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10 March 2010 (Revee/Shavu'ot)
Are There Two Second Comings?

    "The burden of the word of Yahweh against Israel. Thus says Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 'Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. In that day,' says Yahweh, 'I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of hosts, their Elohim.' 'In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place -- Jerusalem.

    "Yahweh will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like Elohim, like the Angel of Yahweh before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

    "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Ruach (Spirit) of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves" (Zech.12:1-14, NKJV).

Interpreting prophecy is one of the hardest tasks of any Bible student. It is made particularly difficult by the fact that when Yahweh gives prophecy it can refer to multiple time periods and events that are similar to each other because they are reflections of cyclical patterns. Today's reading from the 12th chapter of Zechariah is an excellent example.

Zechariah and Haggai both preached to the first generation after the return to Judah from the Babylonian exile. In 536 B.C. the temple foundation was laid but due to local opposition the work was discontinued for 16 years. In 520 B.C. Yahweh raised up these two prophets to stir the nation up to complete the rebuilding of the temple. Many of the economic hardships which the people had experienced since they returned were caused by the fact that, with no temple in operation, the land was still polluted from their former sins and would not produce well. The response to Zechariah's and Haggai's preaching was immediate and complete. By 515 B.C. the temple was complete and in operation again and chapters 1-8 of Zechariah relate to the years 520-515 B.C. In particular, the revelations from Yahweh supported the leadership of Zerubbabel (the civil leader) and Joshua {Yah'shua in Hebrew} (the Cohen Gadol of High Priest) especially in connection with the temple project.

But the glorious future of Jerusalem and the remnant who returned to it is also vividly depicted in this revelation, and it is here that the student of prophecy meets with some problems. Some of Zecharaiah's visions are filled with rich, apocalpytic-type imagery. Both Zerubbabel and Joshua were anointed leaders, and in certain passages it is hard to know whether they are being referred to or whether it is the future Messiah. At any rate, Yah'shua's dual messianic r˘le as both Melek (King) and Cohen (Priest) finds its closest Tanakh (Old Testament) basis here. John specifically quotes Zechariah 12:10 as a messianic prophecy (John 19:37).

Chapters 9-14 are very different from the earlier chapters in that they deal exclusively with the future beyond Zechariah's day and the time frame for the fulfillment of individual prophecies is still a disputed point but several passages were seen by B'rit Chadashah (New Testament) writers as being fulfilled by Yah'shua. These include such events as Yah'shua's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Zech.9:9 cp. Mt.21:5; Jn.12:15), His arrest, His crucifixion (Zech.12:10 cp. Jn.19:37) and His Second Coming (cp. Rev.1:7; Mt.24:30). Shortly before His arrest Yah'shua Himself applied Zechariah 13:7 to what was about to happen to Him and His talmidim (disciples) (Mt.26:31; Mk.14:27).

When two strands of prophecy intertwine it is sometimes very difficult - if not impossible - to fully untangle them by intellectual processes alone. Let's take a passage and look at it:

    "Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying: 'Receive the gift from the captives -- from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon -- and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, saying:

    "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of Yahweh; Yes, He shall build the temple of Yahweh. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both"'

    "Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of Yahweh for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. Even those who are far away shall come and build the temple of Yahweh. Then you shall know that Yahweh of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Yahweh your Elohim" (Zech.6:9-15, NKJV)

Here we see the Ruach inspiring Zechariah to merge a discussion of Joshua the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) with that about the future Messiah (Christ) who would also be called Joshua (Yah'shua/Jesus). It begins by referring to Joshua but then talks of one who sits on a throne with a Priest beside him. Joshua and Zerubbabel were both anointed leaders (Zech.4:14), so it is not out of the question that Joshua could sit on a throne (representing authority and power). Whatever the precise meaning of the late 6th century B.C., the Qumran Community, which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), anticipated two messiahs, one a royal figure and the other a priest. When these passages in Zechariah are combined with the New Testament interpretation of Psalm 110:1,4, an Old Testament basis for the dual Messiahship of Yah'shua is also established. Outside Hebrews, New Testament writers interpret Psalm 110:1 as looking forward to Yah'shuańs sitting on the throne as a royal leader:

    "Yahweh said to my Adon (Lord = Yah'shua), 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'" (Ps.110:1, NKJV).

But Hebrews brings Psalm 110:4 into the picture to show that the person on the throne was also to be a priest:

    "Yahweh has sworn and will not relent, 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek'" (Ps.110:4, NKJV).

The closest Old Testament parallel to this dual Messianic function is found in Zechariah, where the two r˘les were assumed by two different people - Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the priest.

Thus in prophecy we see how Yahweh uses two men two represent two r˘les which would be held by a singular Messiah, not two as the Essenes taught. This same error is propagated by the Mormons too who teach that there is a Messiah ben Judah (Christ) and a Messiah ben Joseph (whom they claim is their prophet Joseph Smith). There isn't because Yah'shua is the Messiah of both the Houses of Judah and Joseph (Israel/Ephraim).

We return to chapter 12 which is essentially about the deliverance of Jerusalem at some future day. Many scholars believe that chapters 12-14 (minus 13:7-9 about Yahweh's shepherd being struck down) were written subsequently to the death of King Josiah (609 B.C. - compare this with the mourning in the valley of Megiddon, 12:11), but prior to the fall of the Kingdom of Judah (586 B.C.). There are many good reasons to support this view:

  • 1. There are frequent references to the House of David (12:7-8,10,12; 13:1);
  • 2. Judah and Jerusalem represent the whole nation;
  • 3. Prophets are in evil repute (13:2-6; cp. Jer.23:9-40); and
  • 4. Jerusalem is beseiged (12:2; 14:2; cp. 2 Ki.24:10; 25:1).

Most Christians and Messianics view chapter 12 as pertaining to our day immediately prior to the return of the Messiah. Quite apart from the fact that I believe the modern Republic of Israel has nothing to do with the biblical Israel, and therefore to prophecy about future Messianic Israel, the way Zechariah strongly indicates that the people which are being referred to in this great siege consisted of families whose immediate decendants were still alive but who are now remote and probably untraceable - specifically, the families of David the King and Nathan the Prophet - suggests that this is a pre-exile scene. This chapter and 13:1-6 better fit the context of Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity. This is one strand of prophecy.

The second suddenly bursts upon us in 13:7-9, rapidly moving us forward in time. As I mentioned, Yah'shua applied 13:7 to what was about to happen to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then the prophecy jumps again at v.8 to a cleansing in which two-thirds of Jerusalem is wiped out, the remaining third being refined. But when does this take place? Some say in the days right before the Millennium and others right at the end of the Millennium prior the establishment of "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev.21:1, NKJV). The only problem with the latter interpretation is that it means Yah'shua must come at the end of the Millennium and not at its beginning....unless He comes twice, once at either end of the Millennium, leaving after the first return to leave His ministers to run the earth, returning the second time to quash the rebellion that results after Satan and his demons have been released for a short season, as Scripture testifies.

Chapter 14 is one of those classic texts that is applied to the second coming of Messiah. If there are two 'second comings', which would this refer to? The fact that summer and winter continue as seasons in the normal way (14:8) suggests that this is the first of the hypothetical two, and therefore refers to the Millennium, as there is some doubt in my mind that the seasons as we know will continue in the "new heaven and...new earth".

Will there be two second comings? I think that in part will depend what Yah'shua will be doing during the Millennium. Will He be permanently stationed here, as it were, or will He set up His Kingdom and appoint priests and kings to govern while He occupies Himself in other parts of the Cosmos? How can we distinguish between prophetic scriptures pertaining to the end of this age and the beginning of the Millennium, and those pertaining to the end of the Millennium with its brief rebellion and inauguration of the New Heaven and New Earth. For we are told that "the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:12, NKJV) which I do not believe refers to the time immediately before the Millennium. This is an area requiring some serious research. I hope this devotional will provide some sort of stimulus deep for study and discussion.

Comments from Readers

This is absolutely great..

I have really had my doubts the last days if one can explain it satisfactory...but you have! Especially the pointed direct references in the "New" Testament to Zechariah, or the scriptural fact of Jerusalem and Judah being besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, is very convincing that this prophecy can't be pointing to the Jews and this end time.

Thank you so much that you have let the Holy Ruach (Spirit) doing this through you! (S, Germany, 9 March 2010)

Some thoughts as my testimony, or as what I see today in part:

Picture Redeemed Yisrael. Now, today, where are these people?

Two states?

Many have left the physical body to be with Messiah?
Many are alive and remain in this physical body?

But is there still only One/Echad group of Redeemed Saints/Redeemed Yisrael, whether with Messiah or still in the body?

(We can call that group of redeemed people the Redeemed Yisrael taken from the nations? Even we see that story in Israel of old, nothing new but we come to understand what YHWH has been doing from the start and is still doing and will do some more to bring in those who will come to have eternal life.)

The spirit part of man being as One/Echad with YHWH Yahushua that part having eternal life is with Him even in the flesh or having left this flesh? Where are we truly seated if we can see through this veil? Have we literally changed our residence in that part of us within?

Now, Today, what is Redeemed Yisrael is the Temple built of Living Stones the same YHWH has planned and is building upon Yahushua the Rosh Pina?

Maybe a clue?

Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for YHWH Elohim Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

12 gates to enter into that place where we find whom?

The nations to come up physically to Jerusalem?

Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

Leading up to that time, what has had to happen?

The Redeemed People have returned with Messiah as He returns?

The re-gathering has taken place?

Messiah returns with those redeemed people who are Echad/One with Him to do what?

The work to be done is to cleanse the land and subdue all enemies?

Are we given many pictures that fit into the puzzle and make sense if we can see from the perspective of what is happening in that we must see beyond the flesh and blood of now, of this world, to see the whole picture of who we really are outside of this vile body?

Without a doubt, there will be flesh and blood people living in Jerusalem who will be against the false messiah who is reigning there when Messiah comes to set foot on the Mount of Olives and all the Redeemed with Him.

Do the two witnesses and others operate in the face of this false messiah and his temple of stone?

1/3rd of the people in Jerusalem, who will see Messiah coming and the saints with him, will then fight the false messiah knowing that redemption is theirs as well? Those of Judah to have their place cleansed first? That is where Messiah starts from the Mount of Olives? Will we who are there fight together in an incorruptible body for Judah first? Are there clues in Joel? Others?

If there are those who will be redeemed who are still present in the flesh when Messiah returns and the Saints with Him, they must have missed out on the 1st re-gathering trumpet blast? They see Messiah returning with all of the Saints with Him? Zech 14.

I believe there are perfect overlays and perfect harmony in scriptures where understanding is only found in the Heart of Messiah dwelling within. Could we say a perfect match of what He has done and will do, the things He has not manifest on earth but even more profound is that He is the Living Book and will perform perfectly every 'jot' and 'tittle' of Himself as He is the focus of all scriptures that witness of Him if we seek out that witness.

Yahushua will reveal some parts of His plan to those who need to know, keeping the enemy from understanding?

I believe if we try to understand we are blessed though we may still not have the perfect picture yet. One day we will see it all perfectly.

Messiah Yahushua is YHWH Tzadikanu as Echad and as we are all Echad being redeemed having remission of sin and walking in Spirit and Truth? Where our desire is always to say Yes to Messiah even to overcome our sin by our Faith in hearing His voice of that within?

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of Elohim, (Yahushua), without the Torah/law (apart from the written), is manifested (become alive as a man and completed Himself in that He said It Is Finished), being witnessed by the (written) Torah/law and the prophets;

The Living Torah Yahushua is not the written Torah/law but is the Being of it, where Torah/law came from spoken by YHWH even to everything that YHWH has made to the Light of ALL Mankind, every man we read about in written Torah, you and I. Existing in the Living Torah that in which we have Life and Eternal Life as we become redeemed as in becoming alive in the Living Covenant Yahushua. (There is greater understanding, awesome understanding in that if it can be sought out, though can we comprehend beyond that simple faith it took for redemption, that Messiah is truly even in our Mouth (Pey) and we confess Him just as He is unconditionally Yes and believe in our Heart that He Is because He comes to dwell within as YHWH Yahushua to sit and eat with us, (serving His unleavened bread), and to fellowship as a family. (He came to Abraham's tent and ate with Him, who were the two that came?) Our picture we experience within? If YHWH Yahushua made everything and is the Light of all mankind (John 1) whom do we wake up to realize that we are living and moving and having our being within? Even that does not take any other thing but as a child to just understand and live in light of that right where we are. We can never get out of that no matter our state of mind or what we might think, there is no place we can run nor hide as we are living by the Light of Messiah right where we are just as we are. It does not require living in a fantasy land to understand. YHWH looks upon our Heart and knows us better than we know ourselves.

Messiah Yahushua gave us a perfect outline in Matthew 24 and in the overlay of Matthew 25?

And once He has instilled many things of Torah the big picture can be seen? (As He already told us before as He said in Matthew 24?)

Is it really so beautiful a child could understand, more than we might think not being able to fit the complex pieces together? I believe it takes loving the Torah/law with all of our being even in spite of our failures. But to see that righteousness in all of it even to the same thing, to all things made to the light of all mankind.

Then the 'play' can come alive, the 'attributes' can be seen, awesome complexity even of having our forefathers Live it out, of what YHWH did to make such a wonderful story we as children can understand and is summed up in Yahushua who is our remission of sin by the Life given of His Blood and that Life is our circumcision of Heart to that Living Covenant by calling upon His name the salvation of the Heart. YHWH is looking at our Heart. Did He check to see which outward name we used?

But, Messiah did say we are to be as a little child so we can enter into the Kingdom of YHWH. And that mindset has no presumption, nor is heady nor high minded. Contrite heart ready to operate in that Father / son-daughter relationship we can and will all experience in greater ways.

Just some thoughts.

We can be assured Yahushua will do His Plan Perfectly of His Heart as He will make manifest every page, every chapter, every word, every 'jot' and 'tittle' of the Book He is Being at the Right Hand of YHWH. No one else could do that. Even coming to the earth as a man to overcome what we could not. He lived for 30+ years as a man experiencing the same things we have to face day to day. Yet did not sin and willingly laid down His life for us all.

And we are blessed to seek these things out, just to know Him even in more perfect ways and He will do and show us perfectly even if not till we are there with Him and face to face. But then we will not care if it was just to know but we will be living in those things as a family.

Just some thoughts. There is a perfect plan and even if someone does know more about it, there are perfect details that will stay hidden until the proper time? And then will we be amazed we couldn't have already figured it out... though does YHWH really control what we are allowed to understand?

Do we choose who will do what or know what? If YHWH chooses can any man change that? Could even those who are chosen for specific tasks such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, on and on have caused YHWH to un-choose? Interesting to ponder that YHWH does not make mistakes and even wonder how He works with us too in our small parts even knowing us so closely and we might even declare as we see many of the prophets doing that how could they be worthy to speak or do anything for our Father YHWH?

Is there a re-gathering which takes place after all mankind has seen Yahushua coming in the clouds of heaven? (Redeemed Yisrael/Redeemed Saints?)

Then is there a restoration which takes place later where those redeemed come with Yahushua to set up Redeemed Yisrael in the land of what is called Israel today? And will that be where the anti-messiah who has proclaimed himself to be 'god' and his deceivers have their eyes burned out and flesh burned off before they can hit the ground?

Will we be there with Messiah if we are redeemed? To receive our inheritance? Judah will be first?

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