The OFFICIAL second coming of Jesus is portrayed at the 6th seal of Revelation 6:12-17.
It will fulfill the words of Jesus of Mat. 24:29-31.

There are three STAGES to the second coming of the Messiah.

(1) His arrival in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory: This arrival will be in the sky ONLY. Then from his position in the clouds or ON THE CLOUD (Rev. 14:14) He will pour out the judgments from God’s wrath through the trumpets and bowls recorded in the book of the Revelation.  There are 4 phases to it.
    (A) The SIGNS phase. Joel 2:30-31; Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 6:12-14; Isaiah 13:10, 13;
    (B) The arrival phase. Mat. 24:30; 16:27; Rev. 6:15-16; Isaiah 30:27-30; 60:1-2; Ps. 96:13; Rev. 19:1-16.
    (C) The rapture phase. Matthew 24:31-44; John 14:1-3; 1Thes.  4:14-17; 1Cor. 15:51-52
    (D) The judgment phase. Rev. 6:15-17; 1Thes. 5:1-2.

(2) The second stage is His physical descent ONTO the earth at which time He will personally confront the armies of the world that are gathered into Palestine to loot and destroy the people of Israel (Zech. 14:3-5a). Through His physical descent to the earth He will rescue the Jews and prepare for His earthly kingdom.
There are four phases to it.
    (A) The Edom phase. Isaiah 34:6; 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3
    (B) The Jerusalem phase. Isaiah 63:1; Zech. 14:4; Joel 3:16.
    (C) The Megiddo/Armageddon phase. Joel 3:9-16; Rv. 19:17-21
    (D) The cleansing or separation phase: when all unbelievers will
          be removed from the earth and only believers will be left
          alive to dwell on the earth in Christ’s kingdom.
          Ezek. 34:17-22; Mat. 25:31-46.

(3) The KINGDOM stage when Jesus sets up His 1000 year earthly reign. There are four phases to it.
    (A) The cleansing phase: Ezek 39:9-16.
    (B) The building phase: Isaiah 60:4-11; 61:4; Ezek. 43:10-18;
          Dan. 8:15-26.
    (C) The reigning phase: Isaiah 9:7; Jer. 23:5-6;
          Ezek. 37:24-28; Dan. 7:13-14.
    (D) The completion phase: 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:7-10.

The Old Testament prophets viewed the second coming and the arrival of the DAY OF THE LORD as having one starting point. They
 did not make a distinction between the Messiah’s initial arrival IN THE CLOUDS and His subsequent PHYSICAL descent onto the earth. They viewed the second coming primarily as a visible arrival to the earth that would begin the Day of the Lord.

Sometimes the prophets focused on the inception of the day of the Lord; sometimes on some aspect of the judgment that will happen DURING the day; and sometimes on the kingdom blessing that follows the judgment.

The reader/interpreter needs to be very diligent to recognize the context in each of the passages.

But it is not until the New Testament teaching by Jesus and the apostles that we learn that Jesus will FIRST arrive in the clouds of the sky.

The first stage of the second coming will be when Jesus arrives in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30; Rev. 19:11-16. At that time He will begin to carry out His KINGDOM agenda which includes both blessing and judgment.

This also constitutes the arrival of the Day of the Lord, and will be "announced" by several phenomenal things.
(1) The darkness of the sun, moon and stars. Basically, "the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25a; Joel 2:30-31; Rev. 6:12b-14a
(2) ON the earth, there will be great earthquakes and turmoil in the oceans. Luke 21:25b; Rev. 6:12a, 14b;
(3) The specific sign of the Son of Man. Luke 21:25b; Mathew 24:30a
(4) Then his VISIBLE arrival will be seen by all mankind. Luke 21:27; Matthew 24:30b; Revelation 1:7; 6:16-17.

This is taught by Jesus at Matthew 24:29-31

"But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one of the sky to the other."
(Mark 13:27, "FROM the farthest end of earth TO the farthest end of the sky/heaven," ouranos.")

The MOURNING of all the tribes of the earth will BEGIN as soon as these awesome signs are seen, so that as Jesus said, "and THEN all the tribes of the earth will mourn.
But WHILE they are mourning in anticipation of the things that are happening, as Luke records, "men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world" (Luke 21:26), THEN they will actually see Jesus "coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." At this time the mourning will continue and of course, increase.

Thus at Revelation 1:7, additional "mourning" will occur AFTER "every eye will see Him."

This is also portrayed symbolically at the 6th seal of Revelation 6:12-17.
Even though there is not specific mention of the arrival of Jesus in this passage, it is clear that the many peoples who are mentioned there HAVE SEEN HIM.

After seeing the heavenly and earthly signs, and the sign of the Son of man, the people of the earth will try to hide from the FACE (presence) of the Father and of Jesus (the Lamb). Jesus taught that it is AFTER they see the "sign of the Son of Man" that "all the tribes of the earth will mourn."

Here at Revelation 6, it should be obvious that their reaction indicates they have indeed SEEN Him come in the clouds. After the initial "mourning" they will then take action to try to hide from Him, for they will be well aware that "the great day of their wrath has come and who is able to stand?" Revelation 6:17.

Thus, the return of the Lord will occur right after verse 14, but before v. 15. It is summarized in a later vision at Rev. 19:11-16.

From the apostles we learn that that "the day of the Lord" will BEGIN at the very moment of Christ’s arrival in the clouds, and upon His gathering of the saints at the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10.

Jesus will NOT step foot ONTO the earth at this time, but will remain in the clouds, or rather, ON THE CLOUD to administer God’s wrath through the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8-11 and the first 6 bowl judgments. Revelation 14:14-16.


The first thing that will happen when Jesus arrives in the clouds of the sky, will be the gathering out of the believers through the rapture.   Matthew 24:31-42; John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:14-17; 2thes. 1:6-7.

This was not taught by the Old Testament prophets.

In fact, the Old Testament prophets did not see the arrival in the clouds as distinct from His physical descent to the earth. The main things they focused on were -
(A)  The coming of the Messiah
(B)  Physical deliverance for Israel
(C)  And judgment on all the spiritual rebels of the world.
(D)  And the Messiah’s earthly reign over Israel.

It is not until we look to New Testament revelation that we are able to see the distinction between these two STAGES of the second coming. The New Testament focuses on the arrival in the clouds, the rapture, and the judgment of the earth-dwellers that will occur after the rapture. But it is not until Revelation 14:17-20; 16:17-21 and 19:17-21 that we are shown indication of His physical decent ONTO the earth.

After the rapture of the saints, God will return to using Israel as the evangelistic agent for proclaiming the Messianic promise to the world.
    A. Israel’s evangelistic commission:
        Exodus 19:5-6; Deut. 4:5-6;
Rom. 9:4-5;
        Isaiah 41:8-9; 43:7; 49:3; 7:6; 28:9-10; Psalm 118:1-4


    C. This is through the conversion of the 144,000 Jewish bond servants.  Revelation 7:1-814:1-8

After a small delay for the salvation of the 144,000 Jews, He will begin to pour out His judgments on the world as portrayed by the first six trumpets. Rev. 6:12-17; 8-9.
Those six judgments will conclude at the end of the 70th week with the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Rev. 10:7; 11:1-17.
Then will come the FINAL expression of divine wrath. This is portrayed by the bowl judgments, and will occur during the next 30 days after the end of the 70th week.  Dan. 12:11; Rev. 11:14, 18-19; 15-16; 19.

So, from His location "on a cloud" Jesus will begin to execute the DOL judgments of God's wrath upon the world. Rev. 8:1-5.
These initial judgments are portrayed by the first 6 trumpets of Rev. 8-9.
He comes in the sky.
He comes in (or on) the clouds. Mat. 24:30; Luke 21:27;
He has a meeting with HIS elect ones IN THE SKY. 1Thes. 4:17.
And at Rev. 14:14-16, He is seen sitting on a cloud from where He will judge the over-ripe and evil earth dwellers.

As already stated, I suggest that after Christ's initial and OFFICIAL arrival in the clouds, He will remain in the vicinity of "the sky" and specifically "on a cloud" from where He will pour out the DOL judgments onto the earth through the trumpets and first 5 bowls.  Rev. 14:14-16

"And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud {was} one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.
And another angel came out of the temple, crying out to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe."
And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped."
This reaping refers to the general outpouring of God's wrath on the unbelievers which takes place through the trumpets and the first 5 bowls.

The final act of "reaping" occurs at the battle of Armageddon, which is seen at Rev. 14:17-20,
"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. And another angel,. . . called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe." And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was tread outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of 200 miles."
This final judgment on the nations is portrayed by the 5th and 6th bowl at Rev. 16:12-21.

Notice that for the initial judgments Jesus executes them from His location "ON A CLOUD."
For the judgments in the Armageddon campaign, this vision portrays it symbolically by the angel who gathers the clusters and throws them onto the earth.
But the Lord is not there in the vision. Instead, according to the analysis of OT passages, Jesus will descend physically ONTO the earth to personally execute these final judgments on the various armies that have assembled in Palestine.

As the nations are fighting each other, through all the battles described in the OT, Jesus will descend physically to the earth.
His physical descent onto the earth has three phases to it.
He will go first to Edom (Is. 63:1), then to Jerusalem (Zech. 14:3-4) and finally to Megiddo to destroy the armies gathered there (Joel 3:16). Since there are clearly, three separate physical "confrontations," we need to place them in the proper order.


When He comes down from the cloud ONTO the earth He will go first to Edom and administer justice for the age-old oppression from the Edomites as well as the current oppression on the Jews who are sheltered in the wilderness of that area.
This is stated by the OT prophets by teaching us that the Messiah will descend into Jerusalem FROM Edom.

Habakkuk 3:3a
"God comes from Teman,  
And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah."

At first glance it appears that this may simply be saying that the Messiah comes from the SOUTH EAST. However, in view of Isaiah 34 and 63, it is clear that He comes from this area AFTER judging it.

Teman is a region in Edom named after an early prince of the Edomites.
And Paran is a mountain and wilderness area directly south of Jerusalem in the Sinai Peninsula.
The area of the Edomites embraces generally the area South and East of Judah.

There is great SPLENDOR evidenced in the sky when He comes to Jerusalem from Edom.

Verses 3b-4
"His splendor covers the heavens,  
And the earth is full of His praise.
{His} radiance is like the sunlight;  
He has rays {flashing} from His hand,  
And there is the hiding of His power."

Isaiah describes this at 63:1.
"This One is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength."

One might be tempted to associate this SPLENDOR with the "great glory" that attends Christ’s arrival in the clouds of the sky, as described at Matthew 24:29-30. But since THIS splendor is given a specific context of arriving FROM Edom, it cannot be the same.

It seems then, that whenever Christ will move from one phase of His second coming agenda to the next, there will be great glory and splendor manifested to the earth dwellers.

Habakkuk 3:5
"Before Him goes pestilence,  
And plague comes at His feet."

This probably refers to the two types of judgment that Jesus will bring when He leaves Edom and arrives in Jerusalem. The context is still "God comes from Teman" as at verse 3.

BEFORE HIM: The use of the preposition, lepenay, indicates either physical presence (as, "in front of") or a chronological factor.

In this case, in connection with AT HIS FEET (after Him), the idea presented to us is that the LORD will bring both pestilence and plague to the armies that have invaded Jerusalem.

But before the plague HITS the invaders, Jesus will first stand on the Mount of Olives.

When Jesus arrives from Edom, it is to confront ALL the armies that have assembled in Palestine, and the first item on the list is the Northern alliance that has invaded the city of Jerusalem.

The battle of Edom is described at Isaiah 34:5-15.

"For My sword is satiated in heaven,
Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom,
And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction."

Isaiah 63:1-6 shows us the Lord coming to Jerusalem AFTER that battle.
But this chapter still describes the NATURE of that battle in Edom.

Here, we find a specific focus on Edom. Edom comes under a special judgment from God because of its historical oppression of Israel and its allegiance to the beast in the end-times. Ezekiel 35:1-15; Obadiah 1:10-14.

The details of the judgment on Edom are found in the commentary on Habakkuk.

The trip to Edom will be immediate and the judgment meted out there will be quick and complete for "there will be no survivor of the house of Esau," Obadiah 18.
At Is 34:9, the destruction will be through a downpour of brimstone. The Jews there will be delivered and probably hasten to Jerusalem and be part of "the clans of Judah" who are mentioned at Zech. 12:5-6.


Jesus will then go to Jerusalem and stand on the Mt of Olives.
Zech. 14:1-5a.
"And the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah."

When He arrives on the Mt of Olives He will pause as it were, and survey the entire area within and surrounding Jerusalem.

Habakkuk 3:6, "He stood and surveyed the earth. He looked and startled the nations."

It seems that the prophet has in mind the general judgment on the rest of the nations.
The VISIBLE glory of His presence as He arrives at Jerusalem will get the attention of the armies gathered in Palestine.
And His arrival onto the Mount of Olives will split the mount down the middle and cause a great earthquake.

The combination of both will thus, "startle" the nations; the armies gathered in and around Jerusalem. Zech. 12:4 and 14:12-13.

They had been gathering to fight with each other for dominance in the area and control of the material resources that the beast had hoarded there. But when they see Jesus standing on the Mt. of Olives, they change their focus and join together to fight against Him.

As Jesus takes His stand on the Mt. of Olives, He looks out over the vast horde of armies that are assembled around Jerusalem and in the valley of Megiddo, and from the perspective of His divine justice and wrath he surveys the situation.

The administration of divine justice will begin with the help Jesus will give to the believing Jews fighting in Jerusalem.

Habakkuk does not mention the battle of Jerusalem specifically but Zechariah does at chapters 12 and 14.


Zechariah also begins with a GENERAL focus on the gathering of the nations into Palestine using the terminology "all the nations."

Zechariah 12:3
"And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it (Jerusalem)."

Zechariah 14:2
"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle."

Those nations first assemble in the land in order to gain material resources, including control of Jerusalem (Ezek. 38:8-12). But it seems that it is the king of the North that will invade Jerusalem.
However that Northern ALLIANCE includes MANY nations. Joel 2 and Ezekiel 38.

Zechariah 14:3
"And Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle."

Zechariah first gives us a GENERAL look at the many nations gathered into Judah, "in the vicinity of" Jerusalem – looking to Jerusalem as their ultimate destination. But he then focuses just on the battle of Jerusalem.

Habakkuk does the same thing except that he does not mention Jerusalem specifically.
The judgment on "the nations" at Hab. 3:6 includes the battle of Jerusalem FIRST, and then the battle of Armageddon.


There are earthquakes that will occur all throughout the time period known as the day of the Lord.
1. The great shaking of the earth at the initial arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with great power and glory. Rev. 6:12-13; Is. 13:13;
2. At the end of the 70th week in Jerusalem. Rev. 11:13
3. At the 7th seal (probably when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives at Zech. 14:4). Rev. 16:17-18.

At Rev. 16:17, the "great earthquake" will occur only in this context of Christ’s standing on the Mount of Olives. There is no earthquake that occurs when Jesus confronts and destroys the armies in the final battle of Armageddon.

From Christ’s perspective, when He first arrives at Jerusalem, He will "survey" the situation probably after He sets foot on the Mount of Olives.

Jesus will then begin His personal judgment on these armies by bringing some kind of death-producing plague that seems to disintegrate the flesh form the bones. This would be caused by some kind of extreme HEAT, but probably not nuclear. Jesus would not need to use such a weapon as that, but would simply produce the heat that causes the plague.

Habakkuk 3:5
"And plague comes after Him."

Zechariah 12:4
"In that day I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness."

Zechariah 14:12-13, 15
"Now this will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the people who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. And it will come about in that day that a great panic for Yahweh will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hands of one will be lifted against the hand of another. So also like this plague, will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the cattle that will be in those camps."

Habakkuk just mentions this plague without providing any details.  He then "backs up" and describes the great earthquake that will occur when Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives.

The arrival of Christ in Jerusalem will be with great splendor and power. It will be both the spectacular physical arrival and the great earthquake that will startle and shock all the nations.  This is a DIFFERENT earthquake from what will occur when Jesus first arrives in the clouds of the sky. Revelation 6:12 is different from Revelation 16:18-19. It seems that the earthquake of the 7th bowl judgment is more intense than the earthly disturbances at His initial arrival.

Habakkuk 3:6b-15 next describes the results of the great earthquake.
"Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,  
The ancient hills collapsed.  
His ways are everlasting."

This earthquake is also described at Zechariah 14:4-5, in direct association with Christ’s descent to the Mount of Olives.

At that time, the mountain will be split down the middle from east to west, which is what causes the great earthquake.

This is probably what is in view at Ezek. 38:14, "In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will certainly be a great earthquake in the land of Israel."

Joel also speaks of earthquakes associated with Yahweh's advance into Megiddo. It probably refers to the earthquake of Zech. 14:4, but it could be indicating that additional quakes hit the land as He deals with the armies in the valley. Joel 3:16,
The Lord roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a refuge for His people,
And a stronghold for the sons of Israel."

The earthquake is also described at Revelation 16:17-20 in connection with the final bowl judgment. There it says that "the great city" (Jerusalem) was split into three parts. This is not inconsistent with the splitting of the mount of Olives down the middle. Zechariah’s facts do not require ONLY a two-part division of the city. John’s vision simply adds additional details to the results of the earthquake that will occur when Jesus stands on the mount.

It seems that the only place to assign this earthquake in "the great city" is at the Jerusalem earthquake of Zechariah 14:4 when Jesus steps on the Mount of Olives.

The splitting of the mountain will create a huge valley extending about 6 miles west of Jerusalem to Azel.

At Rev. 16:19, There is a difference of opinion as to the identification of "the great city." It seems that since Babylon is mentioned in the next sentence as coming under a separate judgment, the mention here of "the great city," refers to Jerusalem which is identified as "the great city . . . where also their Lord was crucified," at Rev. 11:8.

Among those additional details provided by John’s vision are
(1) every island and mountain are affected, and
(2) there is a huge plague of hailstones.

#1 does not contradict the context of Zechariah 14, but simply extends the effects of the earthquake to a world-wide context. The focus of Zechariah’s prophecy is not worldwide.
#2 seems to be something that does not occur in the context of Zechariah 14, the battle of Jerusalem. But it could come upon the rest of the world during that battle.

Because of this they are given further occasion to attack the character and plan of God.
"And men blasphemed God because of the plague."

Hab. 3:7-15

Habakkuk 3:7
Here the prophet looks BACK and describes the devastation that God's wrath brought upon the land of Edom.
"I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling."

We know nothing about this word, Cushan. Speculation suggests it to be another form of CUSH, the Ethiopian area, south of Egypt.

But it probably refers to the Sinai Peninsula area inhabited by nomads from Cush, and was closely associated with Midian.
Today, that is an area controlled by Egypt.
Midian is the land area south of Judah, below the Edomite area, and encompassing basically the Sinai peninsula, which is part of Egypt today. But as with Cushan, these areas OVERLAP and basically embrace the land area of the Edomites, SOUTH of the Dead Sea and then toward both the west and east.

In both cases, the general land area to the distant south of Israel is in view as it was at that time, inhabited by nomads who dwell in "tents," and it corresponds with "Teman" and "Paran" of verse 3.

It seems that at this point, the vision seen by the Habakkuk "backs up" and sees the results of the Lord’s VISIT to the land area of Edom.

It seems unlikely to mention effects of the earthquake ONLY here to the south. The earthquake would certainly extend equally in all directions. Furthermore, this EDOMITE area will have ALREADY been judged by the Lord BEFORE He is shown to come FROM THAT area.

For this reason I think that the vision has "backed up" to show that the Edomite area has indeed been judged by God, as has been described in Isaiah 63:1-6 and Ezek. 35.

Hab. 3:8-15
The section is separated from the previous verses by a natural break in the Hebrew. The break is indicated by the use of the 2nd person of the verb for direct address as the prophet declares what YOU (Yahweh) have done. The language indicates the results of the great earthquake. It affects the rivers, the sea and the mountains. And then the Lord will judge the nations that have gathered in Palestine with special focus on the ruin of the King of the West – the beast (verse 13b).

Here the prophet sees a massive judgment on the land of Palestine and on the armies of the nations that are gathered there "to scatter" the Jews (verse 14).

This is what Christ will do as He confronts the armies at Armageddon.
The prophet sees this in a PAST TENSE format to communicate the certainty of the divine judgment that will be meted out.

Thus, as seen in so many other passages, WHEN the Messiah arrives on the earth, He will begin to express God’s wrath upon the unbelievers (the earth-dwellers) through many NON-MILITARY judgments (except for the 6th trumpet and 6th bowl). That judgment will culminate with the physical destruction of the world’s armies that are gathered into Palestine. But it will be in three phases as Jesus descends first to Edom, then to Jerusalem and finally to Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.

The focus in the prophecies of Habakkuk is that the Messiah will come FROM Edom and initiate the battle of Jerusalem with earthquake and plague, and then judge the rest of the nations gathered in Palestine at Armageddon.

It seems that other than the plague, Jesus will be relatively inactive in the battle of Jerusalem. It seems that He will serve as a catalyst for the people of Israel to fight back and successfully defend themselves against the invading armies. He will thus, OVERSEE the battle, as the nation’s commander-in-chief, and probably not too long after arriving there, He will continue on to Megiddo.
The description of this defense of Jerusalem is seen at Zech. 12:4-8 and 14:14a.

There appears to be a DELAY before Jesus arrives at Megiddo. It seems that there needs to be some kind of TIME FRAME for the battle of Jerusalem to play out, but I suppose it could be resolved in that same day. Thus, any "delay" would be a matter of hours only.

Then again, there is no reason why the descent to Armageddon could not occur on the next day.
Zech. 12:9, "and it will come on about in that day, that I will set about to destroy all the nations that comes against Jerusalem."

But as is often the case, the use of the word "day" could just refer to the general TIME FRAME of when these events will occur. That is, the time frame of the day of the Lord.

Revelation 19:19
"And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army."

These are the same ones who will be gathered by the demon influence of the 6th bowl judgment. Revelation 16:14 and 16.
"For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Mageddon."

But before that gathering, and perhaps DURING it, the king of the North will have invaded the city of Jerusalem (Joel 2:1-11). Then, before the city can be totally devastated Jesus will arrive from Edom and "set down" on the Mount of Olives and produce the great earthquake of Zechariah 14:4 and the 7th bowl judgment of Revelation 16:17-21.

So Jesus will finish His work in Jerusalem perhaps AFTER the battle has been won by the forces of Judah and Jerusalem. Or He will leave the battle in the capable hands of the Jewish fighters and proceed to Megiddo.

He will then go to Megiddo and confront the bulk of the world’s armies who have assembled there. That will include the King of the East, the King of the West (the beast), and the remainder of the King of the North (who will have his forces split into two sections – Joel 2:20).

This will be THE battle of Armageddon.

See Topic: Armageddon – When Armies Move

However, Armageddon is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
It is only a LOCAL battle in the land of Palestine.

Furthermore, for clarification, the term Armageddon should never be used to describe the catastrophic events that are symbolized by the trumpets and the first 5 bowls.

For that matter, these events should not be viewed as any "end of the world" scenario.

Yes, they are serious and world-wide judgments that will result in much death and destruction. And ultimately they will result in the death and removal of ALL unbelievers.

But "they" and "it" are not the end of the world.

The Messiah’s kingdom will be established, and that will be a time of world-wide blessing and prosperity for all the peoples who have trusted in Christ as Savior.

This section of Habakkuk is given in a PAST TENSE mode because it is in view of what the prophet has ALREADY stated at verse 6. That is, the arrival of Yahweh in Jerusalem; His stand on the Mount of Olives; and the impending judgment on the armies surrounding Jerusalem.

Verse 8a
"Did Yahweh rage against the rivers?" (NASB)

The prophet asks a rhetorical question that is immediately answered in the following verse as expressed by using the second person of direct address.

The subject of the verb is Yahweh as is inherent in the form as a 3rd person singular. The verb is chArAh as a qal imperfect/jussive, 3rd masc. singular to indicate the rhetorical question that is answered by the prophets next sentences. It means to kindle or burn and expresses extreme anger. The noun form is chAron, which of course means great fiery anger.

"Against rivers was IT kindled, O Yahweh?"

The IT refers to the "understood" expression of wrath indicated by the previous verb for anger. 

The NIV does not recognize the 3rd person singular of the verb: "Were you angry with the rivers O LORD," but makes LORD the subject of the verb.
The NASB does not recognize the rhetorical question that is addressed to "O Yahweh," and instead makes Yahweh the subject.
However, the answers given in verses 8-15 use 2nd person pronouns to indicate the prophet is indeed addressing Yahweh.

"Against the rivers, was it kindled, O Yahweh –
Or against the streams, your anger,
Or against the seas, your wrath,
When you rode on your horses,
On your chariots of deliverance?"

The question is answered in verses 9-10 in the affirmative.
Yes – God’s anger and wrath were expressed UPON THE LAND.

"Your bow was made bare,
The rods of chastisement were sworn.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
It lifted high its hands."

This describes the effects of the 7th bowl judgment and the earthquake that occurs when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives.

Revelation 16:17-21 adds some more details.
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done." 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder ; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men ; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

The destruction of Babylon the great is part of Christ's activity after He descends ONTO the earth. That city will be destroyed through the earthquake of Revelation 18:21, when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives.
The severity of the judgment is described at Jeremiah 51:62, "there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a desolation of perpetuity."
This is amplified at Revelation 18:2. "it has become a dwelling place for demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird."
No man, no beasts; just demons and scavenger birds will be there.
So, during the millennial reign of Jesus, although Satan will be bound in the abyss for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3), it seems that all the demons will be imprisoned on the earth in the city of Rome.
This also fulfills Zech. 13:2,
"I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land."

The description of this final confrontation at Megiddo continues at Habakkuk 3:11
"Sun and moon stood in their places;
The went away at the light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your gleaming spear."

It seems to me that this is not referring to a DARKNESS effect, but an "over shadowing" effect. The GLORY of the Lord will be so great that it will OUTSHINE the sun and moon.
But it also appears that there will be a dramatic darkness effect as Jesus arrives at the Valley of the Verdict.

Habakkuk 3:12
"In indignation You marched through the land;
In anger You trampled the nations."

Here, the prophet sees the judgment on "the nations" but this is judgment on the ARMIES of the nations that are gathered in Palestine.

None of the judgment passages teach that the Lord will GO throughout ALL THE EARTH and trample or thrash or destroy the nations. Its focus is always on the land of Palestine and all the "nations" that are gathered there.
However, there will be judgment on the nations of the Gentiles as taught at Rev. 16:20-21 and Ezek 39:6.


Zechariah 12:3
"And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it."
Zechariah 14:2
"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle."

Revelation 16:14

"For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Mageddon."

Revelation 19:19
"And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army."

 Habakkuk 3:13a
"You went forth for the deliverance of Your people,
For the deliverance of Your anointed."
"Your people" refers to the entire nation of the Jewish people.
It is comprised of ALL 12 tribes, as they all were reunited in Judah after the Babylonian captivity. There are no "10 lost tribes."
See topic: Lost tribes theory

"Your anointed" refers specifically to the Davidic dynasty as preserved in the tribe of Judah.

This of course, is an obvious purpose. In the end-times, everything revolves around the nation of Israel and God’s deliverance of them from both their physical enemies, demonic enemies, and their national discipline, which will come to an end.

Ezekiel 36:5-9
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of soul, to drive it out for a prey." 'Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My wrath because you have endured the insults of the nations.' "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, 'I have sworn that surely the nations which are around you will themselves endure their insults.  'But you, O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel ; for they will soon come.  'For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown.


 Habakkuk 3:13b-14a
"You struck the head of the house of the evil one
To lay him open from thigh to neck.
You pierced with his own spears
The head of his throngs."

This gives us a special focus on the king of the west, who is the beast of Revelation 13 and 19:19.

Daniel 11:45
"And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him."

This is the one "whom the Lord will take away with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming." (2 Thes. 2:8).

Revelation 19:20
"And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet . . . these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone."

Habakkuk 3:14b
"They stormed in to scatter us (me – the prophet as representative of the nation).
Their exultation was like those
Who devour the oppressed in secret."

As already indicated, the armies of the nations will gather into Palestine and against Jerusalem in order to gain material resources for themselves since the judgments of the Lord will have greatly diminished the availability of these things. Ezek. 36:2-5; 38:10-12;

Habakkuk 3:15
"You stomped on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters."

This is a summary statement to indicate the victory of the Lord in defeating the oppressors.
Habakkkuk thus concludes his periscope “launch” into the end-times, and in the next section returns to the immediate national crisis at hand in 605 BCE.

For the details for the battle of Armageddon see

After the dust settle from the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will remove all unbelievers from the earth. Mat. 25:31ff portrays this symbolically as seeing all the nations assembled before Him.
However, it is more likely that the separation will occur AT the location where all the people are living in their respective geographical locations. These various nations seem to remain in tact at the start of the kingdom. Although it is certainly possible that after the "gathering" of the nations, the righteous would be returned to their respective geographical locations.

The result will be that ONLY believers will be left alive to enter Christ's 1000-year earthly kingdom.
Likewise, Jesus will remove all the unbelieving Jews from the believers so that ONLY believers will go alive into the earthly kingdom. Ezek. 20:33-38 and 34:17-22.


At Zechariah 14:5b-7, the prophet gives a summary statement of that ONE EVENT that will trigger everything else.
It is the initial and OFFICIAL coming of the Messiah.

That OFFICIAL second coming is also seen in the vision shown to John at Rev 19:11-16.

Zech. 14:5b, Thus, Yahweh, my God, will come:
I see this as a summary statement of the coming of the Lord as is prophesied all throughout the OT. In this context, He ALREADY came at verse 4 ("and in that day His feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives). This clearly refers to PART of His physical descent onto the earth subsequent to His OFFICIAL second coming.

Verse 5b is probably NOT talking about another "coming" after that.
So it should be seen as a summary statement of some aspect of the Messiah's Judge advent.
Hebrew style allows for this to be a summary statement for the arrival of the Lord.
The "and" (waw) can properly be translated as "THUS."
And that is exactly what is most reasonable for the immediate context and the overall context of both Testaments.
"Thus, Yahweh my God will come and all His holy ones with Him."
Here at Zechariah, the focus is on His arrival in Jerusalem. But the summary statement of His "coming" takes the reader back to His initial arrival several months earlier.
And the "angels" factor conforms to EVERY other reference to the angels coming with the Messiah at the Judge advent.

However, this summary statement could have a different focus.

(1) The OFFICIAL coming of the Messiah at the start
of the DOL, which will trigger all the subsequent events.
Which is what I prefer, especially with the mention of the angels.
(2) That physical descent which was stated at verse 4.

In the old Testament, when the arrival of the period of time described as the Day of the Lord is mentioned, it always refers to the FACT of His second coming. However, after that statement of fact, the focus is on one or more of the events that will occur DURING or at the END of that period of time. Thus, after that statement of the FACT of the Lord's arrival, several things may be skipped over in order to focus on one or more specific events.
(1) It might focus on the general judgments of God's wrath.
(2) It might jump to the invasion of the king of the North.
(3) It might jump to the final battle against all the nations' armies.
(4) It might jump to the blessings of the Messiah's earthly kingdom.

The New Testament does the same thing. When the second coming of Jesus is mentioned it always refers to the FACT of that period of time and its START. And then it will focus on some characteristic, event or events that will occur at or after His arrival.
Mat. 16:27 gives a summary of all those events with one statement concerning the administration of God's justice. "
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds."

Mat. 24:30-31 focuses on the gathering of Christ's elect ones at the moment of His coming, leaving behind the unbelievers.

Mat. 25:31ff focuses on the removal of unbelievers from believers during the 45 days that will precede the start of the Messiah's earthly kingdom. (Dan. 12:12).

2Peter 3:10-11 focuses on the renovation of the universe that will occur AFTER the earthly kingdom. Rev. 20:11.

1Thes. 4:14-17 focuses just on the rapture.

2Thes. 1:6-10 shows both the DELIVERANCE (relief) of Christ's elect ones at the rapture as well as judgment upon the unbelievers, both at that time, AND after the last judgment of Rev. 20:11.

Rev. 6:12-17 shows the cosmic signs that announce the coming of Christ, and then focuses on the impending wrath of God and judgment on the unbelieving earth dwellers.

Rev. 19:11-21 states the FACT of Christ's second coming and then jumps many events and focuses just on the final battle at Armageddon.

As I already stated, I believe Zechariah's vision is looking back to that event which will trigger everything else; the arrival of the Lord in the clouds of the sky, bringing all His angels with Him.
This is also what John's vision does at Rev. 19:11-16.

Zechariah 14:6-7
On that day: In/on that day refers to the OFFICIAL second coming of the Messiah.
This reference to the darkness has two possible interpretations.
(1) The WORLD-WIDE darkness and sudden brightness at Christ's initial arrival in the clouds of the sky, which follows upon the summary statement of the previous sentence, "The Lord my God will come."
Verse 6 conforms to the cosmic signs that attend His arrival as found in other passages.
Joel 2:29-30; Mat. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14; Is. 13:10,
"For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash their light; The sun will be dark in its going; And the moon will not shed its light.
Since where it is night, the moon and stars will not give off light.
And where it is day, the sun will be darkened.

Thus, throughout the whole world it will be neither day nor night, just solid darkness.
But at evening: Not a LITERAL evening, but symbolic of the time that a NEW DAY will begin according to Jewish measurement.
At that TIME, that is neither day nor night, but the time of a NEW DAY, the Lord will arrive in the clouds of the sky and be universally visible like lightning flashing across the sky.

(2) The LOCAL darkness and earthquake that will precede His arrival in Megiddo and the sudden appearance of His brightness as He faces off against all the armies gathered there.

Since BOTH the sun and the stars are mentioned, this seems to indicate a GLOBAL effect rather than a LOCAL effect. It probably refers then to the cosmic signs that precede the initial arrival of Jesus at Mat. 24:29-30, Joel 2:31, and Rev. 6:12-14.

We see the same thing at Joel 2:1-11. The passage describes the invasion of the king of the North during the time period of the day of the Lord. At verse 10, Joel mentions the cosmic signs and earthquake that will PRECEDE the ARRIVAL of the day of the Lord.
Joel 2:1, "Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For THE DAY OF THE LORD is coming;
Indeed, it is near, A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness." This mention of darkness and gloom does not refer to the cosmic signs that are mentioned at verse 10, but refers simply to the NATURE of the DAY. It will be dark and gloomy.
For those who are on the negative side of God's justict, that is exactly what that DAY will be like for them.
Amos 5:18, "it will be darkness and not light."

Joel 2:2, "As dawn is spread over the mountains,
So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it
To the years of many generations."

The invasion of this Northern army is so great that such as it will not be seen again for many generations. In fact, it will not be seen again until the end of the 1000 year reign of the Messiah when Satan tries one last time to destroy Jesus and the plan of God.
Rev. 20:7-10

Joel 2:9 "THEY storm the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief.
The plural pronoun clearly refers to the members of this army.
But at verse 10, the switch to the singular indicates that something else is in view.

Joel 2:10. "Before IT: That is, before the invasion and in fact, before the ARRIVAL of the day of the Lord. This is describing the signs that basically ANNOUNCE its arrival. This language is consistent with the other passages that prophecy the arrival of the day of the Lord.

"the earth quakes, The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon become dark,
And the stars lose their brightness."

I appeal again to the UNIVERSAL nature of these effects.
BOTH the daytime AND the nighttime light bearers will be darkened, which seems to indicate a global effect.

It is then DURING the day of the Lord judgments, and specifically at the 6th trumpet judgment of Rev. 9:13-19, that the Northern army will begin its attack against the kingdom of the beast.

Joel 2:11, "The Lord utters His voice before His army;
HIS camp is indeed very great, For mighty is one who carries out His word. THE DAY OF THE LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?"

Of course, when God USES a nation and an army to carry out His plan, it can be said that that instrument is indeed, a weapon of God. Thus, the designation, HIS ARMY.
Isaiah 13:4-6, "
A sound of a roar on the mountains,
Like that of many people! A sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
Of nations gathered together! The Lord of armies is mustering the army for battle. They are coming from a distant country,
From the farthest horizons, The Lord and the weapons of His indignation, To destroy the whole land.
Wail, for THE DAY OF THE LORD is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty."

Joel 2:10
The earthquake that is mentioned could be the earthquake that will occur when Jesus stands on the Mt. of Olives. Or it could refer to the earthly disturbances that will be part of the signs that will announce the arrival of the day of the Lord, described at Luke 21:25, Rev. 6:12, Joel 2:30.

As already stated, I prefer to see this as a summary statement of the initial and official second coming of the Messiah.
But either option is fine and does not compromise any detail that will occur during the Judge advent.

At the initial and official second coming of the Messiah, the whole world will be covered in darkness. But "at evening time there will be light" and His arrival in the clouds of the sky will thus be universally visible.

Zechariah continues with, "{and} all the holy ones with Him!"
The "holy ones" that come with Him are angels.
It states that ALL the holy ones will come with Him. That is all inclusive and refers to ALL the angels, not ALL the saints.
And this conforms to practically every other reference to the 2nd coming of the Messiah.
Matthew 16:27, “The Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels."
Mark 8:38, "with the holy angels."
Matthew 25:31, "and all the angels with Him.”
2Thes. 1:7, "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire."
And they are contrasted with people at verse 10, "when He comes to be glorified among His holy ones on that day, AND to be marveled at among all who have believed."
Luke 9:26, "His glory and of the Father and of the angels."
1Thes. 3:13, "the coming of the Lord with ALL His holy ones."
Jude 14-15, "Behold, the Lord has come with many thousands of His holy ones."

At Rev 19:14, they are called "the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
Angels also wear white garments as is indicated at Rev. 15:6.
Furthermore it is very unlikely that Jesus would take His bride into a physical confrontation on the earth.
It is much more likely that the bride will remain in heaven, residing in the New Jerusalem, prepared and ready for the wedding which will be held on the earth after the start of the Davidic kingdom.



Questions and comments are always welcome

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