Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Will the Mount of Olives literally cleave in two at the return of Christ as recorded in the prophecy of Zechariah?

Answer: It is evident that the return of the Lord Jesus to the Mount of Olives is a literal event though many speak of it as a spiritual picture. There can be no doubt of the fact of His literal return to Olivet. The testimony of the two men (angels) in white was plain, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). The Lord stood on Olivet speaking to them for the last time. Suddenly His feet literally left Olivet and He was seen rising from them until a cloud received Him from their view. He passed through the heavens and literally arrived in heaven itself. He ascended all the way literally from the Mount of Olives. It was a divine miracle, and faith rests upon its truth. Hence there is no doubt that the same one will descend in the cloud until seen by men on earth. He will stand again on Olivet and the mountain shall cleave in the midst thereof. It is remarkable that Zechariah foresaw the "feet" of the Lord (Zech. 14:4). He saw the feet of the Lord’s glorified body, who ascended from the same locality, returning to the place from which He had ascended. Those feet once nailed upon the tree, shall rest on Olivet. What is the import of this revelation? The spirit of prophecy is emphasizing the personal, bodily return of Christ to the earth. The language is obviously given by God to cause a literal belief rather than a mystical interpretation of His second coming.

When the Lord appears to deal with the enemies of His people, the mountain will be dislodged and will become a great valley. The vast alteration in the physical contour is the first of many, to rescue saints and to cause Jerusalem to be the center of blessing in the joyous reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. It will be the "City of the Great King." This capital of the whole earth will be situated on a higher eminence than today but a very large valley will surround the whole area. "The whole land shall be turned into a plain, but Jerusalem shall remain aloft:" (Isa. 2:2-3; Zech. 14:10). How important then to understand "His feet" upon the Mount of Olives at His coming.