We closed our last post on the eschatology of Zechariah 14 by asking: If Zechariah 14:5 predicted the AD 70 coming of Jesus with his saints in judgment of the Old Covenant World of Israel, and if Zechariah 14:5 serves as the basis and source for the New Testament predictions of the coming of the Lord with his saints, then it must be true that the New Testament predictions of the coming of the Lord with his saints must refer to the AD 70 coming of Jesus. This view is amply supported by an examination of the New Testament texts predicting the coming of the Lord with his saints.
Zechariah 14 and Its Influence on the New Testament
It is critical to realize that Zechariah 14 (along with several other texts that predicted the same events of course, contributed so much to the NT writers and their eschatology. Jesus himself clearly draws from Zechariah 14 in his predictions of the time of the end.
Jesus and Zechariah 14
Zechariah 14 and Matthew 13:39f
Jesus said he was going to come with his angels at the end of “this age” (v. 39-40). Jesus’ “this age” can be none other than the Old Covenant Age. Even some futurists (e.g. Joel McDurmon) clearly see that in Matthew 13 Jesus was not speaking of the end of the Christian age. He was speaking of the end of the Old Covenant age that arrived in AD 70.
McDurmon, commenting on the coming of Christ, the harvest and the end of the age in Matthew 13:39f says:
“The thing coming to an end in this teaching is not the world itself, but a particular long period of time. Jesus is not concerned with the end of the world, but the end of the age. And the judgment that is described here, and therefore pertains to the end of that particular period of time.. The question arises, then , of what particular period of time is this speaking? It is possible (and perhaps tempting to many) to make this age synonymous with the end of all time, and thus, the end of the world. But, is this what Jesus has in mind here? I don’t think Jesus has the ultimate end of time in view here. Rather, he had in mind the end of a particular age that would be followed by another. This is clear from teaching He had given just earlier that same day (Matthew 13:1). He had warned the people and the Pharisees against the unpardonable sin…. Here, Jesus speaks of this age and the age to come, in both of which the same rules for belief and profession of faith stand. This shows that he had his current age in mind – ‘this age’ was His age that would obviously give way to another age yet to come (for His listeners anyway)….. The question then is, when does the switch between these ages occur? Paul very clearly indicates that a switch was occurring as he wrote, and indeed the old age (which we might call the Old Testament age) was coming to an end as he wrote.” He cites 1 Corinthians 10:11 and Hebrews 9:26 to prove his case.
He then adds: “So from the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and the author of Hebrews, we get the very clear picture of two ages; one that endured up to the time of Christ, and another then began around the same time period. I believe these two periods, being hinged upon the coming and work of Christ, pertain obviously to the Old and New Covenant administrations.” (Jesus V Jerusalem, Powder Springs, GA, American Vision, 2011)47.
Then, however, in a stunning bit of self-contradiction, and shoddy logic, McDurmon says that Matthew 13:39f: “Describes the then soon coming end of that old age and the destruction of its children, and the beginning of the gathering in of the true children of God’s kingdom. It should not be understood as teaching anything beyond this.”(2011, p. 49- my emphasis).
So, per McDurmon, the harvest, the parousia and the end of the age in AD 70 did not foreshadow another, final end of the age. It taught nothing beyond that event!
The reason this is fatal is that in our formal debate in July, 2012, McDurmon argued that the end of the age that occurred in AD 70 did in fact point forward to the end of the Christian age! He said the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15– which of course is the time of the harvest of Matthew 13– had “a fulfillment” in AD 70, but, that resurrection points to the ultimate, final resurrection. So, on the one hand, he tells us that the end of the age, the harvest / resurrection and the parousia of Christ was in AD 70, and does not point to anything beyond that, but then he tells us that those AD 70 events must point to something beyond those events. To simply say this is self-contradictory is a huge understatement. Be sure to read the book of my debate with McDurmon to see for yourself his stunning self-contradictions.
Also, be sure to read my book, AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? for a full refutation of the claim that the events of AD 70 were typological. This book has quickly become one of my very best selling titles, as more and more Bible students come to realize the fallacy of the Dominionist paradigm.
Peter Leithart agrees with McDurmon’s assessment of Matthew 13, saying the parable of Matthew 13 refers to the end of the Jewish age, and God harvesting that age (Peter Leithart, The Promise of His Coming, (Moscow, Id, Canon Press, 2004)95. DeMar also applies the prophecy of Zechariah 14 to AD 70 (Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness, Revised, American Vision, Powder Springs, GA, 1994)437f . We would note that the position of DeMar, McDurmon and Leithart puts them at odds with Gentry, who maintains that Matthew 13 is about the end of human history (Kenneth Gentry, Thine is The Kingdom, Valliceto, CA, Chalcedon)2003).
The point is that in Matthew 13 Jesus predicted his coming with the angels. This is clearly a direct reference to the prophecy of Zechariah14 and his coming with the saints at the time of the end. And this “end” is nothing other than the end of the Old Covenant age.
Jesus was born under the Law,Torah (Galatians 4:4) in the last days (1 Peter 1:18-20) at the end of the age (Hebrews 9:26). Jesus’ appearance did not anticipate the coming of the last days, his appearance was in the last days foretold by the Old Covenant prophets, including Zechariah 14. The time of fulfillment had arrived!
Be sure to read my book, AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? for a total refutation of the Dominionist claim that AD 70 was typological of the end of the Christian age. This book has very quickly become one of my best selling titles as as more and more Bible students come to realize that AD 70 was not in fact a type or shadow of another, “real” eschatology, but was in fact, the real thing!
In Matthew 13:43 Jesus said the end of the age would be when the righteous would shine like the stars. This is a quote of Daniel 12:3. Daniel 12 says that prediction of the time of the end would be fulfilled “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered” (v. 7). Thus, the coming of Jesus “with his saints”/angels agrees with Zechariah 14 in placing the coming of the Lord with his saints at the resurrection at the fall of Jerusalem and must be understood metaphorically in harmony with its Old Covenant usage.
The correspondence between Zechariah 14, Daniel 12 and Matthew 13 is amazing, and posits the coming of the Lord with his saints at the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel in AD 70.
More to come!