lord has always worked. The Lord sends hardships our way to refine us.
In the last chapter Zechariah spoke about refining of the remnant of Israel with fire. Some think that it’s so strange that we’re going through so many hardships here. For some reason we tend to think that life’s default settings are ease and comfort. Peter the Apostle said, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1Peter 4:12) That is normal Christianity. Our Lord Jesus rescues us from the flames of hell and puts us into the refining flames. Why does this happen? What’s this all about? Is it because our Lord Jesus is having fun? Of course not, as there is no one more mindful and understanding of our suffering than our Lord. But as we glance back to chapter 13 verse 9, all of this refining has one purpose. It is so that we might “Call on His name.” It is so that the people of the world might wake up and realizes their sin and say, “Oh Lord, have mercy on me a sinful man. Please save me!” But what’s unfortunate is that sometimes the hardship, the fire, or the tribulation that we’re in causes so many of us to turn even further away from God, seeking comfort elsewhere. But take it from me, wondering further away from the Lord when you’re suffering only leads to more destruction. It leads to more and more mess. Look at the fiery ordeal that the Lord is allowing the world to go through so that they will call on His name! Though many will turn to Him out of this, the unfortunate truth is that many will use their suffering as an excuse to turn away from Him. Let us not be numbered among them.
Let’s read verses 5 -7. “You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.” Though we are taking this section somewhat literal, I do believe that this section has a spiritual component. The fleeing of Israel for safety is more than just to physical safety. The fleeing is in fact to the Christ whom they’ve acknowledged who’s come to their rescue. Just as when the Israelites fled from Egypt to God through the parted Red Sea, so will they flee again the destruction of their enemies through the parted Mount of Olives to meet the Lord. And after this incident, it appears we have the end of endings here. And Zechariah says, “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”
Remember Enoch, the person who went to heaven because of his faith. He also had a vision of the day of the Lord, and the judgment that was to come when he said, “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14,15) All the holy ones mean all the holy ones. It means all those who are with the Lord, perhaps you and me. If you are in Christ, then you are holy, and you will be appointed and anointed as judges to judge the world with Him. The Apostle Paul said that we would not only come with Christ to judge the people, but even the angels and demons— especially those that have uttered false gospels and acted in an ungodly way. (1 Corinthians 6:2,3) It will be a day when the Lord and his people are held in high and holy glory, only because they were washed only in the blood of the Lamb, while the rest will have to give an account for what they’ve said and done. This is the revealing of the children of God that all creation has been groaning for. It will be a unique day indeed. For some it will be the most beautiful day while for others it will be the most dreadful.
This goes without saying, but knowing this truth, is not a means for us as the church of God to gloat in others’ sufferings. We don’t rejoice when others fall, even if they have rejoiced at your failings. We should always forgive and become peacemakers helping the world become reconciled to God. The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian church of their privilege as future judges as a means for them to get their own act together. And we should prepare ourselves as well. Living spiritually as self-controlled and as a worker of God having nothing to be ashamed of- living as one who correctly handles the word of God. (2Tim 2:15)
Let’s conclude with verses 8 & 9. “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” It’s amazing how Jerusalem has been the center of so much throughout the age of this world. Remember Melchizedek, he was the first kingly priest of God recorded in the bible, and he was actually from Jerusalem. And one in the same order would reign as Priest as and King forever still, from the city of Jerusalem. And he will reign over the whole earth by providing living water. What is this living water? Jesus said, “If we really knew the gift of God, we’d be asking our Him of this living water every day” It’s many things, it’s His presence, it’s His love, it’s the Holy Spirit, it’s His peace. It’s everything that we were meant to have to from the beginning. While everything in this world will leave us dry and thirsty, the Lord is always willing to give his living water when we ask Him for this gift of God. And yes, this will flow out freely on that day, but the good news is that you don’t have to wait for then to ask him. You can ask him right now. This living water is the piece of God that we need in our hearts to satisfy our thirsty souls. Yes, we look forward to the day that the Lord will reign over the whole earth, but the good news is that we can invite him to reign in our hearts, here and now. We don’t have to wait. I pray that we all do this as we wait on the Second coming of our Lord Jesus. Let’s read our key verse 9 again. “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”