We will not stay to review the Scriptural teaching in respect to the mortality of man and the error of the immortality of the soul. Brother Robert Roberts, as a young man in his early twenties, covered that ground thoroughly over one hundred and fifty years ago. Give your­self a treat and read or re-read Christendom Astray. No, the context of Zechariah 14 should suffice to give the lie to the misinterpretation of orthodoxy in this case. Zechariah 14 is a battle chapter, or at least begins that way. Brother John Carter in his comments on Zechariah 14 gives verses 1 to 7 the designation, ‘The Final Conflict’. Surely he is right, for the outcome of that conflict is described for us in verse nine: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth”. At this time, after the final Divine victory, “Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (v11). Moreover “the [subdued] nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (v16).

The battle is introduced in Zechariah 14:1: “Behold the day of the LORD cometh…” It is focused particularly in Jerusalem and involves all nations: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle”. The prophet Joel spoke of that day: “I will also gather all nations…” (Joel 3:2). And the timing is the same, “the day of the LORD” (Joel 3:14). Inevitably, the outcome too is identical to that described in Zechariah 14: The LORD will dwell in Zion, Jerusalem will be the holy city (Joel 3:17), and the “house of the LORD” will be there (v18) and “Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation” (v20). The Apocalypse too speaks of that day when: “… the spirits of devils, working miracles … go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev 16:14). The reference to this final conflict as a great day of the LORD when He triumphs over the gathered nations is clear. It extends too to Ezekiel 38 where in that great gathering of nations against Israel we read in verse 19: “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” The outcome again is the same: “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (38:23); and “Behold it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken” (Ezek 39:8).

It is clear that the language of these passages of Scripture speaks of the same time; a final gathering of nations to Jerusalem to battle, where a Divine vic­tory ensues. This is followed by the period spoken of copiously in the prophets when Divine law proceeds from Jerusalem to a world at peace. This specific time of battle and Divine victory is given the sin­gular designation, “the day of the LORD”. There may be a period of time intended but there is surely one final cataclysmic day of victory when Divine power is openly revealed and applied to devastating and irresistible effect. Zechariah declares that “his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives” (14:4), resulting in an earthquake which cleaves the land. Brother John Carter contends that “The language is that of theophany – it will be God in manifestation … Jesus is ‘God manifest in the flesh … justified in spirit’; and they are his feet that are to stand again on the mount from where he departed when he ascended to the Father’s right hand.”

Jesus spoke of “the days of the son of man” in discussion with the Pharisees. (Luke 17:22). He referred to “the days of Noe” (17:26) and then “the day that Noe entered into the ark” (17:27). He spoke of “the days of Lot” (v28) and then that fateful singular day, “the same day that Lot went out of Sodom (v29) and judgement came! And then his stern warning followed: “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (v30). So “the days of the son of man” conclude with “the day”. The apostle Paul adds his warning: “the night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Rom 13:12). It was the same apostle who warned the men of Athens that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained” (Acts 17:31). In the syna­gogue at Nazareth, Christ in Luke 4:17-19 taught from Isaiah 61 of the day of liberty to the captives when good tidings would be proclaimed. This was the work of his first advent. Isaiah in chapter 61:2 spoke of the culmination of that work in our Lord’s second advent: “the day of vengeance of our God”. This is the day of Zechariah 14:1.

As we have noted, in expounding Zechariah 14:4, Brother John Carter indicated it is Jesus’ feet that will stand on the Mount of Olives. That he will not be alone is clear from 14:5 which concludes: “and the LORD my God (Yahweh manifest in Christ) shall come and all the saints with thee”. We are in these verses, brothers and sisters – how intense our interest ought to be. The times of the Gentiles, the long Gentile day, (or more properly “night”) will be at an end. Brother CC Walker notes: “The translation of verse 6 presents some little difficulty, but the general meaning seems to be clear – the fad­ ing away of the sun, moon and stars of the Gentile firmament before the rising of ‘Zion’s light’, which is ‘the glory of the Lord’” (Isa 60:1-2, cp v19-20). Brother Walker also references Isaiah 24:23 and Joel 3:15-16, which speak of Gentile darkness before a Divine glory illuminates the earth.

So it is that after the great battle of the “day of the LORD”, the “day of vengeance” when Gentile darkness, the night which enshrouds us now, will at last be set aside by the great work of Christ and the saints, that verse seven finds its place. It describes a wonderful transition. “The night is far spent” declared the Apostle, and so it is. But night it still is, even “darkness which may be felt” (Exod 10:21). But let us take heart; “the day is at hand”. Against the gloom, in the east, the day dawns. It is “that great day of God Almighty”. It is “the day of the LORD” It is “the day of the son of man”. “It will come about that at evening time, there will be light” (Zech 14:7 NASB); “The LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory” (Isa 60:19). With this great prospect in store, and having our own place in these wonderful coming events which will bring the final transition from Gentile darkness to Divine light, let us make our final preparations. “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Rom 13:12)