Covenant Reformed News
January 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 9
Zechariah’s Day of the Lord (3)
Three verses in Zechariah 14 specifically refer to God’s coming at the end of this age: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh” (1), “Then shall the Lord go forth” (3) and “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (5). Putting all this together, Jehovah goes forth from heaven (3) so that “the Lord my God shall come” in the air (5; cf. I Thess. 4:17) with the result that this day—the best of all days—comes to the Most High for His glory (Zech. 14:1)!
Notice the first person singular pronoun in verse 5: “the Lord my God shall come.” Zechariah is speaking here, first of all, but every believer also declares with true hope in Jesus, “the Lord my God shall come” (5). This is our confession regarding Christ: He is Jehovah God. As well as confessing Jesus’ deity, the believer affirms that He is “my God” personally: “I have covenant fellowship with Him, as one chosen in Christ, redeemed by Him and united to Him by a living faith.”
When the resurrected Jesus was before him, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). When we think of Christ’s return, each one of us says, “the Lord my God shall come” (Zech. 14:5). He will come for His church and for me personally, if I am alive on the earth at “the day of the Lord” (1).
This is our comfort. This is deep consolation also for the saints to whom we speak of these things. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thess. 4:17-18).
There is also an important preposition in Zechariah 14:5: “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” The “saints” or holy ones are the elect angels and/or the glorified believers (I Thess. 4:14). This is our honour: to be with Christ as His train, flanking Him on that glorious day. This also magnifies the glory of the Lord Jesus, for He is coming with His perfected people attended by His mighty angels.
The coming of God in Jesus Christ is the climax of the “holy war” in the Bible: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3).
Deuteronomy 20 is the greatest chapter in the Bible explaining Israel’s holy war. Fundamentally, the command is fear not: “let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them” (3)! Why? “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (4). Scripture includes many instances of the holy war: the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14-15), the fight with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16), the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua, the battles of the judges, the wars under Samuel and David, etc.
The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be the culmination of the holy war, the war to end all wars. This will be the case because, first, Christ will fight not only against the Egyptians or the Philistines but against the whole world of the ungodly. Second, this battle will occur at the end of the world: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3).
Zechariah 14:12-15 graphically portray how God will destroy the Antichristian forces at Christ’s second coming. Verse 12 describes a plague upon the wicked people: “this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh [in which they attacked the church] shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes [that looked with hatred upon God’s people] shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue [that they used to slander the saints] shall consume away in their mouth.” Ultimately, this is the horrible corruption of hell (Isa. 66:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48).
The destruction of the wicked on the day of the Lord is also presented in terms of infighting: “it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour” (Zech. 14:13). There are other instances of God's holy war taking the form of infighting among His enemies (e.g., Judg. 7; I Sam. 14; II Chron. 20).
Zechariah 14 pictures the church as joining in the holy warfare: “Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance” (14). We will be victorious and we will take the spoil!
Moreover, the plague will be not only on people (12) but also on the animals: “And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague” (15).
There are many other passages which describe the holy war that God fights with the wicked at the end of the world. Ezekiel 38 portrays an earthquake (19) that even makes the fish of the sea and the birds of the air to quake at Jehovah’s presence (20). Like Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38 speaks of infighting among God’s enemies: “I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (21). Then it mentions six more divine judgments: “I will plead against him with  pestilence and with  blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him,  an overflowing rain, and  great hailstones,  fire, and  brimstone” (22).
Revelation 19:11-21 pictures Christ coming on a great white charger with His armies following Him on white horses. The birds feast on the carcases of His defeated foes. Upon their capture, the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire.
Likewise, when “the camp of the saints” is surrounded, fire from God comes down to devour the wicked (Rev. 20:9); and the breath of Christ's “mouth” and “the brightness of his coming” will consume the man of sin and son of perdition (II Thess. 2:8).
The culmination of the holy war at the second coming of Jesus Christ is founded upon the great battle of the cross. There our Saviour defeated sin, Satan and the world, when He bore the punishment for our iniquities. Only the mop-up operation remains, the final destruction of all the wicked, those who thought that they had won!
Rev. Angus Stewart
- Volume: 17
- Issue: 9
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851