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THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH

THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN 518 B.C.C, IN JERUSALEM

"At that time Jesus said in response:

“I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children""

(Matthew 11:25)

Introduction

According to Jesus Christ, it is God who decides to whom He reveals the meaning of his Word. In the prophecy of Daniel, it is written that God gives meaning of His Word to "those having insight" (Daniel 12:3,10). To understand the prophecy of Zechariah, we must ask it to God, through his Son Jesus Christ. If we have good motives, God will give us to understand his mind through His Son Jesus Christ: "For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). The understanding of this prophecy is very important because it will allow us to understand how to be prepared before, during, and after the Great Tribulation. The framework of the prophecy of Zechariah is the preservation of the People of God during the Day of Jehovah, and how God will refine them for everlasting life: “And I will bring the third part through the fire; And I will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ And they will say, ‘Jehovah is our God'" (Zechariah 13:9).

As the apostle Paul pointed out, it is not easy to understand the mind of Jehovah, we need the loving help of His Son Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). To use the expression of the prophecy of Daniel, this search is made of thorough examination (Daniel 12:4b). But as Jesus Christ said, with perseverance and good motives, we can reach to this understanding. Although the biblical explanations are presented in the most objective method as possible. The reader will sometimes read the verbs "it seems that" or "it would seem", to express a strong probability tinged with prudence and modesty (Micah 6:8). These expressions also express, that at any time, the understanding of the mind of Jehovah requires adjustments, and rectifications to be made, if necessary, as quickly as possible, while keeping the course towards the research of the truth of God (Proverbs 4:18; John 17:17). A prophecy is only useful if we understand it in advance. Therefore, it seems obvious that if Jehovah God has put prophecies in His Word the Bible, even in a cryptic way, they are written with the purpose of being understood and to prepare His People for his "One Day", to survive in view of everlasting life (Zechariah 14: 7). This is the purpose of the present presentation of the biblical explanations of the Prophecy of Zachariah. The explanations will be classified by themes, centered on the prophetic enigmas of Zechariah.

The rider on the red horse among the myrtles

“I saw a vision in the night. There was a man riding on a red horse, and he stood still among the myrtle trees in the ravine; and behind him there were red, reddish-brown, and white horses.” (…) Then the man who was standing still among the myrtle trees said: “These are the ones whom Jehovah has sent out to walk about in the earth.” And they said to the angel of Jehovah who was standing among the myrtle trees: “We have walked about in the earth, and look! the whole earth is quiet and undisturbed"”

(Zechariah 1: 8,10,11)

This first prophetic riddle appears to be in act 1 of scene 1, of a prophetic play, of which there is both the summary and the revealed end of the story, but in an encrypted way. This is why the examination of the book of Zechariah will be done by focusing on the decryption of these biblical enigmas.

The situation seems truly dramatic for these myrtles: they are in an abyss, that is to say in a situation comparable to death or complete inactivity. The horseman among the myrtles is an angel who seems to act benevolently towards them. This angel with a red horse, is accompanied by other riders of red, reddish-brown and white mounts. These three colors seem to correspond to the three kinds of colors of myrtles: those of red, reddish-brown and white. Why is this myrtle field in a desperate, near-death situation? What do the colors of myrtles represent? What do the horses represent with the colors of myrtles? What did the horsemen do as they circulated all over the earth so that it ended up being "quiet and undisturbed"?

Reading Zechariah 1:12, we immediately understand what are the myrtles in a desperate situation: "So the angel of Jehovah said: “O Jehovah of armies, how long will you withhold your mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with whom you have been indignant these 70 years?”” (Zechariah 1:12). The myrtles represent "Jerusalem and the cities of Judah". However, this answer raises other questions: the myrtles and the horsemen who seem to act in their favor have three colors, yet there are only two parts of the answer. Assuming, to find the third element in the book of Zechariah, what colors will they symbolically correspond to? Before looking for the answer in the whole of the book of Zechariah, we will give a very condensed summary of the biblical history of Israel because there are many historical allusions. The first being that of the "seventy years" of indignation of Jehovah, against these "myrtles" in critical situation.

Jehovah's "Seventy Years" of Invective Against His People

"So the angel of Jehovah said: “O Jehovah of armies, how long will you withhold your mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with whom you have been indignant these 70 years?""

(Zechariah 1:12)

In 1513 BCE, God made a covenant with Israel, through Moses, the mediator (Deuteronomy 4:23). From reading the historical biblical books of the Judges, up to 2 Chronicles, it is evident that the 10 tribes of Israel (after the split), and the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, represented by Jerusalem, did not keep this covenant (Zechariah 1:2-6). To the point, that Jehovah, in the prophecy of Ezekiel 23, compared them with two prostitutes: Oholah (Samaria) and Oholibah (Jerusalem) (The entire biblical book of Hosea (Oshea), is a similar description of the Israel's marital infidelity towards its owner and husband, Jehovah God). In this chapter, Jehovah vividly describes the infidelities of these two nations. Therefore, Jehovah God would use their respective "lovers" to punish them severely: Assyria would destroy Samaria and deport its inhabitants (Oholah). Babylon would do the same with Judah and Jerusalem (Oholibah): they would be destroyed and its inhabitants deported to Babylon for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11,12). Although coming from the Levant (east), the Babylonian armies are described as coming from the north, which is the easiest route to attack Israel (for Assyria) and Judah (Jerusalem) (Zechariah 2:6; 6: 6.8 (Babylon); 10:8-12 (Assyria)).

The enigma of the myrtles illustrates the desperate situation in which Judah and Jerusalem find themselves: in an abyss comparable to final death. The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37 regarding the valley-plain covered with human bones, is another description of the plight of Judah and Jerusalem. However, this prophecy announces the general resurrection of Israel, Judah and Jerusalem, as a nation (Zechariah 9:11-17; 10:8-12). So, given this information, we better understand the meaning of Jehovah's response in Zechariah 1:13-17: “Jehovah answered the angel who was speaking with me, with kind and comforting words. Then the angel who was speaking with me told me: “Call out, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies says: “I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great zeal.  With great indignation I am indignant with the nations that are at ease, because I felt indignant to a small extent, but they added to the calamity.”’  “Therefore this is what Jehovah says: ‘“I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and my own house will be built in her,” declares Jehovah of armies, “and a measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’ “Call out once more and say, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies says: “My cities will again overflow with goodness; and Jehovah will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem".

While Jehovah applied an extremely painful discipline, the rest of the prophetic account will show how Jehovah God will exercise mercy on His people. Jehovah God announces that He will ask the nations which have caused devastation to his people Judah, Israel and Jerusalem, to render an account for themselves before Him.

The four horns of the nations will render an account before God

“Then I looked up and saw four horns. So I asked the angel who was speaking with me: “What are these?” He replied: “These are the horns that dispersed Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem""

(Zechariah 1:18,19)

The horns are the expression of sovereignty, whether of God or exercised by men. The "four horns" seem to allude to the symbolism of those found on the four corners of the temple altar in Jerusalem, representing Jehovah's sovereignty through the power of the bull's horns (Exodus 27:2). Obviously, the "four horns" which scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem, represent the rival sovereignty of the nations which worked as artisans who wrought the calamity of the people of God (Zechariah 1:20; Psalms 94:20). The book of Zechariah shows, in different ways, how these "four horns" will render an account before God, at the time of the great tribulation, always against the biblical historical background of Judah, Israel and Jerusalem: "Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares Jehovah. “For I have scattered you to the four winds of the heavens,” declares Jehovah. “Come, Zion! Make your escape, you who are dwelling with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For this is what Jehovah of armies says, who after being glorified has sent me to the nations that were plundering you: ‘Whoever touches you touches the pupil of my eye. 9 For now I will wave my hand against them, and they will become plunder for their own slaves.’ And you will certainly know that Jehovah of armies has sent me" (Zechariah 2:6-9; 12:7- 9; 14:3).

It seems that Zechariah 1:19, reveals what correspond to the three different colors of the horses, which act to avenge the myrtles, the people of God. The color red, represents Judah. The color reddish-brown, Israel. The white color Jerusalem. The avenging horsemen of the myrtles, are evidently angels who cause a plague on all the earth, because according to the prophecy, horses symbolize the plague (Zechariah 14:15). The one who commands this cavalry is red, an archangel (leader of the angels), who watches over the myrtles (Exodus 23:20). This means that the color red (Judah), symbolizes the sovereignty of God through kingship. The color white (Jerusalem) symbolizes the sovereignty of God through the priesthood. The reddish-brown color, represents Israel as a whole. Zechariah's prophecy explains how God will show His mercy on His present people, before, during and after the great tribulation, using the historical account of the tribe of Judah, the 12 tribes of Israel and Jerusalem, at the time of his return from exile from Babylon to Jerusalem. The sentence pronounced by the horsemen after having circulated over all the earth, is the description of the earth after the great tribulation: “We have walked about in the earth, and look! the whole earth is quiet and undisturbed” (Zechariah 1:11).

The four chariots coming from between two copper mountains

"Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were of copper. The first chariot had red horses, and the second chariot, black horses. The third chariot had white horses, and the fourth chariot, speckled and dappled horses"

(Zechariah 6:1-3)

What represent the two copper mountains? Always taking into account the same historical context and biblical geography, the angel's explanations help to solve this riddle. The solution seems to be found a little further on in the prophecy: "Jehovah will go out and war against those nations as when he fights in the day of a battle. In that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in half, from east to west, forming a very great valley; and half of the mountain will move to the north, and half of it to the south" (Zechariah 14:3,4).

The two mountains represent the two mountains on which Jerusalem is built: to the north, is Mount Moriah, where the temple of Jerusalem was built, and to the south, Mount Zion, where there was the royal residence of King David. Thus, Jerusalem, through these two mountains, symbolizes the sovereignty of Jehovah God through kingship (Judah), Mount Zion, and sovereignty through the priesthood, Mount Moriah (Jerusalem). The copper symbolizes the metal with which the utensils were made in the courtyard of the sanctuary temple, particularly the copper altar with the four horns (Exodus 27:2; 2 Kings 16:14).

The "four" chariots seem to be the expression of the sovereignty of God by the war (the chariots) (against the four horns of the nations), during the great tribulation on the four cardinal points, with a precise symbolism, the fourth circulating on all the earth (Zechariah 6:5-7). The fact that no explanation is given for the presence of the first chariot with the red horses, suggests that it is the same rider who is at the head, in the riddle of the myrtles (Zechariah 1:7,8 ). The two enigmas are similar, but not completely identical in symbolism.

The great tribulation is described as a planetary sacrifice made by the four chariots, which appear to represent the four horns of the copper altar (in retaliation against the four rival horns of the nations (Zechariah 1: 18,19)). The symbolism of the planetary sacrifice is confirmed by the book of Revelation where Jesus Christ is represented as a king high priest, in Revelation 19:11-21 (Verse 13 mentions that his outer garment is stained with blood, which symbolizes his installation as a high priest (Exodus 29:21; Revelation 14:18-20)). This representation of the crowned high priest king, is corroborated by what it is written in Zechariah: "You should take silver and gold and make a crown and put it on the head of Joshua son of Je·hozʹa·dak, the high priest" (Zechariah 6:11 ; 3:1.8 (high priest)).

The black and white colors of the second and third chariot, do not seem to have a symbolic correspondence throughout the Book of Zechariah. It seems to be a simple indication of two different colors for two different directions. The black horses, to the north, the whites (which follow the blacks ("going out beyond")), towards the seaside, the west. On the other hand, the indication of the direction of the speckled horses, makes it possible to understand what this could represent. Staying in the context of the book of Zechariah, let's see what these three mentioned cardinal points (north, west and south) correspond to (Zechariah 6:5-7). The black horses set off north in retaliation against Assyria which attacked Israel, and against Babylon which attacked Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 6:10; 10:11). The white horses heading out to the great sea, in retaliation against Tire, Sidon, and the cities of Philistia. Finally, the speckled, variegated horses, to the south, Egypt (Zechariah 2:7-9; Zechariah 9:1-8; 10:8-12).

By the way, Revelation 16:16 alludes to this "north", by the expression "Armageddon", which obviously represents the plain of Megiddo, being the access route from the north, for the armies, to attack Israel, the people of God. This enigmatic expression is the representation of the hostility of all the united nations against the Lamb, the King Jesus Christ, shortly before the great tribulation. This hostility against the people of God is also illustrated in the prophecy of Ezekiel, by the prophecy of Ezekiel, of Gog of Magog (chapters 38 and 39). In this case, it is a military coalition to exterminate the people of God, coming from the territories of nations descended from Japheth (coming from the north) and the other from Ham (coming from the south). These prophecies illustrate the extremely vulnerable situation, close to the extermination of the people of God, shortly before the great tribulation (Zechariah 14:1,2; Ezekiel 39:11,12).

The speckled horses heading south, Egypt, seem to evoke the skin marks of boils, or worse, bubonic plague which leaves circular spots on the skin. The dappled (the same as speckled) horses are to run all over the earth (Exodus 9: 9; Zechariah 14:12).

The Sprout is Yehoshuah Mashiah

"And say to him, “‘This is what Jehovah of armies says: “Here is the man whose name is Sprout. He will sprout from his own place, and he will build the temple of Jehovah. He is the one who will build the temple of Jehovah, and he is the one who will assume the majesty. He will sit down on his throne and rule, and he will also be a priest on his throne, and there will be a peaceable agreement between the two. And the crown will serve as a memorial for Heʹlem, To·biʹjah, Je·daʹiah, and Hen the son of Zeph·a·niʹah, in the temple of Jehovah. And those who are far away will come and take part in building the temple of Jehovah.” And you will have to know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you. And it will occur—if you do not fail to listen to the voice of Jehovah your God’”"

(Zechariah 6:12-15)

Who is Yehoshuah Mashiah? The most famous person in the world: Jesus Christ (Yehoshuah: transliteration in Greek Iêsous and in Latin Jesus. Hebrew name Mashiah, translated into Greek Kristos (Christ in English)). The temple rebuilt by the "Sprout" is not an architectural work, but a spiritual work. The new spiritual temple would be made up of several people, including the "Sprout", Yehoshuah Mashiah, the "cornerstone", both king and high priest (Matthew 21:42). When Jehovah God transferred the "Sprout" into the womb of Mary, the Jewish virgin, the angel Gabriel told her this: "And look! you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus.  This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom”" (Luke 1:31-33). By comparing the words of the angel Gabriel with the prophecy of Zechariah 6:12-14, there is no doubt that the Sprout is Yehoshuah Mashiah.

Zechariah's prophecy shows that the "cornerstone" of this spiritual temple, would come through the offspring of Zerubbabel: "‘Hear, please, O High Priest Joshua, you and your companions who sit before you, for these men serve as a sign; look! I am bringing in my servant Sprout! See the stone that I have set before Joshua! On the one stone are seven eyes; and I am engraving an inscription on it,’ declares Jehovah of armies, ‘and I will take away the guilt of that land in one day’” (Zechariah 3:8,9; 4: 6,7). This "one stone”, Yehoshuah Mashiah, has indeed become the royal lineage of Zerubbabel (Matthew 1:12,13; Luke 3:27). Zerubbabel was the one who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem after the return of the people Israel from their exile to Babylon (Zechariah 4: 8). He is described as the one by whom will come the "top stone" (Zechariah 4:7). Finally he is described between the two olive trees, the two anointed ones, it seems obvious that he is a prophetic figure of Jehovah God, through whom comes the Sprout, the cornerstone (Zechariah 4).

The angel Gabriel did not mention the function of king-high priest of the Sprout. It is the apostle Paul who would do it later: “As he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever in the manner of Mel·chizʹe·dek.” (…) because he has been designated by God a high priest in the manner of Mel·chizʹe·dek" (Hebrews 5:6,10; Psalms 110:4). Who was Melkizedek? A king (of Salem) and a priest: "And Mel·chizʹe·dek king of Saʹlem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of the Most High God" (Genesis 14:18).

The Sprout entered in Jerusalem on Nisan 10, 33 CE, as the heir of God's promise to King David and his offsprings (of which Yehoshuah Mashiah was a part), for a permanent kingship (2 Samuel 7:16; Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38)): "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem. Look! Your king is coming to you. He is righteous, bringing salvation, Humble and riding on a donkey, On a colt, the foal of a female donkey." (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:6-10).

As Yehoshuah Mashiah (Jesus Christ) mentioned, when he was on earth this Sprout, the "cornerstone" of this reconstructed spiritual temple would be rejected by the builders, or teachers of the nation of Israel: “Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. This has come from Jehovah, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits" (Matthew 21:42,43; Psalm 118: 22 ). Yehoshuah Mashiah (Jesus Christ) notified his listeners that henceforth God's special relationship with Israel would end, in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel 9:27a: "And he will keep the covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week, he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease". This rupture has been announced also in the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 11, because of the contempt of the people of Israel, towards God and his Son: "So I took my staff Pleasantness and cut it up, breaking my covenant that I had made with all the peoples" (Zechariah 11:10). Depending on the context, the covenant "made with all the peoples" is in connection with the 12 tribes of Israel, because God has not made a special covenant with all the nations, but only with the 12 tribes of Israel (The Hebrew word "עַם" ('am) translated as "people" can take the meaning (depending on the context) of "tribe" (Strong Concordance H5971)).

For the reasons explained in detail in Matthew 23, Yehoshuah Mashiah (Jesus Christ) said this: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it.  Look! Your house is abandoned to you" (Matthew 23:37,38). They sentenced Yehoshuah Mashiah, to death on Nisan 14, 33 CE, in Jerusalem (Matthew 26:66). This contempt for the Father, Jehovah and his Son, Yoshuah Mashiah, is illustrated in Zechariah: "Then I said to them: “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, withhold them.” And they paid my wages, 30 pieces of silver. Then Jehovah said to me: “Throw it into the treasury—the magnificent value with which they valued me.” So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw it into the treasury at the house of Jehovah. Then I cut up my second staff, the Union, breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel" (Zechariah 11:12-14: Matthew 26:14; "30 pieces of silver" being the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32)). No wonder Jehovah decided to "break" his special relationship with the 12 tribes of Israel on earth.

"This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: “We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people”’"

(Zechariah 8:23)

"You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews" (John 4:22). Jehovah God has used his special relationship with Israel to plan the everlasting salvation of all mankind. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the founders of this nation (Matthew 8:11). The man Jesus Christ, a Jew, is the Main Offspring of Abraham, through him the nations will be blessed (Galatians 3:16). Even though, this special relationship has ceased with Israel, Jehovah continues to love the Jewish people, like all the nations, which He created because He is not partial: “At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him" (Acts 10:34,35; 17:26). Nevertheless, Zechariah's prophecy shows that Jehovah will make an everlasting mention of Zion, Jerusalem, Judah and Israel, among all nations: "“Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion; for I am coming, and I will reside in your midst,” declares Jehovah. “Many nations will join themselves to Jehovah in that day, and they will become my people; and I will reside in your midst.” And you will have to know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you. Jehovah will take possession of Judah as his portion on the holy ground, and he will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before Jehovah, for he is taking action from his holy dwelling" (Zechariah 2:10-13; chapter 8; Ezekiel 40-48).

However, his nation is now spiritual, it is "the Israel of God": "Peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). The Kingdom of God, the bride of Christ, the "New Jerusalem", will rule the earth: "I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away”" (Revelation 21:2-4). According to the prophecy of Zechariah , the present-day Jerusalem will be destroyed by an earthquake during the great tribulation (Zechariah 14:3-5). Jesus Christ repeated this important information, in Matthew 24:2: "In response he said to them: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, by no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down””.

The Kingdom of God on earth will rule the "twelve tribes of Israel", that is to say, the great crowd which will come out of the great tribulation and the earthly resurrected ones: "Jesus said to them: “Truly I say to you, in the re-creation, when the Son of man sits down on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28; John 5:28,29; Revelation 7:9-17).

The flying scroll

"Again I looked up, and I saw a flying scroll. He asked me: “What do you see?” I replied: “I see a flying scroll, which is 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide””

(Zechariah 5:1,2)

This flying scroll is a proclamation, before the great tribulation, the end of this system of things. It represents the preaching of the good news: "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). How can this "good" news of the kingdom turn out, at the same time, to be a "curse" for the current "unpunished thieves" (Zechariah 5:3,4; 12:1-6)?

It was Jesus Christ who explained it. Officially, before starting to preach the "good news", Jesus Christ showed for which categories of humans this news would be "good": "Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away free, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year." (Luke 4:18,19). So, this news is "good", for the "poor", the "captives", the "blind", the "crushed ones", that is to say, those who really suffer because of this system of things (compare with Ezekiel 9:4).

Jesus Christ vividly explained why this proclamation is "good" for the poor and a "curse" for others, in the illustration of "the rich man and the beggar Lazarus" (Read Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus the beggar, represents the people at the time of Christ, as sheep without a shepherd: "On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36 ). When Jesus Christ began to preach the good news of the kingdom, he brought about a change of spiritual condition, of the people without a shepherd (Lazarus the beggar), and of the shepherds who did not spiritually feed this people (The rich). These spiritual changes are symbolized by the respective deaths of the beggar and the rich. Thus, the preaching of Jesus Christ had two opposite effects: the divine blessing and approval for the "poor", the "captives", the "blind", the "crushed ones" and divine curse for the ruling class, then politico-religious (compare Luke 4:18,19 (blessing) and Matthew 23 (curse)). The curse of the good news on Satan's system is symbolized by the plagues of the seven trumpets and the seven bowls in the book of Revelation (Revelation 8:7 to 15:8 (the plagues of the seven trumpets); Revelation 16:1 at 22:21 (the end) (the plagues of the seven bowls)). By means of the proclamation of the good news, "the woman and the ephah" are sent to Shinar (Zechariah 5:6-8). What does it mean?

Jehovah God Purifies the Priesthood and His People

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan was standing at his right hand to resist him. Then the angel of Jehovah said to Satan: “May Jehovah rebuke you, O Satan, yes, may Jehovah, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this one a burning log snatched out of the fire?”"

(Zechariah 3:1,2)

Jehovah is a slow to anger and merciful, He will have mercy to whom He will have mercy (Exodus 33:19; 34:6). It is evident that after 70 years of exile in Babylon, the true worship has undergone a true permeation of Babylonian customs or teachings (Zechariah 1:12). Jehovah showed understanding and mercy towards the high priest Joshuah. Nevertheless, he made sure that the situation did not last indefinitely because Jehovah is a Holy God: “Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and standing before the angel. The angel said to those standing before him, “Remove his filthy garments.” Then he said to him, “See, I have caused your error to pass away from you, and you will be clothed with fine garments.” So I said: “Let a clean turban be put on his head.” And they put the clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments; and the angel of Jehovah was standing nearby.  The angel of Jehovah then declared to Joshua: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘If you will walk in my ways and carry out your responsibilities before me, then you will serve as a judge in my house and take care of my courtyards; and I will give you free access among these who are standing here’" (Zechariah 3:3-7).

This purification of the priesthood and of the people of God is also symbolized by the measuring of Jerusalem, that is to say, with the purpose to enter into the divine criteria of holiness to reach everlasting life: “So I asked: “Where are you going?” He replied: “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is her width and what is her length”” (Zechariah 2:2; 3:5-7). Measuring a city like Jerusalem or the temple sanctuary, according to Revelation 11:2, means the obedience to Jehovah God's standards for holiness, both inside and outside the Christian congregation. The fact that the angel, in Revelation 11:2, asks the apostle John to "measure", means that Jesus Christ instructed the elders, the stewards of the Christian congregation to judge or measure, in order to maintain the holiness in the Christian congregation (Matthew 18:18). Jesus Christ foretold that there would be several centuries of apostasy that would permeate Christianity (Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43). The consequence is that the Christian priesthood, and its teaching has been imbued with Babylonian practices and teachings, such as pagan holidays like Christmas, Easter (different from the Jewish Passover), All Saints' Day, or even pagan teachings such as the Marian worship, the idolatrous worship of saints, the trinity, the immortality of the soul, fiery hell, the worship of the cross which thrones in many Christian congregations… All these pagan teachings of Babylonian or Greco-Roman origin, have no place in true worship (John 4:23,24).

While sincere Christians have been ignorant of such a situation for centuries, it is important that we purify the way we worship God and serve Jesus Christ, gradually removing all forms of unwanted spiritual practices in the eyes of God. This purification of the true worship was illustrated by the enigma of the woman and the ephah.

The woman and the ephah

"And I saw that the round lid of lead was lifted up, and there was a woman sitting inside the container. 8 So he said: “This is Wickedness.” Then he threw her back into the eʹphah container, after which he thrust the lead weight over its mouth"

(Zechariah 5:7,8)

The ephah is a unit of measurement for quantifying flour or cereals. Obviously, in the enigma, the woman is inside the container made to measure the quantity of flour, with a lead cover on her, in order to be sent directly to Shinar, in Babylon. And it seems, so that she does not come back, they build a house for her, so that she stays there. Moreover, this woman is called "wickedness", why?

The symbol of the woman could be explained by the kind of worship, namely to a female deity. This woman could represent this deity, the "Queen of Heaven". In fact, the Israelite women who had fallen into apostasy, made bread for this "Queen of Heaven": "The sons are gathering wood, the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and they are pouring out drink offerings to other gods to offend me" (Jeremiah 7:18). By the time of Israel's biblical history, before the Babylonian exile, the nation had fallen into apostasy. The woman and the ephah, is the illustration of this situation in making sacrificial cakes for the "Queen of Heaven". The fact that a lead cover was put on the ephah and the woman was sent to Shinar (the place where Babylon was, the origin of the false worship), shows that henceforth, Jehovah God would no longer tolerate impregnation. of true worship, through false Babylonian worship, He would send it to Shinar, to stay there (Zechariah 5:9-11).

The "two women with stork wings", who bring "the woman and the ephah", seem to illustrate this principle written in Revelation 22:11: "He that is doing unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still; and let the filthy one be made filthy still; but let the righteous one do righteousness still, and let the holy one be made holy still". The image could be sarcastic towards this deity, of which female angels in her service, with wings of a stork, an unclean animal, would bring her to where she must be, in Babylon, by building her a house, or a temple to stay there forever (Leviticus 11:19).

The current Christian teachers must remove from their teaching, those with Babylonian and Greco-Roman origin, which are the trinity, the immortality of the soul, fiery hell, purgatory, the worship of saints, the worship of the cross and rid Christian congregations of all pagan representations… According to Zechariah's prophecy, not doing this will be considered an act of "wickedness" (Zechariah 5:8; 10:1-3; 13:1-3): "Therefore, if someone knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him" (James 4:17).

The two anointed ones

"He said: “These are the two anointed ones who are standing alongside the Lord of the whole earth”"

(Zechariah 4:14)

Zechariah 4:1-10 describes a lampstand which represents Zerubbabel as the one who would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, by the force of the spirit of Jehovah: "He then said to me: “This is the word of Jehovah to Ze·rubʹba·bel: ‘“Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit,” says Jehovah of armies. 7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Ze·rubʹba·bel you will become a level land. And he will bring out the top stone amid shouts of: “How wonderful! How wonderful!”” (Zechariah 4:6,7).

In Zechariah chapter 4:11-14, the “two anointed ones” seem to be the same as Revelation 11: “I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth.” These are symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands and are standing before the Lord of the earth" (Revelation 11:3,4). Thees two witnesses are Moses and Eliyah (Elijah), who appeared in the vision ot the transfiguration of Christ with him (Mark 9:1-8 ).

These two representatives of Moses and Eliyah, are two people, but also two congregations (Lampstands), who organize the worldwide preaching of the good news, in the period just before the great tribulation (Matthew 24:14). In the book of Zechariah (5:1,2) and in Revelation, this preaching is described as a plague against Satan's system (Revelation 8:7 to 15:8 (the plagues of the seven trumpets); Revelation 16:1 at 22:21 (the end) (the plagues of the seven bowls)).

The first witness, Moses, is the representative of the congregation of the Christians who have the heavenly hope and which number of 7000 will complete the group of 144000, shortly before the great tribulation (Revelation 7:3-8 "144000"; 11:13 "7000"). The second witness Eliyah (Elijah), representative of the congregation of humans who will come out of the great tribulation and have the everlasting life (Revelation 7:9-17 "the great crowd"; 11:13 "the rest became frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven"). The congregation of heavenly holy ones (Moses), is represented by the woman persecuted on earth, by Satan the devil (Revelation 12:13-17a). The congregation of the earthly holy ones (Eliyah), represents "the remaining ones of her offspring" (Revelation 12:17b).

Do these two anointed ones represent two real men? There is no indication to the contrary. Anyway, only Jehovah and Jesus Christ know them (and possibly the both concerned), and at best, they must be recognizable by their respective congregation (Matthew 17:12 "they did not recognize him").

The False Prophets are ashamed of their vision

"In that day each of the prophets will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; and they will not wear an official garment of hair in order to deceive"

(Zechariah 13:4)

The human political, economic, financial and religious ideologies, which have proclaimed, with "prophecies", a glorious tomorrow, have brought all of humanity and planet earth to the brink of complete ruin (Zechariah 11:4- 6,15-17; Revelation 11:18b). As Jesus Christ said, if those days would not cut short, no flesh would survive (Matthew 24:22). This irreversible situation, leading humanity to a gradual extermination, in the long term, is the result of those ideologues and their followers who implemented disastrous political, economic, financial and religious decisions for it and the Earth. And of course, these political, economic, financial and religious prophets, not only express themselves less and less in the mass media, but they are ashamed of their prophecies which were not fulfilled, they hide by taking off their clothes of prophets: "And he will say, ‘I am no prophet. I am a man cultivating the soil, because a man bought me when I was young.’ And if someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds between your shoulders?’ he will answer, ‘Wounds I received in the house of my friends’” (Zechariah 13:5,6). The humankind is like a flock without a shepherd, who was smitten ”to death", as Jesus- Christ. Jehovah promises that this flock, the present poorly administered humanity, will be healed in the future earthly paradise, through the King Jesus Christ: "O sword, awake against my shepherd, Against the man who is my companion,” declares Jehovah of armies. “Strike the shepherd, and let the flock be scattered; And I will turn my hand against those who are insignificant”" (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31).

The Day Of Jehovah

"And it will become one day that is known as belonging to Jehovah"

(Zechariah 14:7)

THE GREAT TRIBULATION WILL TAKE PLACE IN ONLY ONE DAY

After a careful reading of all the prophetic texts mentioning the "Day of Jehovah" or the "Great Tribulation", it can be said without a doubt that this "day" will only last ONE DAY.

The clearest prophetic text over its duration is that of Zechariah and the book of Revelation, both of which describe Jehovah's Day as one day, or the only date of a day: "And it will become one day that is known as belonging to Jehovah. It will not be day, nor will it be night; and at evening time there will be light" (Zechariah 14:7,20).

A text from Zechariah regarding the Sprout prophecy, shows that Jehovah will take away the fault of the land in one day (Zechariah 3:8,9). When Jehovah did remove the fault in the land of Israel? On the Day of Atonement, Ethanim, 10 (Tishri): "It will serve as a lasting statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you should afflict yourselves, and you must not do any work, whether a native or a foreigner who is residing among you. On this day atonement will be made for you, to declare you clean. You will be clean from all your sins before Jehovah. It is a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you should afflict yourselves. It is a lasting statute" (Leviticus 16:29-31). These two passages from Zechariah, show that the great tribulation will unfold in a single 24-hours day.

However, the most explicit text is that of the book of Revelation, where this Day (Ethanim,10 (Tishri)), is connected with a date on the Jewish calendar. In Revelation 11:18, it is written: "But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth" (Revelation 11:18). This text refers to the time of the Great Tribulation, when God "will bring ruin to those who ruin the earth". However, what is even more interesting, is that verse 19 repeats this time in enigmatic way, connecting the Day of Jehovah with the vision of the ark of his covenant (Ethanim 10, (Tishri)): "And the temple sanctuary of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple sanctuary. And there were flashes of lightning and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail" (Revelation 11:19).

This verse has two main parts: The first is the vision of the "ark of his covenant", the date of only one day. Indeed, Jehovah God did not allow to see the ark of his covenant (by the high priest), any day other than Ethanim (Tishri), 10 (Leviticus 16:2,29). The second part of the verse 19, is the symbolic description of the Great Tribulation. The Ethanim, 10 (Tishri), corresponds to the dramatic celebration of the Day of Atonement. The process of celebration is described in Leviticus chapter 16. It is a dramatic moment, because it describes symbolically, what will happen during the Day of Jehovah, the Great Tribulation. It will be a day of sadness, because Jehovah had given this instruction regarding this day: "It is a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you should afflict yourselves. It is a lasting statute" (Leviticus 16:31).

The book of Zechariah there is the unique information, which is not repeated, in any other biblical book, regarding the Ethanim 10 (Tishri) of the great tribulation: "In summer and in winter it will occur" (Zechariah 14:8b). The Ethanim,10 (Tishri) of the Great Tribulation will correspond exactly with the transition from summer to autumn (beginning of winter, in the Bible), September 22/23 of the solar calendar. First, it is necessary to specify the meaning of the word "winter" in this prophecy. According to the the Strong's Concordance (H2779), the transliteration of the Hebrew word "chôreph" (H2779) translated “winter” in this text, in biblical usage, means: properly, the crop gathered, that means (by implication) the autumn (and winter) season; figuratively, ripeness of age. So, in this text, the word “winter” means “autumn”, that is, the beginning of winter.

The prophecy of Zechariah indicates precisely the attitude to have during the great tribulation by describing this day as being that of wailing: "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of favor and supplication, and they will look to the one whom they pierced, and they will wail over him as they would wail over an only son; and they will grieve bitterly over him as they would grieve over a firstborn son.  In that day the wailing in Jerusalem will be great, like the wailing at Ha·dad·rimʹmon in the Plain of Me·gidʹdo" (Zechariah 12:10,11). The wailing "at Hadadrimmon in the Plain of Megiddo", allude to the mourning decreed in Jerusalem, following the death of King Josiah, at the battle of Megiddo near "Hadadrimmon", against Pharaoh Nechoh. This national mourning decreed in Jerusalem was organized by the prophet Jeremiah (2 Kings 23:29,30; 2 Chronicles 35:24,25).

This wailing will concern the sadness caused by the sacrificial death on earth of Jesus Christ (In Nisan 14, 33 CE), the sadness especially for his Father in heaven, who witnessed the death of His Son, to save an important part of mankind, the great crowd, during the great tribulation (Revelation 7:9,14). It is also specified that this general wailing will be accompanied by sexual abstinence: "And the land will wail, each family by itself; the family of David’s house by itself, and their women by themselves; the family of Nathan’s house by itself, and their women by themselves" (Zechariah 12:12-14). The repeated expression "their women by themselves", refers to sexual abstinence.

The third part of humanity will survive the great tribulation

“And in all the land,” declares Jehovah, “Two parts in it will be cut off and perish; And the third part will be left remaining in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire; And I will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ And they will say, ‘Jehovah is our God’”

(Zechariah 13:8,9)

The word translated from Hebrew "haarèts", translated as "land", depending on the context can take the meaning of "earth" or planet earth, and this is the case in the context of this prophecy of the great world tribulation ( Zechariah 1:10,11; 5:3; 6:7; 12:3; 14:9,17). In this statement, God divides mankind into three "parts" (H6310 Strong's Concordance: "פֶּה" (peh) "part"). At first, one might think that it would be  "three parts" equal, or three "thirds" (H7992 Strong's Concordance "שְׁלִישִׁי" (sheliyshiy) "a third"). In the Hebrew text, it is a question of the first two parts (peh) and the third (sheliyshiy), according to the context of this sentence, third "part". So, these three parts of humanity are not necessarily the same number of humans (That is "Three Third"). To know what represent these three "parts" of mankind regarding the biblical context, we must take attention to the dramatic celebration of the Day of Atonement, Ethanim,10 (Tishri).

Even though Zechariah's prophecy does not directly make the connection between the "Day of Jehovah" and the "Day of Atonement", it does so in an enigmatic or cryptic way. The prophecy of the Sprout shows that Jehovah will take out the sin of the land in one day (Zechariah 3:8,9; 14:7). When did Jehovah remove the fault in the land of Israel? In the Day of Atonement, Ethanim (Tishri), 10 (Leviticus 16). That day was a celebration of Jehovah's Holiness: "In that day the words ‘Holiness belongs to Jehovah!’ will be written on the bells of the horses. And the cooking pots in the house of Jehovah will be like the bowls before the altar'" (Zechariah 14:20 compare with Exodus 28:36,37 and Leviticus 16:4 "The turban" it was written "Holiness belongs to Jehovah"). Therefore, the "three parts" are the three animals used in the first phase of the atonement sacrifices in this Day, which are to the three "parts of mankind".

Regarding the atonement sacrifices (and not the burnt offerings), there were three animals: a bull and two young goats (Read Leviticus 16). Two among the three animals were to be sacrificed, in an atonement way (the bull and the first young goat), while the third was spared (the goat for Azazel). Now it is important to know who these three animals correspond to (two sacrificed and one spared):

The bull that died made atonement for Aaron and his house, or for the priesthood (Leviticus 16:6,11). The priesthood class that will die, to be instantly resurrected in heaven, just before the great tribulation, is the death of the 7000, mentioned in Revelation: "In that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and 7,000 persons were killed by the earthquake, and the rest became frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Revelation 11:13). The falling of the “tenth of the city”, represents the group of 144,000 kings and priests, supplemented by the instantaneous death and resurrection, of the 7,000 Heavenly Holy Ones, at the beginning of Jehovah's Day, the great tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The second animal, the young goat sacrificed on the day of atonement, represents the second part of mankind who will die during the great tribulation (Leviticus 16:5,15). The sacrifice of this second animal is represented in a rather terrifying way in Revelation 14:18-20 and 19:11-21 (in this biblical passage glorified Jesus Christ is represented as a king and high priest, as the "Sprout" (Zechariah 6:11-13)).

The third animal, the goat designated by lot for A·zaʹzel should be brought alive to stand before Jehovah in order to perform the atonement upon it, so that it may be sent away for A·zaʹzel into the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:8-10). Obviously, this "goat for Azazel" represents the great crowd that will survive the great tribulation, or the "rest" of the "city" which gives glory to God after the death of the 7000 heavenly holy ones: "And the rest became frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Revelation 7:9-17; 11:13). This understanding, gives a glimpse of the joyful possibility that more than a "third part" of humanity could survive the great tribulation, probably several billions of people who would represent the "great crowd", only God and Jesus Christ know for sure because it is written that it cannot be counted (Zechariah 14:10,11).

For such many people to survive the great tribulation, it seems obvious, that a significant number of non-Christian people will survive the great tribulation, is this observation consistent with the context of Zechariah's prophecy (as well as Ezekiel's prophecy)? Yes it is.

"Everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that come against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths"

(Zechariah 14:16)

This text shows without a shadow of a doubt that Jehovah will have spared an important part of humanity who symbolically "come against Jerusalem" or would not be part of this holy city (at first time), coming out of the great tribulation. On the other hand in the prophecy of Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48, here is what is written about the Jehovah's reproach against the Levites, a significant part of the great crowd, who will have survived the great tribulation: "But the Levites who strayed far from me when Israel strayed from me to follow their disgusting idols will bear the consequences of their error. And they will become ministers in my sanctuary to oversee the gates of the temple and to minister at the temple. They will slaughter the whole burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand before the people to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their disgusting idols and became a stumbling block causing the house of Israel to sin, that is why I have raised my hand against them in an oath,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘and they will bear the consequences of their error. They will not approach me to serve as my priests or approach any of my holy or most holy things, and they will bear their shame because of the detestable things that they did. But I will make them caretakers of the responsibilities of the temple, to take care of its service and all the things that should be done in it’" (Ezekiel 44:10-14).

There is, it seems, a convergence between this text and Zechariah 14:16, which mentions people who will have survived the great tribulation as they came "against Jerusalem" and the Levites who followed their "disgusting idols" (Ezekiel 44:10). Jesus Christ made an important statement which shows that sin in error does not always incur spiritual death: “Jesus said to them: “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Your sin remains"” (John 9:41). Jesus Christ speaks of unintentional spiritual blindness, the sin of which is not counted. Many people today are in involuntary spiritual blindness, according to this text, many of them could benefit from the mercy of God on the day of the great tribulation.

It is interesting to note, according to this same prophecy of Ezekiel, how the Sons of Zadok are described, in contrast with the non-priestly Levites: "As for the Levitical priests, the sons of Zaʹdok, who took care of the responsibilities of my sanctuary when the Israelites strayed from me, they will approach me to minister to me, and they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘They are the ones who will enter my sanctuary, and they will approach my table to minister to me, and they will take care of their responsibilities to me'" (Ezekiel 44:15,16). Obviously, the Sons of Zadok who will approach Jehovah as priests, in the spiritual sanctuary, will be faithful and discreet Christians who will have well performed in their Christian ministry in the old system of things, "when the Israelites strayed from God", and will have survived the great tribulation (Matthew 24:45,46; 25:21,22).

This understanding, at first glance, seems at odds with the vision of the great crowd which survived the great tribulation and whole, manifesting their faith in the atonement value of Christ's sacrifice (Revelation 7:9,14). This difference is biblically easily resolved by an important information given in the prophecy of Zechariah, regarding this spared third part of humanity. It is written: "And I will bring the third part through the fire; And I will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ And they will say, ‘Jehovah is our God'” (Zechariah 13: 9; Malachi 3:2-4). When should this essential refinement take place in order to continue living in paradise? According to Zechariah's prophecy and Revelation (11:19), Jehovah's Day will be on Ethanim (Tishri) 10. According to Ezekiel's prophecy 39:12-14, there will be a seven months cleansing of the earth, from Tishri (Ethanim), 10, to Nisan, 10 (with the intercalary month of Veadar). It seems obvious that it is in this time, that Jehovah will "refine his people", in order to prepare it for the coming to earth, of the New Jerusalem on Nisan, 10, following the great tribulation.

In Ezekiel 40:1,2, the vision of the temple city on earth, is on the date of Nisan, 10, which is the beginning of the earthly administration of the Kingdom of God. It corresponds to the description of the descent of New Jerusalem to Earth, in Nisan, 10 (Revelation 21:1-4). The vision of Revelation 7:9,14, of the great crowd which survived the great tribulation, is in Nisan, 10, by comparison with the text of John 12:12-16: "The next day the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and they began to shout: “Save, we pray you! Blessed is the one who comes in Jehovah’s name, the King of Israel!”". If we compare this text with Revelation 7:9, it is a striking resemblance. What is the evidence that in John 12:12-16, Jesus Christ did indeed come as king into Jerusalem on Nisan, 10? A text that describes the same event informs us that immediately after, Jesus Christ drove out the merchants from the temple who were selling animals for the Passover (Matthew 21:10,11). When the Israelites had to buy the Passover lamb? In Nisan, 10: "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month, they should each take for themselves a sheep for their father’s house, a sheep to a house" (Exodus 12:3).

The description of the judgment by the King Jesus Christ, in Matthew 7: 21-23 and 25: 31-46, is mainly directed at the Christian congregation, because in the two quotes indicated, the people who have a judgment of condemnation seem to know Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:22; 25:44). The framework criteria for judging all of humanity, Christian and non-Christian, seem summarized in Jehovah's words in Ezekiel 9:4: "Jehovah said to him: “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city”" (Compare with James 4:4). Nevertheless, this destruction and selective preservation of the whole of humanity is also described by Jesus Christ: "Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned" (Matthew 24:40,41) (Either one in two, will survive (repeated twice by Jesus Christ)).

Let Us Rejoice In Jehovah's Great Mercy

"I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy"

(Exodus 33:19)

Thus, will be fulfilled Jehovah's declaration of mercy upon the very many people, who will come out of the great tribulation: “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will declare before you the name of Jehovah; and I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show mercy” (Exodus 33:19). The situation will be like the mercy of God toward the unrighteous resurrected ones, who did not fully know the will of God in the old system of things (Acts 24:15).

Jesus Christ gave an image of the mercy of God, in the illustration of the "prodigal son", of a Father with the gaze strained towards the return of his son, always ready to forgive and to facilitate the repentance of the sinner in sight of everlasting salvation: "While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with pity, and he ran and embraced him and tenderly kissed him" (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus Christ showed that his Father would accept the practical wisdom of humans in order to give them mercy: "And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted with practical wisdom; for the sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are" (Luke 16:1-8). Jesus Christ showed that His Father would show His mercy at the very last moment, by illustrating the eleventh hour workers (Matthew 20:1-16).

In two of the illustrations, The Prodigal Son and the Eleventh Hour Workers, Jesus Christ showed that some humans would lament God's mercy toward humans saved at the last moment. Some would think that they have "won" by "works", over many years, a reward far greater than that given to those sinners repented at the last moment: "When the 11th-hour men came, they each received a de·narʹi·us. So when the first came, they assumed that they would receive more, but they too were paid at the rate of a de·narʹi·us. On receiving it, they began to complain against the master of the house and said, ‘These last men put in one hour’s work; still you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’ But he said in reply to one of them, ‘Fellow, I do you no wrong. You agreed with me for a de·narʹi·us, did you not? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last one the same as to you. Do I not have the right to do what I want with my own things? Or is your eye envious because I am good?’ In this way, the last ones will be first, and the first ones last”” (Luke 15:25-31; Matthew 20:9-16).

In Zechariah chapters 7 and 8, Jehovah encourages his servants to serve Him with love and without spiritual formality, without of feelings such as love for God and for mankind: “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and wailed in the fifth month and in the seventh month for 70 years, did you really fast for me? 6 And when you would eat and drink, were you not eating for yourselves and drinking for yourselves? 7 Should you not obey the words that Jehovah proclaimed through the former prophets, while Jerusalem and her surrounding cities were inhabited and at peace, and while the Negʹeb and the She·pheʹlah were inhabited?’” (Zechariah chapter 7; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8). Jehovah God asks for sincerity and love for Him and His principles contained in His Word, the Bible: "The word of Jehovah of armies again came to me, saying: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month, the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month will be occasions for exultation and joy for the house of Judah—festivals of rejoicing. So love truth and peace’" (Zechariah 8:18,19).

As the judgment draws near for each of us who will decide our everlasting future, shortly before the great tribulation, Jesus Christ recommended humility, modesty, and a righteous appreciation of ourselves. Jesus Christ used several illustrations such as that of the repentant tax collector and boastful Pharisee, or the wedding feast guest seeking the first place, to show the importance of not having too high an opinion. of ourselves, especially when we pray. Regarding this last illustration, here is what it is written: "He then told the invited men an illustration when he noticed how they were choosing the most prominent places for themselves. He said to them: “When you are invited by someone to a marriage feast, do not recline in the most prominent place. Perhaps someone more distinguished than you may also have been invited. Then the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Let this man have your place.’ Then you will proceed with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the man who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, go on up higher.’ Then you will have honor in front of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”"(Luke 14:7-11; Romans 12:3).

Therefore, let us rejoice in the mercy of God to "the prodigal sons", "the repentant tax collectors", "the eleventh hour workers", who will survive the great tribulation, while considering us personally and sincerely , as the last of humans worthy of this mercy of God and of Christ (Luke 18:9-14).