They Shall Look Upon Me
s the leaders in the Rapture Cult find themselves increasingly cornered due to the steadily mounting numbers of believers that have been warned concerning the lies of the cult, many are retreating to verses they believe provide incontrovertible evidence of the Jewish Supremacism they espouse. One such portion of Scripture is found in the latter portion of the book of Zechariah.
"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord...Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem."
"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zechariah 12:1-3).
This chapter, and the two chapters which follow it, vividly describe how "the Lord shall go forth, and fight against those nations" (Zechariah 14:3) that move against His chosen. During what is described as an attack against Jerusalem, the cult assumes this is a latter day defense of the Jews under the faulty Judaeo-Christian "chosen people" system.
The basic problem with texts of this type is the assumptions that are built in due to years of conditioning. For example, the next verse in the passage says
"In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness" (Zechariah 12:4).
As there are a minimum of two primary military sieges in Jerusalem that are separated by two thousand years, we can use this verse to illustrate the problem of prophetic assumptions. In the largest assault to date, the Romans brought a vast army against the city and the temple in 66 AD by the "prince" of "the people...that shall come" (Prince Titus of Rome as described in Daniel 9:26), and the ancient city was devastated as a result.
In the lengthy and detailed historical accounts of that siege, there is no trace of an account of horses being being smitten, or riders being hit with "madness" as the prophecy specifies.
As most prophecy teachers see another siege at some point in the future, we can't help but wonder if this yet-to-come assault will feature troops on horseback that will be "smitten with astonishment" and riders who suddenly go mad. Although some teach that all technology will be destroyed, and then the Gog-Magog war will bring down the Moslem hordes from the "North quarters" (Ezekiel 38:4) with a great army consisting of "horses and horsemen" (Ezekiel 38:4), the prophet Zechariah's descriptive language poses a great problem.
As this attack occurs, the prophet says that God will look favorably on "the house of Judah," which is a term that has been widely represented to refer to "Jews." Yet when the New Testament tells us that "...he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly," but the only real Jews are those who are in Christ (Romans 2:28,29), if Zechariah is making an end times prediction, this must apply to the only real Jews in that generation, and that would be the Christians.
Furthermore, since the Christians, as the bride of Christ, are identified as "New Jerusalem" in Revelation 21:2, the reference to "the siege...against Judah and Jerusalem" (Zechariah 12:2) would also have to be descriptive of a move against the Christians -- presuming this reference is still a prophecy of the future.
Although many think this approach that applies identities in a spiritual sense is actually just symbolic, or even a form of liberal theology, there is nothing liberal or symbolic about our birthright in Christ. Indeed, the book of Revelation has a sharp word of rebuke for those that "say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie" (Revelation 3:9), so it is incumbent upon us to be absolutely sure as to who is whom in the grand scheme of things.
The straight truth is, the Bible flatly states that he is "not a Jew" who is one outwardly, but he is a Jew "which is one inwardly," so a promise made to a "Jew" (or the house of Judah) concerning the end times must be applied to the Christians, regardless of whether the prophecy originates in the Old Testament or the New.
When the prophet Zechariah launched into this lengthy prophetic utterance concerning tthe defense of the city of Jerusalem, he also included significant statements involving the house of David in this account.
Furthermore, Zechariah provided a seeming scriptural justification for just about every prophetic interpretive group's explanation of events. There are preterist elements in Zechariah's statements, and there are amillennial components. There are verses the Rapture Cult has seized upon, and there are statements even post-millennialists feel supports their perspective.
The truth is, the last 3 chapters of Zechariah are punctuated with references from every timeline -- past, present, and future. How we divide and assimilate these references makes all the difference in the world, in terms of our understanding of the truth that is found in these most important prophecies.
Earlier in my comments on Zechariah, we saw how the LORD "will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness" at what is described as a "siege" of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:4). I pointed out how this did not occur in the Roman siege of the great city in 66-70 A.D., as well as the unlikelihood that it describes an end times tribulational siege in the near term. The simple fact is, in an age of shoulder fired missiles, particle beam rays, and electro-magnetic warfare, all the various attempts to suggest a literal equine cavalry in an apocalyptic setting seems to fall remarkably short.
However, there are still other possible ways in which this passage may yet be fulfilled in a futurist and literal fashion. For instance, this could very well describe the post-millennial attack on the saints at the end of the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ. Revelation tells us that
"when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fir came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them" (Revelation 20:7-9)
We have scant clues concerning the conditions of the millennial reign of Christ, but I am persuaded we won't have the industrialism or the toxic waste sites that are commonplace in our world today. The best clue we have is this period will be like it was before the flood with a perfectly balanced ecosystem that engenders an abundance of all flora and fauna.
In the absence of the type of mechanization that is commonplace today, at the last revolt against the LORD of Lords, we might just see an attack on horseback. Notice, for example, the enemies of God surround (compassed in the KJV) the "camp" of the saints -- a possible allusion to the wilderness type of experience seen in Scripture.
Also notice how these rebels come from "the four quarters of the earth" whereas Zechariah speaks of the siege in terms of "all the people of the earth" (Zechariah 12:3).
Zechariah 12:2 references "all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem." However, an alternate rendering of this verse reads "...Judah which shall be in siege against Jerusalem." According to David Baron, an expert on Zechariah, rabbinical commentators in centuries past believed this verse actually states that Judah will be fighting against Jerusalem.
The interesting thing is, in 1948, during the war that ensued when the Israeli state came into being, the Jews of Judaea fought against Jerusalem as the city was under the control of the Arab Legions financed by Trans-Jordan and the British. This perspective is reinforced by verse 7 which reads
"The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah" (Zechariah 12:7).
This verse plainly states that the preservation that is stated to be directed towards Judah and Jerusalem will be extended to "Judah" before it comes to Jerusalem. It is a historical fact the contemporary state of Israel, which is almost totally comprised of the ancient land that was called Judaea, did not regain control of Jerusalem until 1967. To put it bluntly, the Lord saved "the tents of Judah first" before Jerusalem came back under Jewish control.
Furthermore, at the time that Palestine was partitioned, it was during this period the then nascent United Nations met in emergency session to re-affirm jurisdiction over the city of Jerusalem. In that hotbed of political instability, Jerusalem had indeed become "a burdensome stone for all people" (Zechariah 12:3).
[The preceding was excerpted from the James Lloyd book They Shall Look Upon Me Whom They Have Pierced]
September 26 2005 -- James Lloyd
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