Here is a study I wrote up to help some evangelical Christians who think that when Christ puts His feet on the Mount of Olives in Zechariah 14, this must be referring to the Second Coming before the millennium, not after the millennium. The purpose of this study is to show that Zechariah 14 ultimately finds its fulfillment after the millennium, not before. This is very important, as Zechariah 14 is the number one barrier used by Evangelical Christians to try and argue against our view of the millennium, where the saints will be in heaven. They believe we will reign here on the earth during the 1000 years, and they believe Zechariah 14 commences this earthly reign.
Zechariah 14 is a template to understand Rev. 20-22 better. Zech. 14 is the old typological explanation of how things would have been fulfilled in their detail had Israel fulfilled the promises in the Old Testament. But, since the Cross, many of these Old Testament prophecies have been redefined to be understood in their Antitypical light. Zechariah 14 will not be fulfilled any longer in all its specific local, typological settings. It’s impossible, as the entire setting is based on an ancient setting, not a modern setting. If you do a thorough and comprehensive study of Zechariah 14, you will find all the key elements of Zechariah 14 fulfilled in Revelation 20-22.
Proof? Look at it closely. Let us examine each line. Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little:
In Revelation 3:12; 21:2; and 21:10, we find the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven after the millennium has completed. This is when Zechariah 14 finds its fulfillment, when the New Jerusalem comes down. Jesus comes down, places His feet on the Mount of Olives, and creates a great plain. This is where the Beloved City will settle. And all the wicked will be resurrected, and Satan will go out to deceive all the nations.
While the prophecy in Zechariah 14 applies to after the millennium, only parts of it will be fulfilled. Not all of it. For example, in Zechariah 14, half the city is taken, and the women ravaged. In Revelation 20, the Beloved City is surrounded, but not touched. In Zechariah 14, Christ comes with all His saints. Revelation 21 adds more details and shows that the New Jerusalem comes down, and settles down on the earth. And Zechariah 14 places Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. But now it’s going to be realized in the New Jerusalem, not the Old Jerusalem. The Old Jerusalem is the City of the Old Covenant, but the New Jerusalem is the city of the New Covenant.
Zechariah 14 is the Type.
Revelation 20-22 is the Antitype.
John the Revelator has “redefined” Zechariah 14 by adding more details to it, and painting it in its antitype.
For example, Zechariah 14 mentions “sacrifices”. We know that there will be no sacrifices after the millennium.
We know that Zechariah event is an event that is applied by John the Revelator to the very last battle AFTER the millennium. How do we know?
1) In Zechariah 14:3, it states,
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” (Zech. 14:3)
This is the SECOND, and final battle, and I repeat for emphasis:
“AS WHEN he fought in the day of battle”.
In Revelation 20, God fights his final battle with the nations. Just because the wicked don’t get to fight doesn’t mean there isn’t a battle. It’s a one-sided battle, where God wins and Satan doesn’t touch His people.
The previous battle was the Battle of Armageddon which culminated in the Second Advent. But this battle in Zech. 14 is against ALL the nations, which is seen in Revelation 20. So Zechariah 14:3 definitely admits there was a previous battle that the Lord fought, so this event must be applied as being fulfilled AFTER the millennium.
2) Zechariah 14:5 states,
“and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” (Zech. 14:5)
At the Second Advent, Jesus comes with all his powerful angels. At the Third Advent, after the millennium (as all the saints will spend the millennium in heaven in the New Jerusalem, NOT on earth), He comes WITH His saints, AND the New Jerusalem. This is not an Advent for salvation, but only to judge the wicked and inhabit the New Earth. (Jude 1:14,15, Rev. 3:12; 21:2; and 21:10)
3) In Zech. 14:7 it states,
“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.” (Zech. 14:7)
This is realized in Rev. 21:23,
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”…. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 21:23, 22:5)
4) In Zech. 14:8 it says,
“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.”
This is realized in Revelation 22:1,
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
See the similarities? But not exact. John is redefining it in its Global Antitype with the New Jerusalem, where as Zechariah 14 was picturing it in a local typological setting with Old Jerusalem.
5) Zech. 14:11 states,
“And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be NO MORE UTTER DESTRUCTION; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
This shows you that this event is the “final destruction” of the wicked. “no more utter destruction”. Verse 12 talks about how the wicked will be consumed, which is reminiscent of Rev. 20:9 says they will be “devoured” when the fire comes down forming the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14,15 states, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” and 21:4 says, ” there shall be no more death”. So this was the last and final destruction.
But you will notice that there are elements in Zechariah 14 that just cannot happen any longer. We won’t be having sacrifices (as everyone knows Christ was the ultimate and final sacrifice), we won’t be having the heathen come before us in the New Earth (as they will be all dead), we won’t be punishing nations for not coming up to the feast of tabernacles (as there won’t be any heathen nations after the final battle). Thus we see how these were conditional types of unconditional antitypes. In fact, in Revelation 19:11-21, we find that ALL the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His Second Advent. It says that the flesh of “all men” will be consumed by the fowls, and that “the remnant [remaining] were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse” (Rev. 19:21). See also 1Thess. 5:1-3 where the wicked shall receive “sudden destruction” and “shall not escape”. Here’s the million dollar question: If ALL the remaining wicked are destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s Second Coming, as these verses clearly show, then how can there be any heathens or wicked alive during the millennium to even go up and worship in Zechariah 14? Impossible.
NO wonder John the Revelator extracts from like 200+ Old Testament Passages, redefining them in their global Antitype. They will all be fulfilled in principle, on a global scale, but not in all the fine typological print.