Zechariah 14:16-19 shows clearly that, at this time, the nations should be coming to Jerusalem. That is what God has commanded them to do.
However, these vast numbers of people will not come for a holy purpose. They have come for the most unholy reason that anyone can have: to fight against God. They are acting in this most wicked manner on purpose. For 1000 years, the nations have lived under Christís rule. They know what God wants. They know the God whom they are opposing. The city that God loves is Jerusalem (Psalm 48). However, the city is only called the Ďcampí, or temporary home, of Godís holy people. Their permanent home will be in the New Jerusalem (22:3-5).
For the most unholy acts, there must be the most holy punishment (for example Numbers 16:35). Fire has the power to burn away whatever is not pure. The Bible often uses fire as a word-picture to express the holy character of God (for example Malachi 3:3).
Godís holy people do not need to defend themselves from this most unholy attack. Godís holy character will not even allow these wicked armies to enter the city that he loves, on this occasion. The punishment is sudden, and it is total. The final defeat of the devil is complete in a moment. The devil goes to the place of final punishment, the lake of fire. He will never again be free. He will never again persuade the nations by his evil lies. He will never again fight against God or his people.
The devilís final defeat happens at the end of the age; and that will bring about the end of the present world (2 Peter 3:10-13). Soon, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where Godís people will always live with him (Revelation chapters 21 and 22).
Next part: The last judgement (Revelation 20:11)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.