End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 4 w/AnswersZechariah’s Prophecies
In this lesson, we will be looking at the prophecies of Zechariah. This will be the last of our brief survey of the Old Testament prophecies focused on the return of the Messiah and God restoration of Israel. As we discovered during our study of Daniel’s visions, he, like us, was troubled by what God was showing him. However, the book of Daniel closes with words of comfort from God. Specifically, in the very last verse of the book of Daniel, Daniel 12:13, God says to Daniel: "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance." These are God’s words of comfort to us as well.
As we study God’s word and see all that it reveals about the end–time return of Christ, God’s instructions are intended for us as well: "...go your way till the end". God wants us to focus on the daily work in the kingdom which is so vital to reaching so many; and we are assured that in the end we too will be raised to eternal life and will receive our inheritance. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
Zechariah will add even more insight into God’s plan for Israel. In particular, we will learn what the exact day will be like when Christ returns with the Saints to establish His earthly kingdom and to restore the nation of Israel.
We will review specific passages from Zechariah and note what each one tells us about End Time events.
Read Zechariah 2:7-13.
- What does God call Israel in verse 8?
- ANSWER: The apple of His eye.
- When Christ returns, what does verse 11 tell us about who God considers to "be my people" in those days?
- ANSWER: Many nations.
- Where will Christ set up His Throne to rule from, as he establishes his kingdom over all the earth? (see verse 12)
- ANSWER: Jerusalem.
Read Zechariah 8:20-23.
- How will the peoples of the world be changed as a result of Christ’s reign and the fact that he has restored the nation of Israel?
- ANSWER: Unlike today, when the Jews are hated and persecuted in many nations, they will be held in very high esteem and be highly sought after because of their relationship to Christ the King. Between the presence of Christ on throne and God dwelling in the Temple, people from all over the world will want to be associated with Jews and will actively seek them out.
Read Zechariah 9:9-13.
- What great event, that is depicted in this passage, do we celebrate each year?
- ANSWER: Palm Sunday, the arrival of Christ ridding on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover.
- Knowing that the disciples would have been well-acquainted with this passage, what do you suppose that they were thinking as they walked behind Christ as He rode into Jerusalem that day, and why?
- ANSWER: They believed that the entire passage would be fulfilled in Christ then and there, just as the passage describes in verse 10: He would defeat their enemies and proclaim peace to the nations, establishing a kingdom and a rule that would extend around the world.
- How do we know that the disciples were thinking these things that week? (see Matthew 24:1-3)
- ANSWER: We can by the questions that they raised with Christ that they were very interested in when all of the end time prophecies would be fulfilled, and Christ would set up His earthly kingdom.
Read Zechariah Chapter 12.
- What are some of the things that the Lord indicates that He will do on the day that Christ returns to defeat the enemies of Israel? (see verses 1-9)
- ANSWER 1: Blind the horses and strike them with panic.
- ANSWER 2: He will make each rider go mad, or be filled with madness.
- ANSWER 3: He will keep Israel strong as it devours its enemies and their dwellings. Israel’s dwellings will remain safe.
- How will Israel react when they see Christ for the first time? (see verses 10-14)
- ANSWER: They will realize that they indeed did crucify him. They will mourn and grieve, and there will be great weeping — no shouts of victory or joy, only great weeping. During this period of mourning immediately following the return of Christ, each clan will gather together to mourn for what they did to Christ.
Read Zechariah Chapter 13.
- What else are we told will specifically happen on the day that Christ returns? List each of them below? (see verses 1-3)
- ANSWER 1: Christ opens a fountain to the Jews for them to be cleansed from sin and impurity.
- ANSWER 2: He banishes the names of idols from the land.
- ANSWER 3: He removes both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land.
- What happens to the prophets of the land when Christ returns? (see verses 4-6)
- ANSWER: They admit that they were never actually Christ’s prophets, and they return to their real work.
Read Zechariah Chapter 14.
- What do verses 1-2 tell us about the second half of the Tribulation Period, also sometimes called the period of Great Tribulation, and its impact on the Jews?
- ANSWER 1: Jerusalem will be overrun and the Jews will be plundered.
- ANSWER 2: All nations — note it says ALL nations — will be gathered against Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
- ANSWER 3: The city will be overrun, the women raped, and half of the city will be taken into exile.
- Describe the day that the Lord comes down from heaven, as its depicted in verses 3-11.
- ANSWER 1: Christ will descend upon, or "stand", on the Mount of Olives; and the mount will split in two, creating a great valley. It will be a very dramatic event, as half of the mountain "moves north" and the other half "moves south".
- ANSWER 2: Christ will arrive with "all the holy ones with him".
- ANSWER 3: It will be a unique day, a day known only to the LORD.
- ANSWER 4: There will no longer be a distinction between day and night. Light will be present all through the night or evening, just as though it was daytime.
- ANSWER 5: Living water will flow out of Jerusalem to both the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
- ANSWER 6: From that day forward, there will only be one LORD, and He will be King over the entire earth.
- ANSWER 7: The land around Jerusalem will be flattened, like the Arabah (or plain of Jordan), but Jerusalem will be raised up high and be completely restored and rebuilt.
- Remembering what Daniel told us (that the Anti-Christ is not defeated by human means), how do verses 12-15 describe what Christ will do to defeat his enemies on the day that He returns?
- ANSWER 1: Christ will strike all of those fighting against Him with a plague, their flesh will rot off, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
- ANSWER 2: He will instill in them great panic, and they will seize one another and attack each other.
- ANSWER 3: Judah will also fight and be victorious.
- Following the defeat of Christ’s enemies, what happens to their wealth?
- ANSWER: It is collected, and great amounts of gold and silver and clothing are collected from all over the world.
- We know from our prior studies that Christ will rule his Millennial Kingdom with a "rod of iron". What examples of how he will use this rod of iron against his enemies are described to us in the closing verses of chapter 14?
- ANSWER 1: He will withhold rain from them.
- ANSWER 2: He will bring plagues on them.
What insight Zechariah provides us regarding the first Day of Christ’s return! He tells us what the terrible war will be like and describes many of the events that will occur the moment that Christ returns. From our previous studies, we know that one of His first official acts after establishing His kingdom will be to judge the nations, separating the sheep from the goats. We also know that after the great war, it will take more than six months just to bury all of the dead.
Zechariah also reveals that the sun will remain in place. It will be a unique day: Christ’s return will be witnessed by the entire world. His arrival will be something that splits the skies. Great and miraculous things will be caused to occur in the heavens as we see Christ returning just as he descended. However, this time he is accompanied by the "holy ones" — the millions and millions of saved people coming to put a stop to the Anti-Christ and to establish Christ’s earthly kingdom.
Zechariah describes earthquakes, the creation of a new valley, living waters streaming from Jerusalem, surrounding areas being flattened while Jerusalem is raised, and the entire area becoming a great and beautiful oasis. Israel becomes the most fertile place on the face of the earth. What a completely awesome and yet terrible time it will be! Israel will enter a period of mourning as it confronts the truth about Jesus. Its land will be cleansed from sin, idols, and false prophets; while the rest of earth is judged by Christ as he sets up his kingdom in Jerusalem and begins the rebuilding of the Temple so that God will come and dwell there.
What a great study God is providing us. Imagine the excitement of the disciples on that Palm Sunday, as Christ came riding on a donkey. Their King had finally arrived! What will follow? We will study that in our next lesson.