Category: What is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

The book of Revelation has always presented the interpreter with challenges. The book is steeped in vivid imagery and symbolism which people have interpreted differently depending on their preconceptions of the book as a whole. There are four main interpretive approaches to the book of Revelation: 1) preterist (which sees all or most of the events in Revelation as having already occurred by the end of the 1st century); 2) historicist (which sees Revelation as a survey of church history from apostolic times to the present); 3) idealist (which sees Revelation as a depiction of the struggle between good and evil); 4) futurist (which sees Revelation as prophecy of events to come). Of the four, only the futurist approach interprets Revelation in the same grammatical-historical method as the rest of Scripture. It is also a better fit with Revelation’s own claim to be prophecy (Revelation 1:3; 22:7, 10, 18, 19).

So the answer to the question “who are the 144,000?” will depend on which interpretive approach you take to the book of Revelation. With the exception of the futurist approach, all of the other approaches interpret the 144,000 symbolically, as representative of the church and the number 144,000 being symbolic of the totality—i.e., the complete number—of the church. Yet when taken at face value: “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Revelation 7:4), nothing in the passage leads to interpreting the 144,000 as anything but a literal number of Jews—12,000 taken from every tribe of the “sons of Israel.” The New Testament offers no clear cut text replacing Israel with the church.

These Jews are “sealed,” which means they have the special protection of God from all of the divine judgments and from the Antichrist to perform their mission during the tribulation period (see Revelation 6:17, in which people will wonder who can stand from the wrath to come). The tribulation period is a future seven-year period of time in which God will enact divine judgment against those who reject Him and will complete His plan of salvation for the nation of Israel. All of this is according to God’s revelation to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). The 144,000 Jews are a sort of “first fruits” (Revelation 14:4) of a redeemed Israel which has been previously prophesied (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:25-27), and their mission is to evangelize the post-rapture world and proclaim the gospel during the tribulation period. As a result of their ministry, millions—“a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9)—will come to faith in Christ.

Much of the confusion regarding the 144,000 is a result of the false doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that 144,000 is a limit to the number of people who will reign with Christ in heaven and spend eternity with God. The 144,000 have what the Jehovah’s Witnesses call the heavenly hope. Those who are not among the 144,000 will enjoy what they call the earthly hope—a paradise on earth ruled by Christ and the 144,000. Clearly, we can see that Jehovah’s Witness teaching sets up a caste society in the afterlife with a ruling class (the 144,000) and those who are ruled. The Bible teaches no such “dual class” doctrine. It is true that according to Revelation 20:4 there will be people ruling in the millennium with Christ. These people will be comprised of the church (believers in Jesus Christ), Old Testament saints (believers who died before Christ’s first advent), and tribulation saints (those who accept Christ during the tribulation). Yet the Bible places no numerical limit on this group of people. Furthermore, the millennium is different from the eternal state, which will take place at the completion of the millennial period. At that time, God will dwell with us in the New Jerusalem. He will be our God and we will be His people (Revelation 21:3). The inheritance promised to us in Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) will become ours, and we will all be co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

This concept is usually drawn from Matthew  24:34, “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away  until all these things have happened.” The previous verses, Matthew 24:1-33,  describe end-times events in relation to Israel. As a result, some interpreters  thought that the end times would begin when Israel was “reconstituted” as a  nation (which happened in 1948). However, as more and more time passed from  1948, the time span of a “generation” began to lengthen and lengthen. It has now  been more than 60 years – which is far beyond any standard definition of a  generation.

The biggest problem with this teaching is that it completely  misunderstands Matthew  24:34. What the context appears to say is that once the end-times events  begin to happen, they will happen quickly. Further, Jesus’ prophetic words in  Matthew 24 seem to have a “double fulfillment.” Some of the events occurred in  A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and Israel. Other events (24:29-31,  for example) have clearly not yet occurred. Some of Jesus’ words occurred  shortly after He spoke them (this generation will not pass); others have not yet  occurred. To answer your question directly, no, it is not scriptural to teach  that the generation that sees Israel become a nation will also see the second  coming of Jesus Christ. This may be the case, but Scripture does not  specifically say so.

* An editors note: When we look at the generational question (the generation that saw Israel re-formed as a nation still being alive for the Second  Coming?) and in conjunction with Matthew 24:34 ( “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away  until all these things have happened.”)  we are left with one possible and additional solution to this mystery.

The generation known today as “Baby Boomers” begin to appear at about the same time as Israel’s becoming a nation (which happened in 1948) . Though the generation of Baby Boomers’ are aging, there are still many of whom survive and may “not pass away  until all these things have happened.” Perhaps we are the generation referred to in Matthew  24:34.  Christ would not make the statement “I  tell you the truth” without knowing specifically who He was speaking of!

This remarkable Rabbi, of the 12th Century, appears to have nailed it. In fact, he may have pin pointed the time of the “Messiah’s return.” The last days may truly be upon us.

Judah Ben Samuel was a legendary and prolific German rabbi of the 12th  century who made some astonishing and specific predictions about the future of  Jerusalem and Israel that came true.

Judah Ben Samuel, also known as Judah he-Hasid (Judah the Pious), lived and  worked from the end of the 12th century until the beginning of the 13th century  in Regensburg, authoring a number of books in the German language.

Ludwig Schneider of   Israel Today magazine has translated some of his work into English over the  last few years, including “The Book of the Pious – Sefer Hasidim” and the “Book  of Calculations – Sefer Gematriyot.”

Following the Christian crusades to the Holy Land, between 1096-1270, a  regular correspondence developed between the Jews in the Holy Land and the  Christian West. Thus, for example, the rabbis in Worms and Regensburg in Germany  knew that Saladin’s Ayyubids had been ruling in the Holy Land since 1187.

At this time, Judah Ben Samuel published the results of his biblical  calculations (Gematria) and astrological observations and summarized as follows: “When the Ottomans (Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the  Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – conquer Jerusalem they will rule over  Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for  one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the  possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the  Messianic end time.”

One jubilee is 50 years (Leviticus 25). It is the 50th year after seven times  seven years, the year in which each person should regain ownership of his or her  land. Ben Samuel’s calculations were purely theoretical; there was absolutely no  sign at that time of their being fulfilled. He himself was not able to  experience their fulfillment, for it was only 300 years after his death that the  first of his predictions were to come true.

The Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in  1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They remained for eight jubilees (8 x 50 = 400  years), that is to say they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years  later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British. The League of  Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British.  Thus, from 1917, under international law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land.

Then, when Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, exactly one  jubilee (50 years) after 1917, Jerusalem reverted to Jewish-Israeli ownership  once again. Thereby, according to the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel, the  Messianic End Times began.

Many scholars have studied and made reference to Judah Ben Samuel’s writings  in an effort to understand how he reached his conclusions. Among those  referencing Ben Samuel were Rabbi Isaac Ben Solomon Luria, a mystic dealing with  the messianic world (Jerusalem, 1531-1572, Safed); Joseph Solomon Delmegido  (1591 Candia – 1655 Prague), a mathematician and astronomer (“Mazref  le-Chochma”), Azulai I (1724-1806), a famed bibliographer; Samuel David Luzzatto  (1800-1865), a Bible scholar; historian Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891); and Torah  scholar Jacob Epstein (1925-1993).

The secret of how Judah the Pious arrived at such accurate predictions has  less to do with the actual calculations than it does with the fact that he had  consecrated his life to God. His pupils Rabbi Isaac ben Moses (Vienna), Rabbi  Baruch ben Samuel (Mainz) and Rabbi Simcha (Speyer) testify that Ben Samuel was  a model of abstinence and selflessness and was awaiting with a burning desire  the coming of the Messiah.

Ben Samuel was often called “Light of Israel.” Even bishops came to him for  advice. If anyone asked him where his wisdom came from he would answer, “The  prophet Elijah, who will preceed the Messiah, appeared to me and revealed many  things to me and emphasized that the precondition for answered prayer is that it  is fueled by enthusiasm and joy for the greatness and holiness of God.”

But to recap the astonishing predictions: In AD 1217 this scholarly and pious  rabbi prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the holy city of  Jerusalem for eight Jubilees. Now, keep in mind, he made this prediction 300  years before the Ottoman Turks seized control of Jerusalem in 1517. If indeed  1217 and 1517 were jubilee years as Judah Ben Samuel believed, then his prophecy  was exactly right, because exactly 400 years after the Turks took control of  Jerusalem they were driven out of the city and the holy land in 1917 by the  Allied forces under the command of General George Allenby – on Hanukkah, by the  way.

But it gets more interesting still.

The rabbi also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee Jerusalem would be a “no-man’s land.” This is exactly what happened from 1917 to 1967, due to the  fact that the Holy Land was placed under British Mandate in 1917 by the League  of Nations and literally “belonged” to no nation.

Even after Israel’s war of independence in 1948-49, Jerusalem was still  divided by a strip of land running right through the heart of the city, with  Jordan controlling the eastern part of the city and Israel controlling the  western part of the city. That strip of land was considered and even called “no-man’s land” by both the Israelis and the Jordanians.

It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when the entire West Bank of the  Holy Land was conquered by the Israeli army that the whole city of Jerusalem  passed back into the possession of Israel. So once again the prophecy made by  the rabbi 750 years previously was fulfilled to the letter.

It certainly would be significant if both 1917 and 1967 were Jubilee years,  considering the significance of what happened in Jerusalem on those years. But  it gets even more interesting, because Judah Ben Samuel also prophesied that  during the 10th Jubilee Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the  Messianic “end times” would begin. If he’s right, the 10th Jubilee began in 1967  and will be concluded in 2017, the return of the “Messiah.”

“The Bible should be our standard for prophecy and interpretation of  prophetic events,” said Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND, upon learning  of Judah Ben Samuel’s predictions in Israel  Today. “But one cannot ignore what this 12th-century rabbi said and wrote.  It’s well-documented. And I applaud   Israel Today for bringing it to light. The implications of these predictions  is staggering to say the least.”

The tribulation is a future seven-year period of time when God will finish His  discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world. The  church, made up of all who have trusted in the person and work of the Lord Jesus  to save them from being punished for sin, will not be present during the  tribulation. The church will be removed from the earth in an event known as the  rapture (1  Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1  Corinthians 15:51-53). The church is saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians  5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names  such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1213:6-9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-31; 3:14; 1  Thessalonians 5:2); trouble or tribulation (Deuteronomy  4:30; Zephaniah  1:1); the great tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of  the seven-year period (Matthew  24:21); time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1Zephaniah  1:15); time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah  30:7). An understanding of Daniel  9:24-27 is necessary in order to understand the purpose and time of the  tribulation. This passage speaks of 70 weeks that have been declared against  “your people.” Daniel’s people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, and Daniel 9:24 speaks of a period of time that God has given  “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to  bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint  the most holy.” God declares that “seventy sevens” will fulfill all these  things. This is 70 sevens of years, or 490 years. (Some translations refer to 70  weeks of years.) This is confirmed by another part of this passage in Daniel. In  verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after “seven  sevens and sixty-two sevens” (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild  Jerusalem. In other words, 69 sevens of years (483 years) after the decree to  rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will be cut off. Biblical historians confirm that  483 years passed from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time  when Jesus was crucified. Most Christian scholars, regardless of their view of  eschatology (future things/events), have the above understanding of Daniel’s 70  sevens. With 483 years having passed from the decree to rebuild  Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, this leaves one seven-year period  to be fulfilled in terms of Daniel 9:24:  “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to  bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint  the most holy.” This final seven-year period is known as the tribulation  period—it is a time when God finishes judging Israel for its sin. (see also: “12th century rabbi predicted Israel’s future) Daniel 9:27 gives a few  highlights of the seven-year tribulation period: “He will confirm a covenant  with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to  sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an  abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out  on him.” The person of whom this verse speaks is the person Jesus calls the  “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew  24:15) and is called “the beast” in Revelation 13. Daniel 9:27 says that the beast will make a covenant for  seven years, but in the middle of this week (3 1/2 years into the tribulation),  he will break the covenant, putting a stop to sacrifice. Revelation 13 explains  that the beast will place an image of himself in the temple and require the  world to worship him. Revelation  13:5 says that this will go on for 42 months, which is 3 1/2 years. Since Daniel 9:27 says that this  will happen in the middle of the week, and Revelation  13:5 says that the beast will do this for a period of 42 months, it is easy  to see that the total length of time is 84 months or seven years. Also see Daniel 7:25, where the  “time, times, and half a time” (time=1 year; times=2 years; half a time=1/2  year; total of 3 1/2 years) also refers to “great tribulation,” the last half of  the seven-year tribulation period when the beast will be in power. For  further references about the tribulation, see Revelation  11:2-3, which speaks of 1260 days and 42 months, and Daniel 12:11-12, which  speaks of 1290 days and 1335 days. These days have a reference to the midpoint  of the tribulation. The additional days in Daniel 12 may include the time at the  end for the judgment of the nations (Matthew  25:31-46) and time for the setting up of Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation  20:4-6). In summary, the Tribulation is the 7-year time period in  the end times in which humanity’s decadence and depravity will reach its  fullness, with God judging accordingly.

The timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation is one of the most  controversial issues in the church today. The three primary views are  pre-tribulational (the rapture occurs before the tribulation), mid-tribulational  (the rapture occurs at or near the mid-point of the tribulation), and  post-tribulational (the rapture occurs at the end of the tribulation). A fourth  view, commonly known as pre-wrath, is a slight modification of the  mid-tribulational position.

First, it is important to recognize the  purpose of the tribulation. According to Daniel 9:27,  there is a seventieth “seven” (seven years) that is still yet to come. Daniel’s  entire prophecy of the seventy sevens (Daniel  9:20-27) is speaking of the nation of Israel. It is a time period in which  God focuses His attention especially on Israel. The seventieth seven, the  tribulation, must also be a time when God deals specifically with Israel. While  this does not necessarily indicate that the church could not also be present, it  does bring into question why the church would need to be on the earth during  that time.

The primary Scripture passage on the rapture is 1 Thessalonians  4:13-18. It states that all living believers, along with all believers who  have died, will meet the Lord Jesus in the air and will be with Him forever. The  rapture is God’s removing His people from the earth. A few verses later, in 1  Thessalonians 5:9, Paul says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath  but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The book of Revelation,  which deals primarily with the time period of the tribulation, is a prophetic  message of how God will pour out His wrath upon the earth during the  tribulation. It seems inconsistent for God to promise believers that they will  not suffer wrath and then leave them on the earth to suffer through the wrath of  the tribulation. The fact that God promises to deliver Christians from wrath  shortly after promising to remove His people from the earth seems to link those  two events together.

Another crucial passage on the timing of the  rapture is Revelation  3:10, in which Christ promises to deliver believers from the “hour of trial”  that is going to come upon the earth. This could mean two things. Either Christ  will protect believers in the midst of the trials, or He will deliver believers  out of the trials. Both are valid meanings of the Greek word translated “from.”  However, it is important to recognize what believers are promised to be kept  from. It is not just the trial, but the “hour” of trial. Christ is promising to  keep believers from the very time period that contains the trials, namely the  tribulation. The purpose of the tribulation, the purpose of the rapture, the  meaning of 1  Thessalonians 5:9, and the interpretation of Revelation  3:10 all give clear support to the pre-tribulational position. If the Bible  is interpreted literally and consistently, the pre-tribulational position is the  most biblically-based interpretation.

The rapture and the second coming of Christ are often confused. Sometimes it is  difficult to determine whether a scripture verse is referring to the rapture or  the second coming. However, in studying end-times Bible prophecy, it is very  important to differentiate between the two.

The rapture is when Jesus  Christ returns to remove the church (all believers in Christ) from the earth.  The rapture is described in 1  Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1  Corinthians 15:50-54. Believers who have died will have their bodies  resurrected and, along with believers who are still living, will meet the Lord  in the air. This will all occur in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. The  second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist, destroy evil, and  establish His millennial kingdom. The second coming is described in Revelation  19:11-16.

The important differences between the rapture and  second coming are as follows:

1) At the rapture, believers meet  the Lord in the air (1  Thessalonians 4:17). At the second coming, believers return with the Lord to  the earth (Revelation  19:14).

2) The second coming occurs after the great and terrible  tribulation (Revelation chapters 6–19). The rapture occurs before the  tribulation (1  Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation  3:10).

3) The rapture is the removal of believers from the earth as  an act of deliverance (1  Thessalonians 4:13-17, 5:9). The second coming includes the removal of  unbelievers as an act of judgment (Matthew  24:40-41).

4) The rapture will be secret and instant (1 Corinthians  15:50-54). The second coming will be visible to all (Revelation 1:7; Matthew  24:29-30).

5) The second coming of Christ will not occur until after  certain other end-times events take place (2  Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew  24:15-30; Revelation chapters 6–18). The rapture is imminent; it could take  place at any moment (Titus 2:131  Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1  Corinthians 15:50-54).

Why is it important to keep the  rapture and the second coming distinct?

1) If the rapture and  the second coming are the same event, believers will have to go through the  tribulation (1  Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation  3:10).

2) If the rapture and the second coming are the same event,  the return of Christ is not imminent—there are many things which must occur  before He can return (Matthew  24:4-30).

3) In describing the tribulation period, Revelation  chapters 6–19 nowhere mentions the church. During the tribulation—also called  “the time of trouble for Jacob” (Jeremiah  30:7)—God will again turn His primary attention to Israel (Romans  11:17-31).

The rapture and second coming are similar but separate  events. Both involve Jesus returning. Both are end-times events. However, it is  crucially important to recognize the differences. In summary, the rapture is the  return of Christ in the clouds to remove all believers from the earth before the  time of God’s wrath. The second coming is the return of Christ to the earth to  bring the tribulation to an end and to defeat the Antichrist and his evil world  empire.

The second coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of believers that God is in  control of all things, and is faithful to the promises and prophecies in His  Word. In His first coming, Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manger in  Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the  Messiah during His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However,  there are some prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet  fulfilled. The second coming of Christ will be the return of Christ to fulfill  these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering  Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first  coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming,  Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.

The Old  Testament prophets did not make clearly this distinction between the two  comings. This can be seen in Isaiah 7:149:6-7 and Zechariah 14:4. As a  result of the prophecies seeming to speak of two individuals, many Jewish  scholars believed there would be both a suffering Messiah and a conquering  Messiah. What they failed to understand is that there is only one Messiah and He  would fulfill both roles. Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant  (Isaiah chapter 53) in His first coming. Jesus will fulfill the role of Israel’s  deliverer and King in His second coming. Zechariah  12:10 and Revelation  1:7, describing the second coming, look back to Jesus being pierced. Israel,  and the whole world, will mourn for not having accepted the Messiah the first  time He came.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to  the apostles, “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into  the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come  back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah  14:4 identifies the location of the second coming as the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24:30 declares,  “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the  nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the  clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Titus 2:13 describes the second coming as a “glorious appearing.”

The second coming  is spoken of in greatest detail in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and  there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With  justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head  are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The  armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine  linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to  strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the  winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh  he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

 May be read separately or as a reference found in Zechariah 14:4:

The phrase “day  of the Lord” usually identifies events that take place at the end of history (Isaiah 7:18-25) and is  often closely associated with the phrase “that day.” One key to understanding  these phrases is to note that they always identify a span of time during which  God personally intervenes in history, directly or indirectly, to accomplish some  specific aspect His plan.

Most people associate the day of the Lord with  a period of time or a special day that will occur when God’s will and purpose  for His world and for mankind will be fulfilled. Some scholars believe that the  day of the Lord will be a longer period of time than a single day—a period of  time when Christ will reign throughout the world before He cleanses heaven and  earth in preparation for the eternal state of all mankind. Other scholars  believe the day of the Lord will be an instantaneous event when Christ returns  to earth to redeem His faithful believers and send unbelievers to eternal  damnation.

The phrase “the day of the Lord” is used nineteen times in  the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:1213:6, 9; Ezekiel  13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15Zephaniah  1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5) and four  times in the New Testament (Acts 2:20; 2  Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter  3:10). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation  6:17; 16:14).

The Old Testament passages dealing with  the day of the Lord often convey a sense of imminence, nearness, and  expectation: “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near!” (Isaiah 13:6); “For the day is near, even the day of the  Lord is near” (Ezekiel  30:3); “Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is  coming. It is close at hand” (Joel 2:1);  “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is  near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14);  “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near” (Zephaniah 1:7). This is  because the Old Testament passages referring to the day of the Lord often speak  of both a near and a far fulfillment, as does much of Old Testament prophecy.  Some Old Testament passages that refer to the day of the Lord describe  historical judgments that have already been fulfilled in some sense (Isaiah 13:6-22; Ezekiel 30:2-19; Joel 1:15, 3:14; Amos  5:18-20; Zephaniah  1:14-18), while others refers to divine judgments that will take place  toward the end of the age (Joel  2:30-32; Zechariah  14:1; Malachi 4:15).

The New  Testament calls it a day of “wrath,” a day of “visitation,” and the “great day  of God Almighty” (Revelation  16:14) and refers to a still future fulfillment when God’s wrath is poured  out on unbelieving Israel (Isaiah 22; Jeremiah  30:1-17; Joel 1-2; Amos 5; Zephaniah 1) and on the unbelieving world  (Ezekiel 38–39; Zechariah 14). The Scriptures indicate that “the day of the  Lord” will come quickly, like a thief in the night (Zephaniah  1:14-15; 2  Thessalonians 2:2), and therefore Christians must be watchful and ready for  the coming of Christ at any moment.

Besides being a time of judgment, it  will also be a time of salvation as God will deliver the remnant of Israel,  fulfilling His promise that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), forgiving  their sins and restoring His chosen people to the land He promised to Abraham  (Isaiah  10:27; Jeremiah  30:19-31, 40; Micah  4; Zechariah 13). The final outcome of the day of the Lord will be that “the  arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord  alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah  2:17). The ultimate or final fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the  day of the Lord will come at the end of history when God, with wondrous power,  will punish evil and fulfill all His promises.

To go back click: Zechariah 14:4

Zechariah  14:4 predicts, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east  of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west,  forming a great valley, with half of the Mount shall move north and half moving  south.” “That day” is a reference to the Day of  the Lord, and the One who stands on the mountain is the Lord Himself. So,  yes, this passage predicts the second coming of Christ.

The opening of  Zechariah 14 speaks of a future day when Jerusalem will be plundered by its  enemies. Verse 2 prophesies that all nations will gather against Jerusalem and  capture and ransack the city. Half of the citizens of Jerusalem will flee the  devastation, but the other half will remain. This will be one half of the one  third of the Jewish population still alive in Jerusalem after the Tribulation  (13:8). Then, Zechariah says, the Lord Himself will go forth and engage these  opponents in battle (14:3). Verse 4 speaks of the Messiah standing on the Mount  of Olives, a hill near Jerusalem on the east. The mountain will split, creating  an enormous valley. Since none of this has taken place yet, the prophecy points  to a future time.

A parallel passage tells of the Battle  of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21). Revelation 16:18-21 predicts horrible events at the end  of the Tribulation when the seventh bowl is poured out:

“Then there came  flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No  earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous  was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the  nations collapsed. . . . Every island fled away and the mountains could not be  found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon  men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague  was so terrible.”

The earthquake in Revelation could very well speak of  the event described in Zechariah when the Mount of Olives splits in two. Jesus  the Messiah will cause an earthquake at His second coming that will serve as  part of the destruction of God’s enemies. The outcome of this battle is never in  doubt: Christ will be the victor, Israel’s enemies will be destroyed, and the  beast (Antichrist) and false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21).