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HOW CHRIST WILL SET UP HIS EARTHLY KINGDOM

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Evening, December 7, 2008
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee…And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:4-5, 9).


Next Sunday we will begin thinking about the first coming of Christ. Nearly everyone in the world has heard about Christ’s first coming, sent by God to the womb of the Virgin Mary, born in a stable in Bethlehem. Yes, you have all heard about the first coming of Christ. And yet references in the Bible concerning His Second Coming outnumber references to His first coming by a factor of eight to one. Dr. David Jeremiah said,

Scholars count 1,845 biblical references to the Second Coming, including 318 in the New Testament. His return is emphasized in no less than seventeen Old Testament books and seven out of every ten chapters in the New Testament. [Christ] Himself referred to His return twenty-one times. The Second Coming is second only to faith as the most dominant subject of the New Testament (David Jeremiah, D.D., What in the World is Going On?, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008, page 217).

One of the clearest passages of Scripture concerning Christ’s Second Coming is our text, Zechariah 14:4-5, 9. We learn three great lessons from this text.

I. First, Christ will come back to the Mount of Olives.

I am convinced that the Scofield note is exactly right.

Zechariah 14 is a recapitulation of the whole matter. The order [of events] is: (1) The gathering of the nations, v. 2 (see “Armageddon,” Rev. 16:14; 19:11, note); (2) the deliverance, v. 3; (3) the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives, and the physical change of the scene, vs. 4-8; (4) the setting up of the kingdom, and full earthly blessing, vs. 9-21 (The Scofield Study Bible, 1917 edition, p. 978; note on Zechariah 13:8).

The Gentile world powers, headed by the Antichrist, will send their armies against Israel in the Valley of Megiddo, known as Armageddon. The Antichrist’s armies will approach Jerusalem, but Christ will come back suddenly from the sky and conquer them. Please stand and read Zechariah 14:3-4.

“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:3-4).

You may be seated.

“His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4). The Mount of Olives is just to the east of Jerusalem. This is the same Mount of Olives where Jesus went to pray the night He was arrested. This is the same Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended up to Heaven, as recorded in Acts 1:9-12.

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey” (Acts 1:9-12).

“His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4). The same feet that were pierced by nails on the Cross shall come down on the same mountain where He ascended back to Heaven in Acts 1:9.

“And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). Dr. McGee said,

Great physical changes that are going to take place are mentioned to us here. There will be a great earthquake, and the Mount of Olives will be split right down the middle. Half of it will go to the north and half to the south. “And there shall be a very great valley” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, volume III, p. 986).

So, that is the first point – Christ will come back through the sky to the Mount of Olives.

II. Second, Christ will come back with all His saints.

Look at the end of verse five.

“And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zechariah 14:5).

This means that all the previously raptured Christians will pour down from the sky, following Christ, to the Mount of Olives. This event was first prophesied by Enoch.

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude 14).

And the Apostle John spoke of this in Revelation 19:14, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him,” as He comes down to the Mount of Olives to destroy the Antichrist’s army. Dr. Jeremiah said,

The armies of heaven that accompany Christ in His second coming will be made up of saints and angels – people like you and me standing side-by-side with heavenly beings of immense power…they will not fight. Jesus Himself will slay the rebels (David Jeremiah, ibid., p. 224).

“And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zechariah 14:5).

Dr. McGee said,

This is a very interesting passage of Scripture. It is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ coming back to earth. We find this also in Revelation 19 where we are told that the armies of heaven will follow Him (J. Vernon McGee, ibid.).

That is the second major point in Zechariah’s prophecy – Christ will return to conquer the Antichrist’s army with all His saints. All true converts, throughout the ages, will return with Christ to the earth at that time.

Ten thousand times ten thousand
   In sparkling raiment bright,
The armies of the ransomed saints
   Throng up the steeps of light;
’Tis finished, all is finished,
   Their fight with death and sin;
Fling open wide the golden gates,
   And let the victors in.
(“Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand” by Henry Alford, 1810-1871).

John Cennick and Charles Wesley wrote,

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
   Once for our salvation slain;
Thousand,thousand saints attending,
   Swell the triumph of His train;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
   God appears on earth to reign.
(“Lo! He Comes” by John Cennick, 1718-1755;
       altered by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

III. Third, Christ will come back to set up His earthly Kingdom.

Please stand and read Zechariah 14:9 aloud.

“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

You may be seated. Christ will be king over all the earth in that day. At last, the prayer that Christians have prayed for two thousand years will be answered,

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

And His earthly Kingdom will last for a thousand years. Please turn to Revelation, chapter 20, verses 4 to 6. Read those verses aloud.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the 1,000-year Kingdom. But they don’t know how to enter it themselves! I have in my office a Jehovah’s Witness tract titled “All Suffering Soon to End!” At the end of the tract it says, “When the end comes, who will survive?...those who learn Jehovah’s will and do it” (“All Suffering Soon to End!,” Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2005, p. 6). So, the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the way to enter the Kingdom is to “learn” God’s truth “and do it.” That is a great error. It is the error of salvation by works – salvation by “learning” something and “doing” it! Strangely, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ error is quite similar to that of the Roman Catholics they speak against so often. Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses both teach salvation by works, salvation by learning and doing!

But the Bible itself teaches salvation by grace, not by learning and doing; not by human effort, but by grace alone.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

John Newton said,

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
   That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
   Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
   And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
   The hour I first believed!
(“Amazing Grace” by John Newton, 1725-1807).

May God give you grace to

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
       (Acts 16:31).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Acts 1:1-11.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand” (by Henry Alford, 1810-1871).


THE OUTLINE OF

HOW CHRIST WILL SET UP HIS EARTHLY KINGDOM

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee…And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:4-5, 9).

I.   First, Christ will come back to the Mount of Olives,
Zechariah 14:3-4; Acts 1:9-12.

II.  Second, Christ will come back with all His saints, Zechariah 14:5;
Jude 14; Revelation 19:14.

III. Third, Christ will come back to set up His earthly Kingdom,
Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:10: Revelation 20:4-6;
Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:31.