In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.Zechariah 14:4(NASB)
God had a particular plan for Israel from the beginning, and a specific purpose for the Church - whom He chose before the foundation of the world. Both are God's people, both are holy unto the Lord, and although Israel and the Church are distinct from each other, their roles are complementary, in God's perfect plan of redemption.
The work God has purposed for each is unique to their group, although their roles and responsibilities often overlap. And while all Scripture is written for our learning, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, there is much in the Old Testament, the Gospels, and Revelation that is directed towards Israel, while the New Testament epistles are generally written for the Church.
While the Church is raptured into heaven and meets Christ in the air before the start of the Great Tribulation, Christ's second advent occurs at the end of this time of terrible judgement - sometimes referred to as 'the great and terrible day of the Lord' and elsewhere called, 'the time of Jacob's trouble'. Zechariah gives a clear description of certain end-time events and like many Old Testament prophets, gives clear insight into God's unfolding plan of redemption.
He explains how Israel will be protected from the antichrist and what will happen when the entire world comes to attack Jerusalem. He gives details of the last day's battle, and how Israel will be empowered by God and delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ. He explains how Israel will call on the name of the Lord and look on Him whom they pierced. He tells how all the tribes of Israel will weep and mourn bitterly when they realise their terrible mistake in crucifying their Messiah - 2000 years ago.
He explains what will happen when Jesus returns to set up His millennial rule on earth, and he even identifies the very place to which the Lord will return. "In that day", Zechariah writes, "His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west, by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south."
At His first coming, Jesus came as the suffering Servant and Lamb of God Who was despised and rejected of men. At His first advent, He gave His life as the ransom price for the sin of the whole world. And although His sacrifice on the Cross defeated Satan, sin, death, and hell... the people would not believe in Him, and crucified the Lord of Glory. "We will not have this man rule over us," they screamed, and His kingdom had to be postponed, for a season. Israel had to be set aside for a little while, during which time, God has been working through the Church - which is the body of Christ.
It was as Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives that He ascended into heaven, as recorded in Acts. And it is to that same place - to Mount Olivet, to which Jesus will return... for two men in white explained what would happen to the bewildered disciples. "Men of Galilee," they said "you Jewish men, why do you stand gazing up into the sky? This Jesus, Who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.”
Jesus ascended into heaven from Olivet, and He is to return to the same spot on earth. He is to set His foot on the same Mount of Olives - which is in front of Jerusalem, at the end of the 7 year Tribulation and on that day the most amazing earthquake will occur, which will open up a massive valley, running through the centre of Jerusalem - from east to west. THEN the world will KNOW that God is the Lord.
It was in His Olivet discourse that Jesus told His disciples everything that would happen at His return. He told them of wars and rumours of wars. He told them that lawlessness would increase, but that those who endured to the end would be saved - when He returned! He told them the signs of the end of the age. He predicted the persecution of godly men and of false prophets that would arise.
He told them that the gospel of the kingdom, which was curtailed at His first advent would eventually be taught throughout the world by Jewish evangelists who put their faith in Christ Jesus as Lord, and He warned of the abomination of desolation that is to be set up in a newly constructed temple. He told them that "immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the celestial powers will be shaken."
YES, Jesus confirmed much of what Zechariah, Daniel, Isaiah, and other holy men of God prophesied and He gave some additional information about His second coming to earth, at the end of the tribulation, which will be invaluable to those who have to endure this terrible time of judgement. But it is also a time of purifying and healing - the purifying of sinners who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption of those who call on His name.
Although the Church is removed before this time of judgement, let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the salvation of many who will have to endure the Great Tribulation - for when we pray into God's will we know our prayers will be answered.
Loving Lord and Heavenly Father, I am filled with awe and wonder that You should tell us the end from the beginning through men like Zechariah, David, Paul, and other holy men of God. Thank You for the knowledge of Your soon return to take the Church to be with You before the Great Tribulation and thank You that You have promised to restore Your people Israel and redeem them from their sin, when they cry out to You, at the end of the Great Tribulation. Thank You that Jesus is coming back to set up His kingdom on earth and I pray for that wonderful day when He will set His feet back on the Mount of Olives and be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.