Randy's Mountain Range
Randy was always fascinated by the mountain range a few miles from his home; especially, the two tallest peaks which seemed from where he stood just a few feet away from each other. One day he found a map of his land that included the mountain range. Intrigued, he looked for his home place, after that for the mountain peaks. With his finger he travelled on the map in the direction he would have looked at the mountain peaks. To his surprise he found only one. Puzzled, he decided to take the map outside and trace the peaks down on the map while looking at the real ones. Again, he found one mountain peak in the map. How could this be? He clearly saw two towering the mountain range. Suddenly, his eyes fell on another place in the map that located a mountain with a similar height as the first one. It looked as it was hundreds of miles away, but very few degrees to the left. Could it be that his eyes were tricking him?
Wanting to investigate Randy planned a trip to the mountain range, specifically the first mountain peak to remove all doubt about this matter. Climbing to the top of the first mountain, he looked for the place where the second mountain peak should be. There was nothing there. But, when he lifted his eyes, relatively far in the distance and just a few degrees to the left was a very tall mountain, just as high as the one he was on. As he studied the peak it looked just like the one he saw home. Randy realized that just because from the distance all the mountains look close together it did not mean they actually were. It is not until you get close to the range that you see the real distance between them.
The author of our lesson stated that when Zechariah announced the coming of the Messiah, he did not draw a line of separation between His first and second comings. As was the case with other prophets, he saw the coming kingdom of the Messiah as one glorious future. (Just as Randy saw one glorious mountain range.) Only in the light of Christ's first coming can we now distinguish between the two comings.
Being that there was no line of separation, in Zechariah's 7 chapters of foretelling prophetic discourse all the prophecies seemed as if they would be fulfilled at the same time. But, the closer you got to the fulfillment of some of the prophecies you realize not all would be fulfilled together. In fact, as the time passed by you realized some might have already been fulfilled, and some are still in the future. What Zechariah is really foretelling is: events that surround three different periods of time on this earth: each of Christ advents to this planet.
The first period happened 2,000 years ago. The second period will happen during the second advent: when Christ comes back in all His glory to take back His redeemed. The last period is when the holy City comes to the planet, and the entire planets with all the wicked are destroyed. And, finally, the new earth is created. Time does not allow us to go through these passages to "tease" them out.
As we can see they cover the entire human history since Zechariah's day. And, it reveals to the Jews then and to us today, how God is involved in the plan of redemption. Specifically, how Christ, The Branch (Zechariah 3: 8; 6: 12), the One who was pierced (Zech. 12:10), the Shepherd who was struck down (Zech. 13:7) is involved in every step of our redemption. Ellen White expounds on this,"In the darkest days of her long conflict with evil, the church of God has been given revelations of the eternal purpose of Jehovah. His people have been permitted to look beyond the trials of the present to the triumphs of the future, when, the warfare having been accomplished, the redeemed will enter into possession of the promised land. These visions of future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God, should be dear to His church today, when the controversy