Chapter 14 What Happens Next?
The Bible provides a considerable amount of detail concerning the dramatic events that will occur at the time of the end. However, the details are scattered among many different prophetic passages throughout numerous books of the Old and New Testaments.
Zechariah's prediction that Jerusalem would become a problem for the whole world, and that the nations would unite to impose their solution, is found in the opening verses of his twelfth chapter. Zechariah continues to discuss events related to Jerusalem through the end of chapter fourteen. However, it is not clear whether all of these developments are chronological, or even closely related in time. Here are some highlights:
"On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place." (Zechariah 12:6 NIV)
"On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem." (Zech 12:8-9 NIV)
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." (Zech 12:10 NIV)
"I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle." (Zech 14:2-3 NIV)
"This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other." (Zech 14:12-14 NIV)
Keep in mind that the prophetic content of Zechariah chapters 12 through 14 is not necessarily arranged in chronological order. The same is true of the end times prophecies found elsewhere in Scripture.
The Hebrew prophet Daniel was given visions that span much of human history, beginning with a succession of political empires following one another as the dominant world power, and concluding with the Messiah, the Son of Man, taking power to rule the world in the Kingdom of God:
"In my vision at night ... Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. ... a second beast, which looked like a bear. ... another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. ... a fourth beast ... different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. ...As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. ... I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:2-14 NIV)
An angel gave Daniel "the interpretation of these things: 'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever -- yes, for ever and ever.' ... the Ancient of