We are going to take a look at what happens to the false messiah. Rev 19.19-20 says that false messiah and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. Ezek 29.1-7; Ezek 32.1-8 and Isa 27.1 all describe his end, and he is typified by the dragon who lives in the sea, or Leviathan. The last king of Judah is Zedekiah, and he tries to escape Jerusalem and is caught on the plains of Jericho (2 Kings 25.4-6. This is very close to a place called Azal in Zech 14.5. The word “Azal” is the root for the word for the scape goat on Yom Kippur called “Azazel.” This goat is a picture of the false messiah. The lake of fire is an idiom for the Dead Sea in the first century. The Dead Sea would often erupt and catch on fire because of all the oil and gases trapped there. Once it is on fire, you could not go under the water because you were too buoyant. So, the Dead Sea was known as the lake of fire. Here is how all this ties in.
On Yom Kippur, a very important ceremony occurs. It is one of the least studied ceremonies of Christianity and that is why so many have never been taught it, or even understands it. The lot for the goat to the Lord, called “L’Adonai”, always came up in the right hand, meaning mercy (except for the last 40 years before the destruction of the Temple). The lot for Azazel always came up in the left hand, meaning judgment. One of the meanings for Azazel is “dismissal” (Hertz Pentateuch, p 481, 486; Lev 16.21). The Azazel goat is taken out of the Temple area, across a specially constructed bridge called the Azazel Bridge. It goes across the Kidron Valley and a road leads to the Southeast to Azal. This route parallels the route Yeshua will take to Jerusalem. The word Azazel has a root “Azal” and it is mentioned in Zech 14.5 (Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, p 616). The word Azazel is a name for a demon by the Arabs (Gesenius Lexicon, p 616-617) and it is a picture of the false messiah (1 Enoch 54.1-6; 55.3-4). By tradition, Moses ascended Mount Sinai on Elul 1 for the second set of tablets, and descended on Tishri 10, or Yom Kippur. By tradition, man sinned in the garden on Tishri 10 and God brought redemption. On Yom Kippur, sin was atoned for by the high priest who went into the Holy of Holies and met the Lord “face to face.” Yom Kippur was seen as the most important day of the year. Here is why.
The world has many nations, but the most holy is Israel. Israel had many tribes, but the most holy was Levi. Levi had many families, but the most holy was Aaron’s. The family of Aaron had many members, but the most holy was the family of the high priest. In the world there was many languages, but the most holy was Hebrew. In Hebrew, there are many names, but the most holy was the name of God. Israel had many cities, but the most holy was Jerusalem. Jerusalem had many places, but the most holy place was Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah had many places, but the most holy was the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount had many places, but the most holy was the Temple. The Temple had many places, but the most holy was the Holy of Holies. There are many festivals in Israel, but the most holy was Yom Kippur. Only on Yom Kippur do all these come together. Here is what we believe will be the sequence of events of the coming of Yeshua to Jerusalem.
Matt 24.29-31 tells us that he comes with the blowing of the “great shofar” and this is an idiom for Yom Kippur. It is the shofar that is blown, signaling the end of the time of repentance. Luke 17.34-37 says that they gather the unbelievers first, then the believer to what is called the “Warrior Judgment” described in Matt 25.31-46 and Zech 14.3. The verses in Luke 17.34-37 is often used to describe the rapture, but that is not what it is taking about. It is talking about the unbeliever who is taken first (Matt 13.24-30), leaving the believer behind. The unbeliever is taken to Jerusalem to be judged by the Messiah. The believer will follow after.
Yeshua arrives in Petra (Sela) on Rosh ha Shannah and begins a ten day march to Jerusalem. As he arrives on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14.4) the Shofar ha Gadol is blown (the great trumpet of Isa 27.13 and Matt 24.29-31). The angels are dispatched to gather all survivors of the Birth-pains to Jerusalem and there is an earthquake. The valley created by the earthquake (Zech 14.4-5) reaches all the way to Azal, near the Dead Sea. Yeshua fights and destroys those resisting him (Zech 14.3) and the angels have gathered the unbelievers and are on their way to Jerusalem. Believers around Jerusalem will flee through the valley created by this earthquake, which will run about 12 miles from the Mount of Olives to Azal. The false messiah will try to run (Rev 19.20) but is captured on the plains of Jericho, just like Zedekiah (the last king of Judah and a picture of what happens in the seventh year of the Birth-pains) tried to do in 2 Kings 25.4-5. He was captured just south of Jericho, where the Jordan River enters the Dead Sea. The false messiah will do the same thing. Because of the earthquake, the Dead Sea has exploded into fire, just like it always has. The valley reaches to Azal, and remember it is the root for Azazel, the goat on Yom Kippur that is a picture of the false messiah. This goat was killed in the wilderness on Yom Kippur. The rock Chudo sits at Azal. The rock Chudo is where they took the Azazel goat on Yom Kippur to be killed.
Azal is several miles from the Dead Sea, but the valley created by the earthquake will cause the Dead Sea to come right up to Azal because of a depression that will bring the water right up to the rock Chudo. The false messiah and the false prophet, who have been seized several miles way are taken and cast alive into the Dead Sea (the lake of fire). Yeshua will fulfill the biblical festivals in the fall literally at his second coming, just like he fulfilled all the spring festivals literally in his first coming.
In Part 18, we will discuss what happens between the five days between Yom Kippur and the coming of Yeshua to Jerusalem, and the festival of Sukkot.