The “Bible Alone” Revelation Commentary: The easiest Bible book to understand!

The 5-minute beginner’s guide to totally understanding Revelation.

Revelation Commentary:

1.      Revelation written in AD 66

2.      Flee Jerusalem or be destroyed in AD 70

3.      The central synchronism is the Ezekiel’s account of the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC.

 

Original publication date: February 2018. This updated version date: February 2018

Author: Steven Rudd. Free of charge at: www.bible.ca/revelation

 

Bible Only Revelation Commentary

Steven Rudd Feb 2018

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Preface: Completely understand Revelation in 5 minutes

Intro 1: Ezekiel Decodes Revelation

Intro 2: Jerusalem = Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, The Harlot

Intro 3: Coins, Dead Sea Scrolls & Song of Sabbath Sacrifice

Intro 4: Moses’ Sunset Clause & the extinction of Judaism

Intro 5: The role of Archeology in understanding Revelation

Intro 6: “Days of Messiah” 1st century Jewish eschatology

Intro 7: Why Revelation was written to 7 churches in Asia, not Jerusalem

Roman warfare: Hail Stones = Ballista. Scorpions = Catapult.

Revelation Chapters

PDF

Rev 5

Rev 11

Rev 17

Chart

Rev 6

Rev 12

Rev 18

Rev 1

Rev 7

Rev 13

Rev 19

Rev 2

Rev 8

Rev 14

Rev 20

Rev 3

Rev 9

Rev 15

Rev 21

Rev 4

Rev 10

Rev 16

Rev 22

Dating and Chronology

Dating Revelation to AD 66 and Gospel of John to 98 AD

Old Testament Bible book and chapter dating

Jewish to Julian calendar date converter

Josephus

Josephus Chronology of destruction of Jerusalem: AD 62-74

The 7 miraculous signs of Josephus AD 65-66

Josephus “2 Witnesses”: Jesus ben Ananus: AD 62-70

Daniel and Revelation

Book of Daniel: 1260 days. 42 months, 70 weeks and 490 years

Full-Preterism Refuted

Full-Preterism Examined and Refuted

By Steven Rudd, Feb 2018: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections

 

  

 

 

Preface: Completely understand revelation in 5 minutes

 

The book of Revelation is the easiest book in the Bible to understand… that is of course if you were a Jew living in Jerusalem in AD 66. The overarching theme of the book of Revelation is the extinction of physical Mosaic Judaism with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple as the final phase of fulfilment of Jeremiah 31:31. The key to unlocking Revelation is the direct synchronism between the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC and AD 70 triggered by the rebellion of the Jews against two of God’s “anointed servants” of Daniel 2 (Nebuchadnezzar and Titus). The two destructions happened on the exact same day of the year, the 10th Av. Both Nebuchadnezzar and Titus were crown princes when they captured Jerusalem and both went on to become kings.

 

There are two key Revelation verses that prove when and why it was written: Rev 11:8 and 17:10. These two scriptures trump the “fluff statements” of uninspired church fathers like Irenaeus, commonly used by “late daters” as the primary support that John wrote Revelation in AD 96 and Rome is the book’s target of destruction in spite of the fact that not one can pin a specific date for this event. For late daters then, the historical fulfillment is a fuzzy blur and the message is a superficially simplistic one of “victory”. In fact, the central theme of Revelation is the punishment for the Jewish rejection of their messiah, the Jewish persecution of Christians as seen in Rev 1:9; 2:9-10 and murder of Old Testament prophets. The symbolic language of Revelation describes historic events of the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

The Jews destroyed Jerusalem first, then the Romans

Josephus strongly places the blame for the destruction of the temple upon the three waring Jewish Zealot leaders inside the city, Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora, John of Gischala. Even Jewish Josephus commented that God destroyed the city in His wrath and justice because of the moral wickedness. Josephus judged the Jewish Zealots guilty for desecrating and destroying the temple themselves and judges the Romans innocent because they took every possible step to protect the temple from being destroyed by the Jews. This echoes the six trials before the crucifixion of Christ where the first three Jewish trials judged Jesus guilty and the last three Roman trials judged Him innocent. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and that the Rabbis wanted Him killed out of envy. Pilate did everything in his power to save Jesus from the Jews by publicly pronouncing Him innocent, flogging as a substitute for death, circumventing the leaders by offering a prisoner exchange to the masses and finally a public washing his hands of guilt.

 

"When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged (a second time), he handed Him over to be crucified." (Matthew 27:24–26)

 

When the Jews publicly accepted responsibility for crucifying their Messiah with the words, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”, God’s wrath and justice was demonstrated in the destruction of Jerusalem as recorded in the book of Revelation.

 

Revelation is judgement upon Jews first, then Romans

However, Pilate permitted innocent Jesus to be crucified and Nero persecuted Christians for 42 months (AD 64-68) so the Book of Revelation also punishes the Roman Empire. In both 587 BC and AD 70, God punishes Babylonians and Romans for their participation in destroying the city. However, Titus, like Nebuchadnezzar took steps to save the temple from fire, while the Jews were destroying the temple with their own hands. On two occasions during the final siege in AD 70, Titus sent Josephus to the city wall to persuade those inside to surrender in order to save the temple. Titus even condemned the Jews inside the city as savage beasts for hypocritically defiling the temple by turning it into a military fortress and filling it with 8500 of dead bodies and blood. Pagan Titus said to the Jews, “You wicked villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple” (Wars 4.201,313; 6:110,126). Ironically, even Josephus the Zealot, viewed Roman Titus as more righteous than his fellow Jews. In January AD 68, the Jews caused the extinction of their own High Priesthood by choosing the unfit Phannias ben Samuel by lot, then executing the two legitimate High Priests, Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel, a month later.

 

Beast from Sea and Earth

In Revelation, the two-horned sheep “Beast from the Earth” represents the Jews who destroy the spiritually dead city and temple from within and the 10 horned, 7 headed “Beast from the Sea” represents the Roman Empire who finish the job by burning the corpse.

 

Ezekiel decodes Revelation

Revelation was a “1st century remake” of Ezekiel’s old storyline of the destruction of Jerusalem, start to finish, except the date changed from 587 BC to AD 70. Revelation is like a new modern version of the original Cinderella story where all the details have changed, but the plotline is identical, everyone knows what happens next and everyone knows how it ends. We know Ezekiel is a “blow by blow” account of the first destruction of 587 BC. Revelation follows and borrows from Ezekiel, chapter by chapter in the second destruction of AD 70. While all commentators are aware of John’s use of Ezekiel in Revelation, the author is the first (to his knowledge) to identify John’s direct sequential “thought for thought” borrowing, dependence and synchronism with Ezekiel. This was all designed by the Holy Spirit who, word for word, inspired both of the prophets Ezekiel and apostle John. The synoptics all contain the “Olivet Discourse” (Mt 24, Lk 21:20, Mk 13) with detailed accounts of Jesus’ prediction and warnings to flee Jerusalem before it was destroyed. The Gospel of John skips the Olivet Discourse and says nothing because it was written after AD 70. As Dr. Scott Stripling brilliantly observed, “The book of Revelation is John’s Olivet discourse written in AD 66”.

 

Ezekiel and Revelation us symbolic language to describe real events of war

We are certain that the symbolic “apocalyptic” language in Ezekiel describes the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. Since the book of Revelation uses the identical symbolic “apocalyptic” language as Ezekiel, it should be obvious then, that Revelation is describing the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In both Ezekiel and Revelation, symbolic language describes the actual physical event of the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

Synchronisms between Ezekiel and Revelation

There are countless synchronisms between Ezekiel and Revelation which both echo the identical message of, “Come out from among them” living in Jerusalem or be killed. During the 70-year Babylonian captivity of 605-536 BC, the blessings of Jerusalem were transferred to Babylon where the Jerusalem Jews lived in sanctuary and the curses of Babylon were transferred to Jerusalem. Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah called Jerusalem “Egypt and Sodom” and then the city was destroyed. Josephus even calls Jerusalem “Sodom” (Wars 5.566). The transference of God’s curses from Babylon to Jerusalem is repeated in Revelation, when once again, the curses of mystical Babylon (now long extinct) were transferred to literal Jerusalem. John directly identifies Jerusalem which is “mystically called Egypt and Sodom, the city where Jesus was crucified” (Rev 11:8). We know that “Babylon” was a well understood nickname for Jerusalem long before John wrote Revelation because Apostle Peter, who served as an elder in his home church in Jerusalem (1 Pe 5:1), actually called Jerusalem, “Babylon”. (1 Pe 5:13). Revelation is easy to understand when you realize that Jerusalem is called “Babylon”, “the great city”, “the whore”, “Sodom” and “Egypt”. Just as God decreed the destruction of Jerusalem in 593 BC when Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, which was also the year Ezekiel started preaching, so too God decreed the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 66 when the Jews rebelled against Rome, which was also when John wrote Revelation. Although Revelation is primary dependent upon Ezekiel, John also draws heavily from Jeremiah and to a lesser degree Daniel, Zechariah, Isaiah, and a handful of specific messianic texts and the synoptics. He also draws from current messianic expectation theology as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

Nero, the 6th Roman Caesar as “666”, Beast from Sea

In addition to “Nero Caesar” isopsephically equalling the number 666, the simple meaning behind the number 666 is to repeat “6th Caesar”, three times. So “666” equals “6th Caesar, 6th Caesar, 6th Caesar”. It is repeated three times for emphasis. Rev 17:10 proves the book was written in AD 66 under Nero and counts 7 officially recognized Caesars: “seven kings [Julius to Vespasian]; five have fallen [Julius to Claudius], one is [Nero, the “beast” whose name equals 666], the other has not yet come [Vespasian]. Daniel 7:7-8 counts 10 Roman Caesars from Julius to Vespasian by including the three unofficial usurper-Caesars Galba, Otho and Vitellius who reigned in short turbulent succession for a total of 13 months (9 June 68- July AD 69). Incredibly Daniel foresaw these three “usurper” Caesars (all of whom where killed and beheaded) were never officially installed and removes them from the list of ten which agrees with John’s 7! “Rome had ten horns… a little horn, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it (Galba, Otho and Vitellius)”. Wow. Wow. Wow. How simple is that and how amazing is the Holy Spirit! “666” has no special religious meaning except it is the “number of a name” (Isopsephy). If Nero’s mother was inspired by Johnny Cash and named him “Sue” [שושנה], the “number of the beast from the sea” would have been 658! The number of Jesus’ name is 888! Look your spouses name up on the internet because if it also equals 666 like Nero, it will explain a lot of things!

 

Civil War: Three Jewish Rebel leaders: Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora, John of Gischala

In Revelation 13, Nero is the Beast from the Sea who persecutes Christians 42 months from the burning of Rome in AD 64 until he died in AD 68. The three Jewish rebel leaders fighting a civil war inside Jerusalem in AD 69 are also represented in “the beast from the earth” because they destroy their own city and temple from within, while righteous Titus takes several steps to save the temple from destruction (Wars 6.214-217). The liberation of Jerusalem began Tuesday 6th August AD 66 [15th Av] when the rebel Jews used the wood donated to the Temple Altar of Burnt offerings during the festival of Xylophory. In a self inflicted literal Holocaust, the Jews used their own holy Altar wood to start burning their own city! (Josephus Wars 2.425). Jesus warned, “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, recognize her desolation is near. Flee” (Lk 21:20)! But even more remarkable is the fact that it was Jewish armies that first surrounded Jerusalem, not Roman as commonly mis-taught. Under the command of Manahem, Jerusalem was liberated on 15th September AD 66 (Josephus Wars 2.433-440) and he surrounded and paraded his army around the outside city wall. While the Jews were rejoicing the city was liberated, the Christians knew it was a sign of impending destruction fled the city! The same thing happened in 593 BC when Zedekiah rebelled, triggering the withdrawel of God’s grace and pronouncement of its impending destruction. On 10th November AD 66 the Romans withdrew and left behind them their engines for sieges, and for throwing of stones, and a great part of the instruments of war. So, the Jews went on pursuing the Romans as far as Antipatris, after which, seeing they could not overtake them, they came back and took the engines and brought them into Jerusalem” (Josephus Wars 2.553). When Titus arrives on Monday 7th March AD 70, he observes the city split into three parts through the 3-way civil war of the 3 rebel leaders fighting each other inside the city. Revelation 16 twice references the three rebel leaders as “three unclean spirits like frogs, the spirits of demons who bring war to Jerusalem” (v14) and "The great city was split into three parts”. (v19). The Jews were using the Roman Ballista and Catapults against each other inside the city. Josephus even calls the Jews a “wild beast” (like John in Rev 13) and records the civil war in detail:

 

“The sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and divided into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice. (3) Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased; (4) but for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh.” (Josephus Wars 5:4-6)

 

Figurative language describes first century Roman warfare

In September AD 66 the Jews captured a large number of Roman war machines (Ballista, Catapults) and brought them into the city and attacked their fellow Jews inside Jerusalem during the turbulent civil-war. Revelation 9 and 16 uses figurative language to describe the “Roman engines” (Ballista and Catapult). The 1 talent white hail stones represent the 1 talent white stone Ballista balls and the locust/scorpion represents the catapult. “Scorpion” was the common name used in the first century for the Roman catapult. While today, futurists and premillennialists see US F-16 fighter Jets, the Christians in Jerusalem in AD 66, immediately recognized “1kg hail and scorpions” as symbolic language of the very war machines that Jews were fighting each other against inside the city. How much simpler could it be? This was long before the Romans arrived with a full battalion of new replacement Ballista and Catapults to attack the Jews from outside the city wall. When Titus arrived, the Jews in Jerusalem were getting bombarded from both their fellow Jews from within and the Romans from the outside.

 

The Number 7, Dead Sea Scrolls and Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice

The central number in Revelation is 7 and endless pages have been written decoding its meaning in vain, without ever discovering the truth that it has no meaning at all. The use of the number 7 in Revelation was a way give John’s apocalypse a “Jewish familiar literary feel”. Every synagogue used a songbook called “The Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice” that used the number 7 to the point of obsession. It was a collection of 13 songs, sung acapella, because instrumental music was banned in synagogues), consecutively in a 13 week cycle. The outstanding feature of its use of the number 7 was as familiar to every first century Jew as “Jesus Loves Me” is to Christians today. As early as 90 BC, Dead Sea Scroll 11QMelchizedek is evidence that the Jews were long using the number 7 as an organizing numeric framework in their literature. So, when Revelation was structured around the number 7, it was clearly a native Jewish origin literature that the Jews in Jerusalem would be familiar with. This enhanced their acceptance of the message in Revelation to “leave it all behind” and flee Jerusalem or die.

 

Archeology and ancient literary sources

John also borrowed specific Jewish Messianic terminology widely used and understood by all Jews before the birth of Christ as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew coinage and ancient Jewish literary sources. Every feature of Revelation 20, including the dragon, 1000-year reign of the messiah, war with Gog and Magog and final judgment are drawn primarily from current Jewish Messianic eschatological theology witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls, not the Old Testament. Even the New Testament references the first century Jewish theology of the “Days of the Messiah” several times. As incredibly helpful as archeology can be in illuminating first century Jewish culture, it is highly fragmented and incomplete. Additionally, it is highly likely that some of the symbolism in Revelation is based upon local current events, lost to history the same way the burning down of Farmer Brown’s barn in a small town is known by all the locals, but no one outside the area ever hears about it. Also remember about 1 million first hand witnesses inside the city were killed by the Romans. With this in mind, the author has not attempted to ascribe meaning to all the minute details in Revelation.

 

Apostle John wrote Revelation on Patmos in AD 66 and his Gospel and 1,2,3 John at Ephesus after being released from Patmos in 98 AD. Today, all Christians still await the future second coming of Christ, wherein the dead will be raised into a spirit body, the living will be changed into a spirit body, the physical universe will be uncreated (Rev 20:11) and all will be judged before God who then creates a new heaven and earth (Rev 21). Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Take the “Bible Alone” test:

This commentary is called, “The 5-minute beginner’s guide to totally understanding Revelation.” But it only took you 3 minutes to read to this point and that is all you really need! Read Revelation right now with the above ideas in mind and the book becomes very simple. Imagine you are a Christian living in Jerusalem in AD 66. Instead of trying to assign specific meaning to all the colourful apocalyptic language, just view it as poetry that describes the destruction of Jerusalem. Most important, simply substitute “Jerusalem” in place of “Babylon”, “City”, “Egypt”, “Sodom”, “The Harlot”. So stop reading this commentary right now and go read Revelation for yourself! Afterwards, you will agree with me that Revelation is the easiest book in the Bible to understand!

PRESS THE EASY BUTTON
 

 

About the “Bible Only Revelation Commentary”

The author is a firm believer in the word for word inspiration and all sufficiency of the Bible. The author wrote this commentary in Feb 2018 in about two weeks. Three additional weeks were required for a few peripheral documents, graphics and custom web page programming so it was available to all free online. The author did not read any other commentaries on Revelation in preparation for this effort. Instead, using the bible alone, he came to the conclusion that the message of Revelation was clearly and unmistakably a warning for the Christians to flee Jerusalem before its destruction. In the Lord’s church, there are six major commenters used widely as resources: early date: Wallace 1966, Ogden 1998; late date: Hinds 1936, Mcguiggen 1976, Hailey 1979, Harkrider 1997. The author has these commentaries in his possession in print but has not read them. The author has looked with personal curiosity (and perplexity) how each interpret a handful of specific key passages. The author also owns 120+ additional Revelation commentaries in his Logos Software collection that span every point of view. Most of these, being futurist or premillennial are hopelessly self-confused within their own contradictory theological errors and of little value.

 

Most other Revelation commentaries quote other commentaries. The author has not quoted other commentaries for four reasons.

First, none of the other commentators share any commonality with the author’s unique and new approach of using Ezekiel to decode revelation, Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice as a template for the use of the number 7 and that Revelation 20 borrowed directly from “Days of the Messiah” Jewish “end times” eschatology. Or as the Jazz song says, “It never even entered their mind”. This is true even with the early-date commentators who correctly believe Revelation was written in AD 66 to trigger a great exodus of Christians from Jerusalem.

 

Second, late date commentators like Hailey make the fatal mistake of “spiritualizing the entire book away” by viewing Revelation as using symbolic language to convey symbolic events and meanings. In fact, Revelation uses symbolic language to convey real and specific historical events. Jehovah’s Witnesses make the same mistake in the Rich man and Lazarus by viewing the symbolic language of Luke 16:19 to represent symbolic ideas to deny the obvious Bible doctrine of conscious life after death. In fact, the story uses symbolic language to convey real historical events in the spirit world by employing recognizable physical objects like fire, fingers, water as an associative reference point. Spiritualizing both the symbols and their target meaning in the entire book of Revelation, therefore, denies the obvious core message to flee Jerusalem or die. Hailey’s spiritualizations also led him to fabricate the “emperor worship cult” where Christians supposedly died unless they confessed Caesar as God, without referencing a single ancient literary source. Harkrider picks up on then expands this fiction, again without a single ancient source. While emperors were historically deified after death, the Jews had from the time of the Maccabees been exempt from all participation of Greek or Roman paganism through a collection of formal treaties or “edicts of toleration”. Sure, “Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome” (Acts 18:1) but he didn’t kill them. The fallacy of the “confess Caesar or die” fiction, is that if the Romans always tolerated Jews formal denunciations of Caesar as God, they would not suddenly be offended by the new cult of the Nazarene either. Above all, until validated though ancient literary sources, the “Emperor Cult” as used by “Late Daters” for the core of their interpretation of Revelation, will remain a fiction. Finally, Hailey even spiritualizes the 70 weeks of Daniel 9, apparently unaware that the decree in Ezra 7 to rebuild Jerusalem counts exactly 490 solar years to the very day from 8th April 458 BC to 5th April AD 33. Instead, Hailey starts the 70 weeks at the decree of Cyrus which he misdates to 538 BC (correct 536 BC) and ends in AD 70, for a total of 607 years (actual 605 yrs).

 

Third, this commentary is based initially and fundamentally on the Bible alone. Once the author had established that Revelation was a warning for the Christians to flee Jerusalem, using the bible alone, he then added on top of this scriptural foundation a layer of complimentary evidences from Biblical archeology, coins, Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient literary sources.

 

Fourth, the few commentators who contain chronological information are usually wrong. The author has taken great care to correctly chronologically date Bible books, individual chapters in Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel as well as correctly mapping the location of Bible cities and events.

 

When you get the cartology right, and the chronology right, and the archeology right, your interpretation of the book of Revelation will be right. The Bible is the most historically accurate book on earth. What you read in the Book you find in the ground.

 

The author has preached full-time every Lord’s day for almost 40 years, a grandfather of two and is a staff archeologist with the ongoing excavation in Israel at Shiloh where the tabernacle tent of Moses stood for 305 years from 1399 - 1094 BC.

 

Blessings, Steven Rudd Feb 2018.

 

“All truth passes through three stages.

     First, it is ridiculed.

         Second, it is violently opposed.

             Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

(Arthur Schopenhauer, 1818 AD)

 

By Steve Rudd, February 2018: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

 

Introduction 1:

Ezekiel Decodes Revelation

 

A. Ezekiel Decodes Revelation: There is almost a perfect, chapter by chapter, topic by topic, thought by thought sequential correspondence between Ezekiel and Revelation.

 

Ezekiel Decodes Revelation

Chapter by Chapter topical/chronological correspondence between Revelation & Ezekiel

LINK

Topic

Ezekiel Decodes Revelation

Rev 1

Prophets Commissioned: Ezekiel and John

Ezekiel 2-3 on July 593 BC

Rev 2-3

Why was Revelation written to 7 Asia churches?

 

Rev 4-5

Scene of God’s Throne

Ezekiel 1 on July 593 BC

Rev 6:1-8

1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Seals: 4 horses of War

Ezekiel 4-5 on Aug 593 BC

Rev 6:9-11

5th  Seal: Martyrs beneath Altar

Ezekiel 6 on 592 BC

Rev 6:12-17

6th  Seal: Avenging Terror upon Jerusalem

Ezekiel 7-8 on 592 BC

Rev 7

Christians marked on forehead with Seal of God

Ezekiel 9 on Sept 592 BC

Rev 8:1-5

7th  Seal: Grace withdrawn, Destruction Decreed

Ezekiel 10:1-2 on Sept 592 BC

Rev 8:6-13

1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Trumpets against Jerusalem

Ezekiel 10-12 on Sept 592 BC

Rev 9:1-12

5th  Trumpet/1st  Woe: 5 month Civil War

Roman “Scorpion” (catapult) Roman “engines” are symbolized as Scorpions and Locust: Rev 9:7-10

1 Maccabees 6:48–52

Rev 9:13-21

6th  Trumpet/2nd  Woe: Armies of Titus arrive

Ezekiel 24 on 589 BC

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witnesses: Ezekiel & Jesus ben Ananus

Ezekiel 2 on July 593 BC

Ezekiel 40-48 on Oct 574 BC

Ezekiel 16 on Sept 592 BC

Ezekiel 23 on Aug 591 BC

Zech 4

Josephus

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witnesses: Jesus predicted literal signs

Mt 24; Lk 21

Rev 10-11:14

The 7 signs of Josephus

Josephus Wars 6:288-300

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witness: Ezekiel and Jesus son of Ananus

Josephus Wars 6:300-309

Rev 11:15-19

7th  Trumpet/3rd  Woe: Temple destroyed

Mosaic Judaism Extinct

Jeremiah 31:31

Colossians 2:14

Hebrews 8:6-7; 8:13; 10:9

Rev 11:1

Ezekiel Fulfilled: “Foursquare Temple Prophecy”

Ezekiel 40:47; 43:3

Wars 6.310-315

The prophecy was fulfilled on 19th July AD 70: Wars 6:164-165

Rev 12

War in Heaven

Numbers 24:17

Deuteronomy 33:11

Psalms 89:23

Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice

Rev 13:1

The Beast from the Sea: Nero/Rome

Daniel 7

Rev 13:11

The Beast from the Earth:

2 Horned Jewish Sheep in dragon’s clothing

Rev 14

144,000, Wine Cup of Wrath prepared

Ezekiel 14:19-22 on 592 BC

Jeremiah 25:15-18 on 587 BC

Rev 15

7 Bowls to avenge Christians in Heaven

Ezekiel 24 on 589 BC

Rev 16

7 Bowls of Wrath

Ezekiel 13 on Sept 592 BC

Ezekiel 23 on Aug 591 BC

Ezekiel 24 in 589 BC

Rev 16:17

7th Bowl: Rev 16:19 = 1st  January AD 70 = Begging of final siege

 Josephus

Rev 16:21

Roman engines were called Ballista.

 Josephus

Rev 17

Jerusalem the Great Harlot Rides on Rome

Ezekiel 16, 23 on Sept 592 BC

Rev 18

Jerusalem Temple destroyed

“Come out of her, my people”

Monday 6th August AD 70, Ezekiel 33:21 on 19th Jan. 586 BC

Rev 19

Celebration, Marriage, Scavenger’s Feast, Hell

Ezekiel 39 on Jan 586 BC

Rev 20

1000 year “Days of the Messiah”

Ezekiel 37-40 on Jan 586 BC

Ezek 38:2; 39:1,6

Rev 20

Messianic Expectation window: 49 BC – AD 33

Daniel 2 & 9

Rev 20

Messianic Expectation “Days of Messiah” theology

Dead Sea Scrolls 

Rev 20

Holy Spirit borrowed “Days of Messiah” terminology in Revelation

Dead Sea Scrolls

Rev 20:8

God and Magog “Days of Messiah” terminology in Jewish literary sources

Dead Sea Scrolls

Rev 20:7-9

Satan released after 1000 years, “Days of the Messiah” for final war 

Dead Sea Scrolls

Rev 20:11

“Days of Messiah”: The end, uncreation of matter

Dead Sea Scrolls 

Rev 20:11-15

“Days of Messiah”: The Great Judgement

Dead Sea Scrolls

Rev 21-22

Heaven, New Jerusalem

Ezekiel 40-48 on Oct 574 BC

Isa 65:17; 66:22

Rev 22:10-20

Concluding Remarks

 

Rev 22:20

Come Lord Jesus

 

Rev 22:20

Full-Preterism: “Left Behind”

Lord Jesus already came on 4th June AD 66

 

 

B. Synchronism: Israel Rebels against two Kingdoms of Daniel 2: Babylon and Rome

1.         Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the statue of 4 world kingdoms in Daniel 2 was interpreted by Daniel in 602 BC. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego all surrendered in obedience to what God commanded through Jeremiah in 605 BC, which is the first year of the Babylonian captivity.

a.       Babylon

b.      Persia

c.       Greece

d.      Rome

2.         Twice the Jews rebelled against their “God Ordained Overlords”: Nebuchadnezzar and Nero

3.         Jewish liberation of Jerusalem in 593 BC and AD 66 triggered the final destruction sequence that came to an end in 587 BC and AD 70.

4.         Ezekiel and John both start preaching “woe is Jerusalem” the same year the Jews think they are at peace and attained independence.

a.       Ezekiel chapter 1 begins in 593 BC, the same year Zedekiah rebels against God’s first anointed world ruler: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Dan 2:36-38).

b.      Revelation chapter 1 begins in AD 66, the same year the Jews rebelled against God’s 4th anointed world ruler: Nero (666) of Rome (Dan 2:40-32).

 

C. Synchronisms between two destructions of Jerusalem: 587 BC in Ezekiel & AD 70 in Revelation:

1.        Quick facts:

a.       Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BC and AD 70 on the same day of the year and day of the week: Monday 10 Av

b.      Both Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC and Titus in AD 70 were "princes" who became later became kings after capturing Jerusalem!

2.        In 593 BC, Ezekiel begins preaching the year Zedekiah rebels against Jerusalem, an act that triggered God’s withdrawal of blessings from Jerusalem and transferring them to Babylon. Zedekiah was the last hope for Israel, but now that he has rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, in spite of making specific oaths of submission in the name of YHWH to Nebuchadnezzar. God then withdraws his grace from Jerusalem and transfers it to Babylon. The curses of Babylon are also transferred to Jerusalem in advance of its destruction in 587 BC. Likewise, In AD 66, the rebellion of the Jews against Rome, God’s appointed government over Israel (Dan 2), triggers the final withdrawal of grace from the Herodian temple in advance of its destruction in AD 70.

3.        It is amazing that John and Ezekiel prophesied destruction upon Jerusalem while both were in exile and both were the exact same distance from Jerusalem: 1000 KM. Both John and Ezekiel were captives in a foreign land exactly 1000 km (5400 Stadia) from Jerusalem. (1 Sadia was 185 meters) 1000000 million meters/185= 5400 Stadia

4.        The five major commenters used in the Lord’s church today (early date: Wallace 1966, Ogden 1998; late date: Hinds 1936, Mcguiggen 1976, Hailey 1979, Harkrider 1997) were not only completely unaware of most of the above discussion regarding Jewish culture and eschatology, they were also oblivious to the primary synchronism between the two destructions of 587 BC & AD 70. They also failed to notice how the book of Revelation was a sequential rewrite, chapter by chapter, thought for thought, of the book of Ezekiel. To be sure, Wallace and Ogden were able to correctly understand that Revelation was written as a warning to the Christians to flee Jerusalem “using the Bible alone”. But with no archeological experience, they missed what was obvious to the first century Christians, that hailstones weighing 1 talent [34.2 kg] were the same exact weight of Ballista canon balls used by the Romans during the First Jewish War (Josephus Wars 3.166-167). The author has not only excavated throwing stones used in war, he is familiar with their size and weight. However, the author came to his conclusions using the Bible alone separate and apart from archeology or ancient Jewish sources. The Jews in Jerusalem were all familiar with the book of Ezekiel which presents a precise chronology, down to the day of the week, of the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC.

5.        The 7 “autograph copies” of Revelation arrived in Jerusalem in AD 66 around Passover time when the Judean Governor Gessius Florus first provoked the Jews to anger at Caesarea by desecrating their synagogue with an unclean sacrifice of birds and then stealing 17 talents of synagogue gold destined for the Jerusalem Temple collected from weekly freewill offerings on the Sabbath. Shortly after, Florus unsuccessfully tries to steal money in the Jerusalem Temple. Once they read Revelation,  and John’s message to “flee the city”, many immediately took flight. The official liberation of Jerusalem began on 26th August AD 66 and by 10 Nov. AD 66 Jerusalem was fully liberated and guarded by Jewish armies. Notice this key synchronism with the 587 BC destruction. In 593 BC Jerusalem was liberated from under Babylonian control and appeared safe when Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. Yet the message of Ezekiel and Jeremiah was to flee the city and surrender to the Babylonians and live in a foreign land. The unbelieving Jews in 593 BC rejected the warnings of Jeremiah and took false comfort in Zedekiah’s rebellion, their own Jewish armies and the false prophecies of Hananiah. This event replayed itself on 10th November AD 66, when the First Jewish War fully liberated the city, or so they thought, from under Roman control of “666” Nero (the 6th Caesar from Julius 3x). Indeed, they rejoiced that for the first time since 605 BC and for 47 short years under the Maccabees (110-63 BC) the Jews had once again liberated the city of Jerusalem in AD 66. The Christians became unsettled knowing the city was about to be destroyed. In both destructions of the Temple, God’s grace was withdrawn when the Jews rebelled against “God’s anointed” (Dan 2) Babylonian Kings and Roman Caesars. In both cases, the unbelievers walked by sight and took comfort in their human armies but the believers walked by faith abandoned the city in obedience to God’s specific command. In both cases it was when Jewish armies surrounded the city that the faithful the city was about to be destroyed and it was time to flee the city. When the Jerusalem Christians read Revelation, they would immediately connect Jerusalem with Babylon, “the great city” and the Harlot. Indeed, Apostle Peter served as one of the Elders of the Jerusalem church and in 1 Peter 5:13 called Jerusalem “Babylon”.

 

Introduction 2:

Jerusalem is the central focus of Revelation

Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, The Harlot, The Great City of many nations

 

When reading the book of Revelation replace BABYLON/GREAT CITY/HARLOT with JERUSALEM and it will suddenly make perfect sense.

 

A. Revelation calls Jerusalem Babylon, Egypt, Sodom, Harlot: Symbolic mystery names

1.           Symbolic, mystery names: Sodom, Egypt, Babylon and harlot are all mystery names for Jerusalem!

a.       "and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”" (Revelation 17:5)

b.       "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified." (Revelation 11:8)

2.           Christians understood this language to apply to Jerusalem:

a.       TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION: "Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. … “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” … When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom(see Jer 23:14-15) and Egypt Ezekiel 23:2–27, 591 BC), where also their Lord was crucified (Jerusalem)." (Revelation 11:1-8)

b.       "The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly." (Revelation 17:4–6)

c.       "After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her [Jesus, persecution of Christians that had Jerusalem as the command post].” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.”" (Revelation 19:1-3)

d.      While Rome killed Christians, the blood of the prophets is directly fulfilling what Jesus said: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”" (Matthew 23:37–24:2)

3.           The non-Christian Jews were the one’s who wrongly connected this with Rome, especially in light of first Jewish war that broke out in 66AD.

a.       Christians today, like non-Christian Rebel Jews, both thought the messiah was coming do physical battle with Rome, escape occupation and rule literally in Jerusalem for 1000 years.

b.      Christians today, like non-Christian Rebel Jews, view Babylon in Revelation to be Rome.

4.           Revelation was like a parable:

a.       When the non-Christian Jews living in Jerusalem read Revelation, its true meaning was hidden like a parable of Jesus.

b.      So the Christians correctly understood Babylon/Egypt/Sodom/Harlot was Jerusalem.

c.       The non-Christian Jews would NEVER connect Babylon/Egypt/Sodom/Harlot with Jerusalem and assume it Rome, just like many Christians today.

 

B. The Jerusalem was the “Great City” Rev 11:8

1.       Yes, Rome was also a Great city, but never in Revelation!

2.       Jerusalem is called “The great city” 8 times: Revelation 16:19; 17:18; 18:10; 18:16; 18:18; 18:19; 18:21

a.          "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." (Revelation 16:19)

b.         "“The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”" (Revelation 17:18)

c.          "standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’" (Revelation 18:10)

d.         "saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls;" (Revelation 18:16)

e.          "and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’" (Revelation 18:18)

f.           "“And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’" (Revelation 18:19)

g.          "Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer." (Revelation 18:21)

3.       "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified." (Revelation 11:8)

4.      Jeremiah calls Jerusalem “the great city” before it was destroyed in 587 BC: Jer 22:8

a.          "“Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this great city?’" (Jeremiah 22:8)

5.       Ancient literary sources that call Jerusalem the GREAT CITY:

a.          Josephus: AD 70: Calls Jerusalem a Great city, even GREATER than Rome:

                                                               i.      “it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. (12) Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews [AD 70], are not so considerable as they [Jews in AD 70] were.” (Josephus Wars 1.11-12)

                                                             ii.      Josephus calls Jerusalem a GREAT CITY in AD 70 after it was destroyed: “And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the Jewish nation, which was fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? (376) Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It is now demolished to the very foundations.” (Josephus Wars 7.375-376)

b.         Tacitus: 100 AD: called Jerusalem "a famous city" (Histories 5:2,4,9-13)

                                                               i.      “As I am now to record the death-agony of a famous city, it seems appropriate to inform the reader of its origins. … Others again find a famous ancestry for the Jews in the Solymi who are mentioned with respect in the epics of Homer: this tribe is supposed to have founded Jerusalem (4) and named it after themselves. … Much of Judea is thickly studded with villages, and the Jews have towns as well. Their capital is Jerusalem. Here stood their Temple with its boundless riches. Outer defences covered the city; then came the royal palace; and the Temple was enclosed by an inner bulwark. The Jew, and the Jew alone, was allowed to approach the gate of the Temple, and all but priests were denied access within its threshold. 8. Much of Judea is thickly studded with villages, and the Jews have towns as well. Their capital is Jerusalem. Here stood their Temple with its boundless riches. Outer defences covered the city; then came the royal palace; and the Temple was enclosed by an inner bulwark. The Jew, and the Jew alone, was allowed to approach the gate of the Temple, and all but priests were denied access within its threshold.  While the Assyrian, Median and Persian Empires dominated the East, the Jews were slaves regarded as the lowest of the low. In the Hellenistic period, King Antiochus (10) made an effort to get rid of their primitive cult and hellenize them, but his would-be reform of this degraded nation was foiled by the outbreak of war with Parthia, for this was the moment of Arsaces' insurrection. (11) Then, since the Hellenistic rulers were weak and the Parthians had not yet developed into a great power (Rome, too, was still far away), the Jews established a dynasty of their own. These kings were expelled by the fickle mob, but regained control by force, setting up a reign of terror which embraced, among other typical acts of despotism, the banishment of fellow-citizens, the destruction of cities, and the murder of brothers, wives and parents. The kings encouraged the superstitious Jewish religion, for they assumed the office of High Priest in order to buttress their regime.  9. Roman control of Judaea was first established by Gnaeus Pompey. As victor (12) he claimed the right to enter the Temple, and this incident gave rise to the common impression that it contained no representation of the deity—the sanctuary was empty and the Holy of Holies untenanted. Though the walls of Jerusalem were dismantled, the shrine remained intact. During the civil war which then afflicted the Roman world, the eastern provinces passed under the control of Mark Antony and Judaea was conquered by the Parthian king Pacorus. But the invader was killed by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians driven back across the Euphrates, while Gaius Sosius brought the Jews to heel. (13) Antony gave the kingdom to Herod, and it was enlarged by the now victorious Augustus. At Herod's death, without waiting for the imperial decision, a certain Simon usurped the title of king. He was dealt with by the governor of Syria, Quintilius Varus, (14) while the Jews were disciplined and divided up into three kingdoms ruled by Herod's sons. (15) In Tiberius' reign all was quiet. Then, rather than put up a statue of Gaius Caesar in the Temple as they had been ordered, the Jews flew to arms, though the rebellion came to nothing owing to the assassination of the emperor. (16) As for Claudius, he took advantage of the death or declining fortunes of the Jewish kings to commit the government of the province to Roman knights or freedmen. One of these, Antonius Felix, played the tyrant with the spirit of a slave, plunging into all manner of cruelty and lust, and marrying Drusilla, grand-daughter of Cleopatra and Antony. This meant that while Claudius was Antony's grandson, Felix was his grandson by marriage.  10. However, the Jews patiently endured their fate until Gessius Florus became governor. (17) During his term of office war broke out. An attempt by Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, to repress the movement led to indecisive battles and more often to defeats. When Gallus died a natural death—or else committed suicide in mortification—Nero sent out Vespasian. Good luck, a distinguished record and excellent subordinates enabled him within the space of two summers (18) to plant his victorious flag throughout the whole of the flat country and in all the cities except Jerusalem. The next year was preoccupied by the civil war and passed without activity so far as the Jews were concerned, but when peace reigned in Italy foreign affairs once more claimed attention. Rising anger was felt at the fact that by this time only the Jews had failed to submit. It also seemed advisable that Titus should remain at the head of the armies to cope with all the eventualities or mishaps which might confront a new dynasty.  11. So after encamping, as I have said, before the walls of Jerusalem, he paraded his legions in formation before the eyes of the enemy. The Jews, marshalled close under their walls, were in a position to venture further out if they were successful and had a place of refuge ready at hand in case of defeat. Titus sent against them cavalry and some cohorts in battle order, but the encounter was indecisive. Then the enemy gave ground, and for some days thereafter fought a succession of engagements just in front of the gates. Finally, repeated losses drove them behind the walls. The Romans then concentrated on an assault. After all, it seemed beneath them to wait for hunger to do its work on the enemy, and the troops actually asked to be allowed to risk their lives. Some did so because they had real courage, many from mere bravado and a desire for rewards. As for Titus, his imagination dwelt on Rome, wealth and pleasure: it would be long before these dreams were realized if Jerusalem were destined not to fall in the immediate future.  But the city occupied a commanding position, and it had been reinforced by engineering works so massive that they might have rendered even a flat site impregnable. Two lofty hills were enclosed by walls skilfully staggered and forming re-entrant angles designed to expose the flank of an attacker. At the edge of the crags was a sharp drop, and a series of towers dominated the scene, 105 feet high where the rising ground helped, and 135 or 120 feet high on the lower contours. (19) These presented an impressive appearance, and to the distant observer seemed to be on a level. There were further walls inside around the palace, and a conspicuous landmark was the lofty castle of Antonia, so named by Herod in honour of Mark Antony.  12. The Temple was like a citadel and had its own walls, which had been even more laboriously and skilfully constructed than the rest. The porticoes around it constituted in themselves an excellent defensive position. To these advantages must be added a spring of never-failing water, chambers cut in the living rock, and tanks and cisterns for the storage of rainwater. Its builders had foreseen only too well that the strange practices of the Jews would lead to continual fighting. Hence everything was available for a siege, however long. Moreover, after Pompey's capture of Jerusalem, fear and experience taught them many lessons. So taking advantage of the money-grubbing instincts of the Claudian period, they purchased permission to fortify the city, and in the days of peace built walls meant for war. Already the home of a motley concourse, its population had been swollen by the fall of the other Jewish cities, for the most determined partisan leaders escaped to the capital, and thereby added to the turmoil. There were three different leaders and three armies. The long outer perimeter of the walls was held by Simon, the central part of the city by John, and the Temple by Eleazar. John and Simon could rely on numbers and equipment, Eleazar on his strategic position. But it was upon each other that they turned the weapons of battle, ambush and fire, and great stocks of corn went up in flames. Then John sent off a party of men, ostensibly to offer sacrifice but in reality to cut Eleazar and his followers to pieces, thus gaining possession of the Temple. Hence-forward, therefore, Jerusalem was divided between two factions, until, on the approach of the Romans, fighting the foreigner healed the breach between them.  13. Supernatural omens had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this mighty destiny was reserved for them, and not even their calamities opened their eyes to the truth.  We are told that the number of the besieged, old and young, men and women, amounted to 600,000. All who could bear arms did so, and more than their numbers warranted had the courage necessary. They displayed an inflexible determination, women no less than men, and the thought that they might be compelled to leave their home made them more afraid of living than of dying.  This, then, was the city and nation which Titus faced. Since a headlong assault and the element of surprise were ruled out by the lie of the ground, he proposed to employ earthworks and mantlets. Each legion had its allotted task, and there was a lull in the fighting while they pushed on with the construction of every conceivable device for storming Cities, whether invented long ago or due to the ingenuity of modern times. (Tacitus, Histories 5:2,4,9-13, 100 AD)

c.          Pliny: AD 100: "by far the most famous city, not of Judæa only, but of the East"

                                                               i.      Beyond Idumæa and Samaria, Judæa extends far and wide. That part of it which joins up to Syria is called Galilæa, while that which is nearest to Arabia and Egypt bears the name of Peræa. This last is thickly covered with rugged mountains, and is separated from the rest of Judæa by the river Jordanes. The remaining part of Judæa is divided into ten Toparchies, which we will mention in the following order:—That of Hiericus, covered with groves of palm-trees, and watered by numerous springs, and those of Emmaüs, Lydda, Joppe, Acrabatena, Gophna, Thamna, Bethleptephene, Orina, in which formerly stood Hierosolyma [=Jerusalem = “Sacred Solyma.”], by far the most famous city, not of Judæa only, but of the East, and Herodium, with a celebrated town of the same name. (Pliny, Natural History 5:15)

d.         Appian of Alexandria: 150 AD: Jerusalem was the greatest and most holiest city to the Jews:

                                                               i.      “In this way the Romans, without fighting, came into possession of Cilicia and both inland Syria and Cœle-Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, and all the other countries bearing the Syrian name from the Euphrates to Egypt and the sea. The Jewish nation still resisted, and Pompey conquered them, sent their king, Aristobulus, to Rome, and destroyed their greatest, and to them holiest, city, Jerusalem, as Ptolemy, the first king of Egypt, had formerly done. It was afterward rebuilt and Vespasian destroyed it again, and Hadrian did the same in our time. On account of these rebellions the tribute imposed upon all Jews is heavier per capita than upon the generality of taxpayers. The annual tax on the  Syrians and Cilicians is one per cent. of the valuation of 537 the property of each.” (The Syrian Wars 50)

6.      Jerusalem is much greater than Rome historically speaking:

a.        Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, was founded shortly after the flood.

b.        Jerusalem was governed by Melchizedek at the time of Abraham when Isaac was born in 2066 BC

c.        Rome was founded 21st April 753 BC

d.        The glory of Jerusalem at the time of Solomon exceeded that of Rome in AD 70.

7.       Jerusalem was the center of civilization:

a.          "Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her." (Ezekiel 5:5)

b.         One of the reasons why Constantine moved the capital of the Empire from Rome to “New Rome” i.e. Constantinople (Byzantium) is because it was much closer to the center of commerce than Rome.

8.       The Jewish Christians would understand it was Jerusalem because of "crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying,

a.          “‘What city is like the great city?’ “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ “Rejoice over her [destruction of Jerusalem], O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city [Jerusalem], be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. … because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery [idolatry in 587 BC, Rejecting Christianity as false, when it was true. “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth. [crucifying Jesus and persecuting the church].”" (Revelation 18:18–24)

 

C. The Jerusalem was the city of “Many Nations” Rev 11:9

1.       Jerusalem was known as a uniquely international city:

a.        Jews from all over the world during Passover were still inside when the siege began.

2.       The Hebrews had a long history of marring foreign nations making the Hebrew population “international”

a.        Moses married a Cushite/Midianite in 1485 BC

b.       Salmon married a Canaanite in 1390 BC

c.        Boaz married a Moabite in 1284 BC

d.       Jesse (David’s father) married an Ammonite

e.        David married Jews only

f.         Solomon married anybody but a Jew (almost)

3.       The Great city had people from every nation in it:

a.        "Those [in Jerusalem] from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb." (Revelation 11:9)

b.       "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." (Revelation 16:19)

4.       Josephus says during the destruction

a.        Now this vast multitude is indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in a prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. (429) Accordingly the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world.” (Josephus Wars 6.428-429)

5.       Luke records every nation under earth attended the Passover in Jerusalem:

a.        "Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”" (Acts 2:5–11)

 

D. The Jerusalem was Babylon: Rev 11:9

1.       Apostle Peter calls Jerusalem, Babylon:

a.       Peter, Bishop/Elder/Shepherd of the church in Jerusalem, writing from Jerusalem called Jerusalem, BABYLON! Unless you are Roman Catholic this is an easy point to see: "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you [Just as Peter was shepherding the Jerusalem flock among himself], exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. … She [the church] who is in Babylon [Jerusalem], chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark." (1 Peter 5:1-4,13)

2.       Ezekiel calls Jerusalem a harlot “Like Babylon”

a.       "“The Babylonians came to her to the bed of love and defiled her with their harlotry. And when she had been defiled by them, she became disgusted with them. “She uncovered her harlotries and uncovered her nakedness; then I became disgusted with her, as I had become disgusted with her sister. “Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt." (Ezekiel 23:17–19, 591 BC)

 

E. The Jerusalem was Sodom: Rev 11:9

1.       Jerusalem is also called “Harlot Sodom”

2.       In 730 BC, Isaiah calls Jerusalem both Sodom and a Harlot (Isa 1:10,21).

a.       "Hear the word of the Lord, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah." (Isaiah 1:10)

b.      "How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers." (Isaiah 1:21)

3.       Jesus said any city that rejects the Gospel will be as guilty as Sodom. (Mt 10:15)

4.       Ezekiel calls Jerusalem “Harlot Sodom” in 591 BC

a.       "Your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister [Judah], who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters." (Ezekiel 16:46, 591 BC)

b.       Two different chapters in Ezekiel (16 & 32) record the allegory of two sisters but in chapter 16 Jerusalem is “Sodom sister” and in chapter 23 Jerusalem is “Egypt sister”.

5.       Jeremiah calls Jerusalem “Harlot Sodom” in 587 BC

a.       "But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing: they commit adultery [Harlot] and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: “I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”" (Jeremiah 23:14–15, 587 BC)

6.       In Jeremiah 23:14-15, notice Harlot Sodom and wormwood are used in the same passage, and wormwood is the 3rd trumpet: Rev 8:10-11

a.       "The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter." (Revelation 8:10–11)

7.       Josephus calls Jerusalem “Sodom” in AD 69 while it was being destroyed:

a.       I (Josephus of Jerusalem in AD 69) cannot but speak my mind, and what the concern I am under dictates to me, and it is this: I suppose, that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.” (Josephus Wars 5:562-566)

 

F. The Jerusalem was Egypt: Rev 11:9

1.           Jerusalem is also called “Harlot Egypt”

2.           Two different chapters in Ezekiel (16 & 32) record the allegory of two sisters but in chapter 16 Jerusalem is “Sodom sister” and in chapter 23 Jerusalem is “Egypt sister”.

3.           Ezekiel 23:2–27, 591 BC is an entire section assigning Babylon, Assyria and Egypt upon Jerusalem:

a.       "‘Thus I will make your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt to cease from you, so that you will not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.’" (Ezekiel 23:27, 591 BC)

b.       "“The Babylonians came to her to the bed of love and defiled her with their harlotry. And when she had been defiled by them, she became disgusted with them. “She uncovered her harlotries and uncovered her nakedness; then I became disgusted with her, as I had become disgusted with her sister. “Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt." (Ezekiel 23:17–19, 591 BC)

4.           In 587 BC Jeremiah demonstrates that the former Jerusalemites literally renounced their Jewish citizenship and became Egyptians in Egypt.

a.       The residents of Jerusalem who returned after hiding from Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC returned to Jerusalem, them moved “en mass” to Egypt as a single group. Notice all of them worshipped idols.

b.      The former Jerusalemites first call Jeremiah a liar when he warns them not to go to Egypt:

                                                               i.      "For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “As My anger and wrath have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so My wrath will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. And you will become a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation and a reproach; and you will see this place no more.” The Lord has spoken to you, O remnant of Judah, “Do not go into Egypt!” You should clearly understand that today I have testified against you. For you have only deceived yourselves; for it is you who sent me to the Lord your God, saying, “Pray for us to the Lord our God; and whatever the Lord our God says, tell us so, and we will do it.” So I have told you today, but you have not obeyed the Lord your God, even in whatever He has sent me to tell you. Therefore you should now clearly understand that you will die by the sword, by famine and by pestilence, in the place where you wish to go to reside. But as soon as Jeremiah, whom the Lord their God had sent, had finished telling all the people all the words of the Lord their God—that is, all these words— Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You are not to enter Egypt to reside there’;" (Jeremiah 42:18–43:2)

c.       The former Jerusalemites renounce their Jewish citizenship to become Egyptians:

                                                               i.      "Then Jeremiah said to all the people [former Jerusalemites who moved to Egypt], including all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, as follows: ‘As for you and your wives, you have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, “We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” Go ahead and confirm your vows, and certainly perform your vows!’ “Nevertheless hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the Lord, ‘never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Lord God lives.” ‘Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone. ‘Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number. Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs. ‘This will be the sign to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.’" (Jeremiah 44:24–29)

 

G. The Jerusalem was Great Harlot: Rev 17:4-6

1.           Jerusalem is also called “Harlot” as a “mystery name”

2.           "The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly." (Revelation 17:4–6)

3.           The woman was the same as Babylon = The great City.

4.           Sodom, Egypt, Babylon and harlot are all mystery names!

 

H. Question for those who say the Great City/Harlot/Babylon was Rome:

QUESTION: Supply the date when Rome is destroyed like Revelation says? [cricket sounds]

1.            Revelation “AD 96 late daters” are unable to point-point a date for the destruction of either Rome or the Roman empire in history that even remotely fits the description in Revelation.

2.            Those who dare to put forth a date select 476 AD for the end of the Roman Empire. There are two problems with this:

a.         The capital city of the Roman Empire moved from Rome to Constantinople in 324 AD, which means even if the city of Rome was destroyed (which it never was) it had no effect upon the Roman Empire itself. The Roman Empire continued well past the 9th century AD.

b.        The western provinces of the Roman Empire, including the city of Rome ceased to part of the Roman Empire in 476 AD not because of a major war or destruction, but from a slow gradual bleeding of power and influence. Over a gradual period of time starting in 325 AD, “the vigour of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians” in 476 AD. (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, Vol IV, p161, 1902 AD). So, Rome was not destroyed like Revelation describes, it simply had a flag changing of governments, from Roman to Barbarian on 476 AD. Rome was not destroyed in 476 AD it was overrun and occupied by the Barbarians.

3.            For the AD 96 “late daters”, the elephant in the room (or in this case the mythical non-existent unicorn in the room) is that the Roman Empire (and city of Rome) never suffered an historically notable destruction.

a.         Where is the absolute total destruction of Rome in history?

b.        This fact alone guts any notion that Revelation is talking about the destruction of Rome.

c.         Sure, Rome ceased to be the capital of the Roman empire when Constantinople was founded in 324 AD officially became the new capital of the Roman empire in 328 AD.

4.            Most late date authors try to tie in Constantine’s conversion to the end of Rome. While it may be argued that the conversion of Constantine in 312 AD marks the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44 “God’s kingdom, the church, will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever." (Daniel 2:44), this event simply cannot be what Revelation is talking about. The conversion of Constantine and the adoption of Christianity and further establishing the Roman empire is EXACTLY OPPOSITE to what Revelation says happens to Rome and the Roman Empire. Late daters simply have not through this through carefully. If they had, their treatment of the destruction of Rome would not always be one of vague generalities and inferential allusions. The destruction of Jerusalem, on the other hand is one of the best documented events in world history. So exactly when was Rome destroyed? [crickets]

a.         The Aramaic Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor document that the Roman Empire even survived the Islamic invasion of the 7th century and continued well past 820 AD.

b.        Constantinople (Byzantium) was an easily defensible peninsula protected by water on three sides and only one small land invasion danger from the west. Constantinople was very, very hard to invade. It was on an economic crossroads.

c.         The Byzantines WERE the Roman empire referring to themselves on coinage as “Imperium Romanum”.

5.            Jerusalem is a perfect fit as the city destroyed in Revelation.

 

 

Introduction 3:

Coins, Dead Sea Scrolls & Song of Sabbath Sacrifice

 

 

A. Bible coins, the Widow’s Mite and Revelation: Rev 22:6

1.      In the author’s book on Bible Coins, he identified the common widow’s mite as a “Messianic Star” coin echoing the prophecy of Balaam in Num 24:17.

2.      In Revelation we have: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev 22:16)

3.      What is amazing is that Jesus’ took two widely used and very common first century messianic terms and combined them into one statement. Even more amazing is that each statement is found used in Dead Sea Scrolls written before the birth of Christ.

4.      The “messianic star” is witnessed in many coins and Dead Sea Scroll 4Q175-4QTestimonia.

 

B. Dead Sea Scrolls and Revelation 20: Messianic expectation

1.      Revelation 20 draws directly from Jewish Messianic eschatological theology and is recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls

a.       In the author’s book on the Septuagint, he documented that in AD 66, Hebrew was extinct throughout the world as a working language - except in Jerusalem.

b.      As soon at the Christians in Jerusalem read the book of Revelation, with its many “Hebrew language” symbols (666, Abaddon, Har-Magedon etc.), they instantly connected it directly with Ezekiel and were stuck with Déjà Vu.

c.       The Greek speaking Jews in Asia used the Greek Septuagint as their standard “synagogue pulpit Bible” and would be unable to easily decode the Hebrew symbolism without help.

d.      But to the Jews in Jerusalem, the symbolism was automatically and instinctively understood by all. Couple this with their knowledge and use of the Jewish messianic expectation terminology of the day as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish messianic coins in their pockets.

a.       The “root of David” is witnessed in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q174-4QFlorilegium.

5.      Although some of the Jewish concepts of the coming Messiah were in error, the Holy Spirit borrowed the identical terminology and then applied it correctly. Most preachers today are unaware of the fact that first century Jewish eschatological belief was that the world would exist for 7000 years and that the messiah must come and reign for the last 1000 years, known as the “days of the Messiah”. Additionally, the messiah had to come within the window of 4292 – 6000 years after creation. Since the Septuagint dates creation at around 5554 BC, that means the messiah must come before 446 AD. Every Jew before 100 AD, including Josephus in AD 70 (5467 BC) and Philo in AD 30 (c. 5500 BC) followed the autograph Septuagint Chronology. The author’s research proves that someone after 100 AD changed the longer Septuagint numbers used by the first century Jews to the shorter Masoretic numbers in our Bibles today. This means that Jesus birth 5554 after creation, fully qualified him within the window of expectation (4292 – 6000 AC). Daniel’s two time prophecies in Daniel 2 (days of Rome) and the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 (458 BC - AD 33) narrowed the window of expectation to between 49 BC and AD 33. In 10 AD the Testament of Moses predicted the Messiah would come before the death of Herod the Great’s three sons who were Governors of Judea: Archelaus (1BC-6AD), Antipas (1BC-AD 39) and Philip II (1 BC- 34 AD). (Testament of Moses 6:7-7:1, 10 AD). The heightened Jewish Expectation of the Messiah existed at the time of John the Baptist, “The people were in a state of expectation” (Lk 3:15). The primeval chronology of Gen 5 & 11 were deliberately corrupted by the Jews in 160 AD at Zippori by shortening the age of the earth from 5554 BC down to 4174 BC for the explicit purpose of pushing Jesus of Nazareth outside the opening window of expectation of 4292 BC. This revision was embodied at Zippori, first in the Seder Olam Rabbah then by modifying the numbers in their Hebrew text. The net effect was that Jews began to teach that Jesus could not be the messiah, because he came 118 years too early (4292 - 4174 = 118). This revised chronology found in the Seder Olam Rabbah is the cornerstone of Jewish Chronology to the present day with 2018 AD = 5778 after creation. With 222 to go till their future messiah must come, this gives Jews today comfort… until we pass year 6000 in 2240 AD and they, like all other date setters either ignore it or come up with a new revised prediction. These same corrupted numbers are found in virtually all modern Christian Bibles today since the Old Testament (Tanakh) follows this same Masoretic text which calculates creation at 4174 BC. Fast forward to 1800 AD and you have 6000 years of earth history approaching plus or minus 150 years because of chronological errors by Christians. This spawned a collection of new cult churches that predicted the world would end (Christadelphians, John Darby, Millerites, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s witnesses) whose dates all failed and all of whom expected Jesus to rule on earth for a literal 1000 years. The most recent was the Jehovah’s Witnesses who predicted the end of the world in year 6000 After Creation in AD 1975. All this date setting, pretribulation rapture invented by John Darby in 18AD 30 and premillennialism theology, were derived from first century Jewish “days of the Messiah” eschatology based on the corrupt chronological numbers in the Masoretic text. The author was first (as far as he knows) to identify that the Jews at Zippori in 160 AD even corrupted the Masoretic text of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 in order to disconnect Jesus of Nazareth from the prophecy. The Masoretic text has the messiah cut off in the middle of the last week, which has thrown all Christians into confusion. The Septuagint (Codex Sinaiticus) says nothing about the messiah being cut off but has the messiah “finishing his work” at the end of the last week. Most Preachers are unaware that the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 1 Nisan 458 BC (Ezra 7:7-26) to 5th April AD 33 is exactly 490 years TO THE SOLAR DAY. Not understanding first century Jewish eschatology and culture is a serious impediment to correctly interpreting Revelation written with first century cultural imagery. Remember, the Jerusalem Jews understood it all instantly, we must go outside the Bible to learn it.

6.      Once you learn the “Day of the Messiah” theology of the first century Jews, it starts popping out at you in the New Testament. Apostle Peter directly referenced the current Jewish thought of the “days of the Messiah” in Acts 3:19-20 in his second sermon at the temple, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Messiah appointed for you". The Jews to whom Peter was preaching immediately recognized the terminology while preachers today entirely miss it, the same way they also miss it in in Revelation 20.

 

C. 1st century synagogue songbook: “Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice”

1.        The author is first to identify (to his knowledge) that the book of Revelation (ie. the Holy Spirit) intentionally borrowed its “poetic symbolism and content” from a synagogue songbook, called The Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice.

2.        Also known as “The Angelic Liturgy”, it is a collection of 13 songs, sung responsively, every Sabbath for 13 weeks.

3.        There are striking similarities with Revelation including the extensive use of the number 7, seven-word descriptors (Rev 5:12 = DSS 4Q403 Frag. 1 i:4), war in heaven, myriads of angels singing in heaven, a climactic detailed throne scene complete with thunder and lightning, detailed description of a beautiful, multi-coloured heavenly temple, judgement followed by silence in heaven, Rev 8:1 = DSS 4Q400 Frag. 1 ii:1-21).

4.        The Angelic Liturgy (like Revelation) draws heavily upon Ezekiel including the “wheeled cherubim beings” which revelation references as “having eyes all around”.  (Rev 4:6 = SSS songs 7, 11, 12 = Ezek ch 1 &10).

5.        Now the point is that every Jew before the time of Christ, knew this song well from a child like “Amazing Grace” today. When the Jews in Jerusalem read revelation, it would immediately be associated with the “Angelic Liturgy” giving Revelation a familiar “Jewish feel”.

6.        The “Angelic Liturgy” was sung acapella in responsive style in all of the 480 Jerusalem synagogues at the time of Christ but never the Jewish Temple. Synagogues, which never used instruments, were controlled by Pharisees who believed in angels. The Jerusalem temple, which use instruments, was controlled by Sadducees who didn’t believe in angels (Acts 23:8) and would never tolerate 13 weeks of songs about singing angels. Instrumental music was banned in Synagogues before Christ and since the synagogue was an exact prototype of the church in form, function and worship including also Byzantine church building architecture, that explains why the first century church (which was an exact replica of the synagogue) sang in responsive acapella style without musical instruments. Suddenly the liturgy of the first century church (borrowed directly from synagogue worship) becomes clear when Paul says, “When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching” (1 Cor 14:26). Each Lord’s day a member would prepare a new different sermon and another would prepare a new different song and lead the congregational choir who would echo his words back to him responsively. The new songs would be based upon a small number of known tunes but the words changed every song. Echo singing, was how the first century song leaders could lead a congregation to a song with new words they had never heard before just like a sermon. Although the Jewish synagogues before the birth of the church used responsive singing, the “Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice” was different because it was a fixed 13-week format. Dead Sea Scroll 11Q5 proves that Psalm 145 was sung responsively. If churches want to be more like the church you can read about in the Bible, perhaps they should sing more songs responsively. The author has led singing for 40 years and the songbook used in weekly church services only contained 5 out of 750 responsive style songs. (Click here to find a local church in your home town that does not use instrumental music.) Familiarity the Angelic Liturgy is what gave the book of Revelation that unique Jewish feel so that it was instantly accepted as a direct message from the God of Abraham to the Jerusalem Jews they must flee the city or die.

7.        Revelation, Ezekiel, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice:

a.          The imagery of Revelation is drawn from Ezekiel but the style is drawn from the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, which was current Jewish thought as witnessed in other Dead Sea Scrolls.

b.         The high frequency of the use of the number “7” in Ezekiel, Revelation and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice
17 “sevens” in Ezekiel
55 “sevens” in revelation
123 “sevens” in Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice
Only 3 “sevens” in Jeremiah
Only 3 “sevens” in Isaiah.

8.        Dead Sea Scroll, 11Q13, 11QMelch, 11QMelchizedek (90 BC) contains many poetic sevens, just like revelation:

c.          7 cubit long spear (11Q13, col 5, line 7)

d.         7 battle lines (11Q13, col 5, line 16)

e.          7 javelin throws to attack enemy line, then return to fallback position (11Q13, col 6, line 1)

f.           7 javelins of war (11Q13, col 6, line 2)

g.          7 Cavalry formations of 700 horses (11Q13, col 6, line 8-9)

h.         7 priests of Aaron (11Q13, col 7, line 9)

i.            7 Levites with 7 rams horns (11Q13, col 7, line 14)

9.        It is no coincidence that the church began exactly “7” weeks after Christ was crucified: Passover to Pentecost is 49 days.

 

 

Introduction 4:

Moses’ Sunset Clause & the extinction of Judaism

 

Moses’ Sunset Clause and extinction of Mosaic Judaism in AD 70: Deut 18:18

The Cross of Jesus where the Son of God shed his blood accomplished much:

1.       The Sunset clause of Moses: Deut 18:15

a.       "“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. “This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ “The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:15–19)

b.      This was repeated at the Transfiguration were Moses, Elijah and Jesus ALONE shone: "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”" (Matthew 17:2–5)

2.       Abolished Mosaic Judaism:

a.       We know that the Law of Moses, including all ten commandments were nailed to the cross on the 3rd April AD 33.

b.      "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (Colossians 2:14–17)

3.       Abolished the first covenant with Moses just like Jeremiah said:

a.       "“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," (Jeremiah 31:31)

b.      "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second." (Hebrews 8:6–7)

c.       "When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail." (Hebrews 8:13–9:5)

d.      Notice the ten commandments WERE the first covenant, now abolished by Christ.

4.       Destroyed the power of the Devil over sin:

a.       "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Hebrews 2:14)

b.      "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser [Satan] of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Revelation 12:10–11)

5.       Abolished the physical temple and replaced it with the church:

a.       "The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken." (John 2:18–22)

b.       "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split." (Matthew 27:51)

c.       "The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience," (Hebrews 9:8–9)

d.      This was a theological transference in AD 33 because the physical temple, whose grace God vacated at the cross, continued till AD 70.

6.       Christians are Jews, Israel, Physical Israel equal to a gentile:

a.       "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." (Romans 2:28–29)

7.       When the Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 it made extinct Mosaic Judaism forever.

a.       It is impossible for Jews to ever re-establish Temple worship because all the tribal records including genealogies, have been lost. There is not a Jew alive today, who knows which tribe he is part of. Those Jews today who claim to be of a specific tribe, generally claim to be priestly, but still cannot prove it except by their last name (“ie Cohen) or less than 200 year history. The rest, when pressed how they know, will tell you “God told me”. And remember there were three Priestly divisions, each of which has specific partitioned jobs at the temple.

b.      Animal sacrifices are forever extinct being impossible.

c.       Synagogue worship practice by today’s Jews is as non-biblical as Islam. (Remember, Islam is a religion founded on 1/3 Judaism, 1/3rd Christianity and 1/3rd Arab Paganism.) Synagogue worship is not found in the Tanakh (Old Testament).

d.      Additionally, Rabbinic Judaism had invented so many additional NON-BIBLICAL rules today (never eating milk with any meat even if they are two species of donor animals, Sabbath mode elevators and appliances) that there is almost no resemblance to Mosaic Judaism.

e.      Mosaic Judaism was a theocratic system identical to an Islamic Caliphate (Muslim’s borrowed the idea directly from Jews) where the country was run by Priests who lived in 70 Levitical cities with 6 court houses located in cities of Refuge.

f.        It will take a special miraculous divine act of God to restore physical Temple worship.

g.       God will never restore physical temple worship because the blood of Christ was offered as the perfect Passover lamb who atoned, once for all, the sins of every human who lives… if they believe in Jesus repent of their sins, confess the name of Christ and be immersed in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins.

h.      "But in those [temple animal] sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Hebrews 10:3–4)

i.         "then Jesus said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He [Jesus] takes away the first [covenant: Mosaic Judaism] in order to establish the second [covenant: Christianity-law of Christ]. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet." (Hebrews 10:9–13)

j.        In AD 70, the non-Christian Jews who crucified Jesus were the enemies of YHWH and were destroyed.

8.       Messianic Jews who try to practice both religions need to heed this warning from Paul:

a.       "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:3-4)

9.       The Synagogue was God’s providential bridge between Temple worship and the church. Jews who deny Christ and continue to worship in synagogues have missed the boat… the Boat of Salvation: The church.

10.   The cross abolished all special status of humans based upon race, sex, nationality or bloodline.

a.       Without Christ, Jews today are in the same spiritual condition as Muslims or unbelievers.

b.      This is was the message of both Moses and the Messiah

c.       "let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”" (Acts 4:10–12)

d.      "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)

e.      "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

 

 

Introduction 5:

The role of Archeology in understanding Revelation

 

A. The Synagogue is the prototype of the New Testament church in everything:

1.        The New Testament Christian Church is an exact replica of the Jewish Synagogue

a.          The synagogue was the prototype of the church in form, function and worship

b.         This copying of design extends to Byzantine church building architecture.
 

2.        There are many allusions to synagogue worship liturgy in the New Testament that most preachers are completely blind to.

a.          The book of James was written in AD 36 and refers to a church assembly as a “synagogue” (Jas 2:1) because at this time, just before the great dispersion where Stephen was stoned, the Christians were sharing the synagogues with their fellow Jews. Before conversion to Christ, these Jewish Christians would have been active in the Jewish synagogue, contributing to the upkeep, donating large sums of money and labour to built them. In Jerusalem, there were about 400 synagogues.

b.         Jesus referred to the Moses’s Seat, of which 4 Moses’ seats have been archeologically excavated.

c.          Even the seating in James was synagogue terminology including the footstool reference!
 

3.        Most are unaware that Christian baptism by immersion for remission of sins was practiced in thousands of synagogue mikvaot as early as 280 BC in Alexandria, Egypt as a ritual cleansing every sabbath before entering the synagogue.
 

 

B. 3000 Baptized in the Pool of Siloam: Acts 2

1.        The author has twice excavated the Pool of Siloam in AD 2005, which was the very Mikveh where the 3000 souls were baptized on the day of Pentecost when the Jews were told to, “Repent and be immersed in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

a.       Discovered in AD 2004, the Pool of Siloam is an Olympic sized swimming pool ritual purity mikveh used by hundreds of thousands of Jews during Passover etc.

b.      They would start at the temple, walk down the “descent stairs” to the pool, be immersed for ritual purity, then walk up a separate set of “ascent stairs” and be admitted into the temple.

2.        Christian baptism for remission of sins (Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16) was borrowed directly from the Jewish synagogue and every Jews was familiar with it.

3.        Apostle Paul, for example, had immersed himself in a mikveh at least 250 times before entering the synagogue between the age of 13 and 20, but he was immersed one last time in the synagogue mikveh at Damascus in AD 36 when Ananias commanded him, “Why do you delay Paul, arise and be baptized for the remission of your sins.” (Acts 22:16)

a.       Just as the blood of Christ ended animal sacrifices (which could not atone for sin), so too Christian baptism ended synagogue baptism (which never actually washed away any sins).

b.      Paul was the “Moses-like lawgiver” of the New covenant who spent 3 years learning the law directly from Jesus at Mt. Sinai in Arabia. Indeed, the author identified 25 antitypical similarities between Moses and Paul.

4.        BYZANTINE CHURCH ARCHITECTURE:

a.       The author has excavated a full immersion water baptistry in one of the oldest church buildings in the world that dates to 375 AD 15 km north of Jerusalem.

b.      It was in fact, also the last first century city Titus destroyed in AD 69 before moving onto destroy Jerusalem in AD 70.

 

C. Ritual purity in the first century and the Lord’s Supper

1.        “Around 100 B.C. a major shift occurred in Late Second Temple period Judaism. Pious Jews interpreted Leviticus 11 and 15 literally and began to replace pottery with chalk stone vessels which they viewed as insusceptible to ritual impurity. What started as a small wave grew into a tsunami affecting burial, bathing, and cooking. Both the material cultural remains and the text of the New Testament bear witness to these changes.” (Dr. Scott Stripling)

2.        Ritual purity stone vessels at the time of Jesus were widely used.

a.       The Cana wedding featured 6 stone vessels.

b.      The Jews felt that vessels carved out of a single stone remained pure.

c.       Pottery vessels (formed and fired clay) would only be used once, then broken.

3.        Foot washing and Lord’s supper: 13 cups and a basin

a.       It is likely, if given the choice, Jesus would have surely used stone vessels for the last supper on Thursday night, Nissan 14, in accordance with current vogue.

b.       "Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded." (John 13:5)

c.       Jesus even tell us that there were 13 cups on the last supper table, “Take this (Jesus’s cup) and share it among yourselves (into your own 12 cups)” Lk 22:17.

4.        The author has personally excavated a first century ritual purity stone vessels in addition to a complete wash basin and cups.

a.       It became clear to the author, that Jesus used “stoneware” as the holy grail and the foot-washing basin in the upper room as John 13 records.

5.        So again, not understanding first century culture is a serious impediment to correctly interpreting Revelation written with first century cultural imagery.

 

 

 

 

 

Prophets Commissioned: Ezekiel and John

Revelation 1

Ezekiel 2-3 on July 593 BC

 

John and Ezekiel commissioned

 

A. Synchronism of Jesus in Ezekiel and Revelation:

1.       John saw Jesus, “a man” AS GOD in Rev 1:13 who guided John and said, “write what I will show you”.

a.       "and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash." (Revelation 1:13)

2.       Ezekiel saw Jesus, “a man” AS GOD on his throne: Ezekiel 1:26; 43:6-7.

a.       "Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man." (Ezekiel 1:26)

b.      "Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die," (Ezekiel 43:6–7)

3.       “A man” measured the temple and guided Ezekiel in a tour the heavenly temple in Ezek 40:3.

a.       "So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway." (Ezekiel 40:3)

4.       John measured the temple:

a.       "Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it." (Revelation 11:1)

 

B. “The coming of the Lord is Near” passages in the New Testament:

1.      Full list of passages:

a.       Rom. 13:11-12; I Cor. 7:29; Phil. 4:5; Heb. 10:25; Heb. 10:37; James 5:7-8; I Peter 4:7; II Peter 3:10-12; I Jn. 2:18; I Jn. 4:3; Rev. 1:1; Rev. 1:3; Rev. 2:25; Rev. 3:10-11;  Rev. 22:6-7; Rev. 22:10; Rev. 22:12; Rev. 22:20

2.      Eleven “The coming of the Lord is Near passages in the epistles:

a.       "Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." (Romans 13:11-12)

                                                                           i.      Comment: The passage simply notes that the fixed day, whenever it is, is closer than the time when they were first baptized.

b.      "But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;" (1 Corinthians 7:29)

                                                                           i.      Comment: The Distress Paul speaks about is likely the 42 month persecution of Nero.

c.       "Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near." (Philippians 4:5)

                                                                           i.      Comment: This could be a reference to either the second coming, which is often expressed as urgent or the destruction of Judaism in AD 70. Then again, it may just be saying that the Lord is “close to you in heart” and not distant. “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” etc.

d.      "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:25)

                                                                           i.      Comment: This could be a reference to either the second coming, which is often expressed as urgent or the destruction of Judaism in AD 70.

e.      "for yet in a very little while, he who is coming will come, and will not delay." (Hebrews 10:37)

                                                                           i.      Comment: Quotes: destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC "“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay." (Habakkuk 2:3) However, it may be a reference to the still future second coming.

f.        "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near." (James 5:7-8)

                                                                           i.      Comment: James, written in AD 36, might be referring to the still future second coming or the destruction of the Jewish world in AD 70.

g.       "The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." (1 Peter 4:7)

                                                                           i.      Comment: Could be a reference to the destruction of AD 70, where “all Jewish things” come to an end, but more likely parallel with 2 Pe 3:10-12 which speaks of the “uncreation” of matter and the dissolving of the 103 elements of the periodic table at the second coming as Rev 20:11 says, “heaven and earth fled from His presence and no place was found for them”.

h.      "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!" (2 Peter 3:10–12)

                                                                           i.      Comment: Not AD 70 but the yet future “uncreation” of matter at the second coming and the dissolving of the 103 elements of the periodic table at the second coming as Rev 20:11 says, “heaven and earth fled from His presence and no place was found for them”.

i.         "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour." (1 John 2:18)

                                                                           i.      Comment: Likely written in AD 98, the last hour may refer to the end of the apostolic age where spiritual gifts restrained the Devil., who at this time were represented by the Gnostics who denied Jesus came in the flesh. Although not talking about the anti-christ of 1 John, this passage show how supernatural powers given to men “restrained” the work of Satan to deceive. "And you know what restrains him now (gifts of the Holy Spirit), so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way (when gifts cease-1 Cor 13:8-13)." (2 Thessalonians 2:6–7)

3.      Eight “The coming of the Lord is Near passages in Revelation:

a.       "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John," (Revelation 1:1)

b.      "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3)

c.       "‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come." (Revelation 2:25)

d.      "‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. ‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown." (Revelation 3:10–11)

e.      "And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”" (Revelation 22:6–7)

f.        "And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near." (Revelation 22:10)

g.       "“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12)

h.      "He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)

 

 

Why Revelation was written to 7 churches in Asia and not Jerusalem

Revelation 2-3

 

Why was Revelation written to 7 churches in Asia and not Jerusalem?

1.       “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 1:11

2.       “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” 1:20

3.       "“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”" (Revelation 22:16)

 

Jewish persecution of 7 churches in Asia:

1.      Those who date Revelation to AD 96 and say there was no Roman persecution of Nero in Asia entirely miss the mark:

2.      “Late Daters” point to two passages that mention persecution of the 7 churches of Asia:

a.       "I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 1:9)

b.      "‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:9–10)

3.      What these “Late Daters” fail to notice, is that:

a.       The Rev 1:9 reference to persecution was shared by all Christians of all times, including those living today.

b.      The Rev 2:9-10 reference to persecution was Jewish persecution of Christians. The reference to a synagogue of Satan was the local Jewish synagogue that initiated the persecution.

c.       There is no mention of persecution of any type for six of the seven churches in Rev 2-3.

4.      The Roman persecution of Christians in Rome and local surrounding areas for 42 months, is referenced in Rev 13.

a.       The Persecution of Christians in Rome started in the fall of AD 64 and the Christians of Asia would have been aware of this when Revelation was written in AD 66.

b.      The 42 months of Neronic persecution was likely isolated to Rome, but may have spread as far as Asia and Judea, but the extant record of history is that the persecution was limited to Rome.

c.       Rev 13 records Nero’s persecution of Christians but DOES NOT say it happened in Jerusalem or Asia. It simply says that Christians were the targets, but where they were persecuted.

d.      The 7 autograph copies of Revelation were delivered to the 7 churches of Asia who then took the letter to the Christians in Jerusalem to bring them back to their home churches in safety and refuge and to start a new life.

e.      Josephus records that Judea and Jerusalem were at a time of peace among the Jews in AD 66.

5.      So, the fact that Nero’s persecution did not reach Asia is a perfect fit with the two persecution verses of Rev which reference general persecution of all Christians (1:9) and Jewish persecution of Christians (2:9)  before AD 70.

6.      Jews were the primary persecutors of Christians from AD 30- 70.

 

OK! Then why was Revelation written to 7 churches in Asia?

I call this the “What about the thief on the cross” argument in response to the passages in Mk 16:16, Acts 2:38; 22:16, 1 Pe 3:21 which clearly teach the essentiality of full immersion for salvation and contacting the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. If you think asking “What about the thief on the cross” refutes the Bible doctrine that water baptism is essential to salvation, click here. It is puzzling that the first objection most often raised to reject the early date of AD 66 for Revelation is “Why was it was written to 7 churches in Asia?”. A better question is “Since Revelation was written to warn the Jerusalem Christians to flee the city, why did John send it to 7 churches in Asia?” God in his gracious providence, did not want the Jerusalem Christians to become homeless vagrants wandering aimlessly outside the city with no place to live. Ever wonder why God wrote the book of Revelation for the Jerusalem Christians but sent it to the 7 churches of Asia? The same reason Ezekiel performed many theatrical “Sign Acts” in 593 BC for the local Jews living in Al-Yahuda Babylon to warn the Jews living in Jerusalem 1000 km (5400 Stadia) away. (The author discovered using Google Earth, that both John and Ezekiel were prisoners in a foreign land the exact same distance, 1000 km, from Jerusalem.) A better question to ask, since Revelation was written for the Jerusalem Jews 1000 km away, is “why deliver it to the 7 nearby churches of Asia”? In 593 BC, Ezekiel’s message of “come out from among them” was carried 1000 km to Jerusalem by messengers and those who obeyed would voluntarily follow the Jewish messengers 1000 km back to Al-Yahuda. This is what happened in AD 66. John wrote seven autograph/duplicate copies of Revelation and sent it to the Seven nearby churches of Asia, who in turn, each sent their copy via a designated messenger to 1000 km Jerusalem. The 7 messengers who carried their local church’s copy of Revelation 1000 km to Jerusalem, may have been the same congregational messengers who had accompanied Paul 12 years earlier in 54 AD, with their cash gifts to the needy Christians in Jerusalem. (1 Cor 16:3). The Jerusalem refugee Christians followed the 7 messengers back to their home churches in Asia and started a new life. In direct contrast to the dark lampstand in Jerusalem, the seven churches were bright guiding lights to follow. The Jerusalem Christians actually had seven choices of cities to make their home, complete with mature churches that could take them in, give employment and re-establish them into a brand-new life of peace and prosperity as their previous home of Jerusalem burned to the ground. The Synagogue was the exact prototype of the church and Philo (Good man 81) and the Jerusalem Talmud, record that synagogue seating was grouped by working trade: They did not sit in a jumble, but the goldsmiths sat by themselves, the silversmiths by themselves, the weavers by themselves, the bronze-workers by themselves, and the blacksmiths by themselves. “All this why? So that when a traveller came along, he could find his fellow craftsmen, and on that basis he could gain a living”. (y. Sukk. 5:1, I.5.A–H) So the love of God for his children, is illustrated in providing the first successful mass refugee relocation program of Christians living in Jerusalem who moved to Asia and were able to quickly find work! The Christians who moved to these seven cities knew in advance each local church’s strengths and failures and were likely used by God as outside instruments to aid these 7 churches in spiritual restoration. Indeed, the 7 local churches would greatly desire to have these original Jewish Hebrew Christians begin worshipping with them every Lord’s Day. It would be like 50 members of the “Douglas Hills church in Louisville KY” permanently moving to live and worship with some small struggling foreign church with 15 members.

 

Message to Jerusalem Christians: Do not be anxious, God will provide!

Another synchronism that the author noticed for the first time (to his knowledge) is that there is a direct parallel between Jeremiah’s reassuring letter he sent the Jews who were living 1000 km in captivity in Al Yahuda Babylon the months before Ezekiel started prophesying in 593 BC and John’s letter to the Christians living 1000 km in Jerusalem. Staring in 605 BC, Jeremiah ordered the Jews to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. The ones who faithfully obeyed and “left it all behind”, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were the spiritual cream of the remnant crop of “first fruits” from among the Jewish people. Jeremiah’s letter was sent 1000 km by messenger, to the Jews who were already living in Babylonian captivity in the city of Al-Yahuda. Notice also how Jeremiah reassures those already living in Babylon by telling them “the blessings of Jerusalem” are transferred to Babylon where they live and that the curses of Babylon have been transferred to Jerusalem.

 

"Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. ‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ … ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 29:1–14, 594 BC)

 

 In AD 66 when the Christians in Jerusalem obeyed Jesus through John and “left it all behind” and followed the messengers of the 7 churches who brought the 7 copies of Revelation to start a new life in Asia. The promises and providence of the letter of Jeremiah written from Jerusalem to the exiles in Babylon in 594 BC and the letter of Jesus written to the Jerusalem Christians in AD 66 would surely bring them comfort and reasurrance. What this shows us, is that the core message of the Book of Revelation is not merely one of God's victory over the devil, but God, the loving Father will provide in a time of need.

 

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”(Psalm 46:1)          

 

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and God will add all these all things to you.” (Matthew 6:25,33)          

 

 

Ephesus | Smyrna | Pergamum | Thyatira

Revelation 2

 

I. Synagogues of the four cities:

See authors monograph on archeological excavations of Bible synagogues

 

 

A. Synagogue at Ephesus: 76 BC

1.      Archeological Excavation top plan: Ephesus

2.      Literary sources:

a.       New Testament 50 AD

b.      Josephus 76 BC

 

B. Synagogue at Smyrna: AD 50

1.      Literary sources: New Testament 50 AD

 

C. Synagogue at Pergamum: 59 BC

1.      Literary sources: New Testament 50 AD

2.      Lucius Valerius Flaccus: 59 BC

 

D. Synagogue at Thyatira: AD 50

3.      Literary sources: New Testament 50 AD

4.       "A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul." (Acts 16:14)

 

 

Sardis | Philadelphia | Laodicea

Revelation 3

 

I. Synagogues of the three cities:

See authors Museum on The Origin of Synagogues

 

A. Synagogue at Sardis: 49 BC

1.      Archeological Excavation top plan: Sardis 49 BC

2.      Literary sources:

a.       New Testament 50 AD

b.      Josephus 49 BC

B. Synagogue at Philadelphia: 50 AD

1.      Literary sources: New Testament 50 AD

2.       "‘Behold, I will cause those [physical non-Christian Jews] of the synagogue of Satan [literal synagogue], who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." (Revelation 3:9)

a.       Very much like the beast from the earth in Rev 13, where the Jews are a two horned sheep that speaks like a dragon.

 

C. Synagogue at Laodicea: 76 BC

3.      Literary sources:

a.       Josephus 76 BC

b.      Cicero 59 BC

c.       New Testament 50 AD

See authors monograph on 23 Synagogues named in the Bible:

 

Scene of God’s Throne

Revelation 4-5

Ezekiel 1 on July 593 BC

 

Worship of God on His Throne

Rev 4:10 the 24 elders throw down their crowns just like in Tacitus Annals 15.29 when King Tiridates 1st threw his crown down before Nero in AD 66

 

Worship of Jesus on His Throne:

1.       The number 7 associated with Jesus: horns, eyes

a.       Jesus is the slain Lamb with 7 horns/eyes which represent the 7 churches.

b.      Had Revelation been written to 10 churches, the Lamb would have had 10 eyes.

c.       So the 7 horns are not an actual number symbolizing Jesus, but the 7 churches of Asia.

2.       Jesus already made Christians a kingdom and priests in his church:

a.       “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”" (Revelation 5:10)

3.       The identical worship is given to Jesus as was given to the Father.

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Seals: 4 horses of War

Revelation 6:1-8

Ezekiel 4-5 on Aug 593 BC

 

7 Seals: Seals 1-4 = Total destruction of Jerusalem

1.        Powerful synchronism between Ezekiel’s and John’s 4 horses.

2.        3 Sign Acts in Ezekiel in 593 BC:

a.         Sign Act with siege brick: "“Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem." (Ezekiel 4:1)

b.        Sign Act with dung baked bread: famine

                                                               i.      “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days." (Ezekiel 4:9)

                                                             ii.      "When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand." (Revelation 6:5)

c.         Sign Act with burning hair: Jerusalem burned: “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair." (Ezekiel 5:1)

3.        Four seals = Ezek 14:21 = 4 horses: Jer 6:23; Ezek 26:7; 38:4,15; Zech 6:1-6

a.         "For thus says the Lord God, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!" (Ezekiel 14:21)

b.        “They seize bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Arrayed as a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Zion!”" (Jeremiah 6:23)

c.         "For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry and a great army." (Ezekiel 26:7)

d.        "“I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords;" (Ezekiel 38:4)

e.         "“You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;" (Ezekiel 38:15)

f.          "Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains. With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel replied to me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth, with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country." (Zechariah 6:1–6)

4.        Four Seals 587 BC and AD 70:

a.         1st seal: white horses, Anointed Conqueror: Nebuchadnezzar, Titus

b.        2nd seal: red horses, war: Babylon, first Jewish War AD 66

c.         3rd seal: black horses, Cannibalism:

                                                               i.      "‘Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind." (Ezekiel 5:10)

                                                             ii.      "“I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them.” ’" (Jeremiah 19:9)

                                                           iii.      “Now of those perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable; (194) for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did anywhere appear, a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a fighting one with another about it, snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. (195) Nor would men believe that those who were dying had no food; but the robbers would search them when they were expiring, lest any one should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dying: (196) nay, these robbers gaped for want, and ran about stumbling and staggering along like mad dogs, and reeling against the doors of the houses like drunken men; they would also, in the great distress they were in, rush into the very same houses two or three times in one and the same day. (197) Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew everything, while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch, and endured to eat them; nor did they at length abstain from girdles and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed: (198) the very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibers, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attic [drachmae]. (199) But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, while I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which no history relates, either among the Greeks or Barbarians! It is horrible to speak of it, and incredible when heard. (200) I had indeed willingly omitted this calamity of ours, that I might not seem to deliver what is so portentous to posterity, but that I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age; and, besides, my country would have had little reason to thank me for suppressing the miseries that she underwent at this time. 4. (201) There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezub, which signifies the House of Hyssop. She was eminent for her family and her wealth, and had fled away to Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, and was with them besieged therein at this time. (202) The other effects of this woman had been already seized upon; such I mean as she had brought with her out of Perea, and removed to the city. What she had treasured up besides, as also what food she had contrived to save, had been also carried off by the rapacious guards, who came every day running into her house for that purpose. (203) This put the poor woman into a very great passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations she cast at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them to anger against her; (204) but none of them, either out of the indignation she had raised against herself, or out of the commiseration of her case, would take away her life; and if she found any food, she perceived her labors were for others, and not for herself; and it was now become impossible for her anyway to find anymore food, while the famine pierced through her very bowels and marrow, when also her passion was fired to a degree beyond the famine itself; nor did she consult with anything but with her passion and the necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural thing; (205) and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, “O, thou miserable infant! For whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition? (206) As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves! This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us:—yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. (207) Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a byword to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews.” (208) As soon as she had said this she slew her son; and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed. (209) Upon this the seditous came in presently, and smelling the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her, that they would cut her throat immediately if she did not show them what food she had gotten ready. She replied, that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them; and withal uncovered what was left of her son. (210) Hereupon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, and stood astonished at the sight; when she said to them, “This is my own son; and what hath been done was mine own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself! (211) Do not you pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother; but if you be so scrupulous and do abominate this my sacrifice, as I have eaten the one half, let the rest be reserved for me also.” (212) After which, those men went out trembling, being never so much affrighted at anything as they were at this, and with some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. Upon which the whole city was full of this horrid action immediately; and while every body laid his miserable case before their own eyes, they trembled, as if this unheard-of action had been by themselves. (213) So those that were thus distressed by the famine were very desirous to die; and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not lived long enough either to hear or to see such miseries. 5. (214) This sad instance was quickly told to the Romans, some of whom could not believe it, and others pitied the distress which the Jews were under; but there were many of them who were hereby induced to a more bitter hatred than ordinary against our nation;—(215) but for Caesar, he excused himself before God as to this matter, and said, that he had proposed peace and liberty to the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent practices; but that they, instead of concord, had chosen sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and abundance, a famine. (216) That they had begun with their own hands to burn down that temple, which we have preserved hitherto; and that therefore they deserved to eat such food as this was. (217) That, however, this action of eating one’s own child ought to be covered with the overthrown of their very country itself; and men ought not to leave such a city upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, wherein mothers are thus fed” (Josephus Wars 6.193-217)

d.        4th seal: ashen horses, Death by sickness, famine and beasts: Ezek 5:17; Rev 6:8

                                                               i.      "‘Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’" (Ezekiel 5:17)

                                                             ii.      "I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8)

5.        593 BC + 40 years = 633 BC Josiah, the chosen one, age 15 seeks the lord.

a.         593 BC (Masoretic 390) + 190 years = 783 BC, 593 BC + 40 + 190 = 823 BC.

b.        The meaning of these numbers is unsure.

c.         Perhaps the sum of 390 + 40 equals 430 years = time spent in Egypt before Exodus.

 

5th Seal: Martyrs beneath Altar

Revelation 6:9-11

Ezekiel 6 on 592 BC

 

 5th Seal: Christians killed by Jews Beneath the Altar

1.       Wicked executed by God beneath their pagan altars Ezek 6:13

a.       “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree and under every leafy oak—the places where they offered soothing aroma to all their idols." (Ezekiel 6:13)

2.       Christians martyred by Jews beneath God’s altar. Rev 6:9

a.       "When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;" (Revelation 6:9)

 

6th Seal: Avenging Terror upon Jerusalem

Revelation 6:12-17

Ezekiel 7-8 on 592 BC

 

6th Seal: Unique disaster is coming upon Jerusalem

1.       Direct synchronism between Ezekiel in 587 BC and John in AD 70:

2.       Terror of God upon 4 corners of earth:

a.       587 BC: begins: "And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land." (Ezekiel 7:2)

b.      AD 70: paused: "After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree." (Revelation 7:1)

3.       Commanders hiding in caves:

a.       587 BC: "Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land and that he had put him in charge of the men, women and children, those of the poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon." (Jeremiah 40:7)

b.      AD 70: "Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;" (Revelation 6:15)

4.       Seek true prophets but only false speak:

a.       587 BC: "‘Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders." (Ezekiel 7:26)

b.      AD 70: “ A false prophet was the occasion of these people’s destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. (286) Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God: and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. (287) Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such deliverance.” Josephus Wars 6:285-287)

5.       God has withdrawn his grace Jerusalem will be destroyed: “Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to them.” (Ezekiel 8:18)

 

Christians marked on forehead with Seal of God

Revelation 7

Ezekiel 9 on Sept 592 BC

 

A. MARK/Sealing foreheads of saints

1.        Ezekiel 9:4 also sealed the foreheads of the Righteous in 587 BC.

a.        "The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”" (Ezekiel 9:4)

b.       "saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”" (Revelation 7:3)

c.        "They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads." (Revelation 9:4)

2.        144,000 = Christians: Rev 2:9; Rom 2:28-29.

a.        Notice the reference to a literal first century synagogue. See authors eBook on the Origin of Synagogues

b.       "‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 2:9)

c.        "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." (Romans 2:28–29)

3.        Rev 7:9 describes the 144,000 as both Jew and Gentile “from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” proving these are Christians not Jews.

a.        "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;" (Revelation 7:9)

4.        Righteous who endured the “great tribulation” of having their home destroyed and being deported to a foreign land: For Ezek the Jews were deported to El-Yahudah in Babylon. Revelation tells the Christians to “leave everything” and follow the messengers from the 7 churches of Asia who brought the letter, back to their 7 home churches to start a new life in a foreign Gentile land.

5.        Notice the Tribes of Dan and Ephraim not included for their historic leading role in idol worship which brought about the extinction through Jeroboam, of the ten northern tribes in 723 BC. In their place are Levi and Joseph making exactly 12 tribes.

6.        See authors book on Seals and Bulla

 

B. Dead Sea Scroll: CD-B Damascus Documentb, CD–B Col. xix:10 lines, 5-15, 90 BC

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Mark on forehead of the righteous: Ezek 9:4, Rev 7:3; 9:4

4CD-B

90 BC

“But (over) all those who despise the precepts and the ordinances, may be emptied over them the punishment of the wicked, when God visits the earth, when there comes the word which is written by the hand of the prophet Zechariah: Zech 13:7 «Wake up, sword, against my shepherd, and against the male who is my companion—oracle of God—strike the shepherd, and the flock may scatter, and I shall turn my hand against the little ones». Those who revere him are Zech 11:11 «the poor ones of the flock». These shall escape in the age of the visitation; but those that remain shall be delivered up to the sword when there comes the messiah of Aaron and Israel. As happened in the age of the first visitation, as {Ezekiel} he said by the hand of Ezekiel: Blank Ezek 9:4 «{…} To mark with a tau [x or + letter of Hebrew alphabet] the foreheads of those who sigh and groan». But those who remained were delivered up to the sword, which carries out the vengeance of the covenant. Thus will be the judgment of all those entering his covenant, who do not remain steadfast in these precepts; they shall be visited for destruction at the hand of Belial. This is the day when God will make a visitation.”

CD-B Damascus Documentb, CD–B Col. xix:10 lines, 5-15, 90 BC

 

 

1.       When the Messiah came, the Jews expected the righteous would be marked on the forehead just like in Revelation.

2.       Notice the use of the Messianic text in Zech 13:7 of striking down the shepherd which is applied to the fleeing of the disciples at the arrest of Jesus.

a.        "“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones." (Zechariah 13:7)

b.       "Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”" (Matthew 26:31–32)

 

C. Destruction of Jerusalem was the Greatest tribulation in world history: AD 70

“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14)

 

1.      Predictions that AD 70 would be the worst in history:

a.       “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone [the Christians] who is found written in the book, will be rescued." (Daniel 12:1)

b.      “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you [Jews who rejected Jesus] may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation [40 years=30-AD 70]. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!" (Matthew 23:34–38)

c.       “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will." (Matthew 24:21)

d.      “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:20–24)

2.      Josephus sums up the wickedness of his fellow Jews and how the suffering of the city was the worst in history:

a.       Josephus shows the Fulfilment:

1.      “it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. (12) Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews [AD 70], are not so considerable as they [Jews in AD 70] were.” (Josephus Wars 1.11-12)

2.      “It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men’s iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly:—That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world..” (Josephus Wars 5.442, 26th May AD 70, Sabbath):

3.      God’s justice: Mass crucifixion of the very Jews who crucified Jesus:

a.       God’s Justice System: Crucifixion for crucifixion: "But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." (Exodus 21:23–25)

b.      So the soldiers out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest; when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.” (Josephus Wars of the Jews 5.451)

c.       Reland very properly takes notice here, how justly this judgment came upon the Jews, when they were crucified in such multitudes together, that the Romans wanted room for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies of these Jews, since they had brought this judgment on themselves by the crucifixion of their Messiah.” (The Works of Josephus, William Whiston, p720, 1987 AD)

 

 

7th Seal: Grace withdrawn, Destruction Decreed

Revelation 8:1-5

Ezekiel 10:1-2 on Sept 592 BC

 

A. 7th seal: silence = grace officially withdrawn from temple

1.       597 BC: "Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! “And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Those destined for death, to death; And those destined for the sword, to the sword; And those destined for famine, to famine; And those destined for captivity, to captivity.” ’ “I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. “I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem. “Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, Or who will mourn for you, Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord, “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!" (Jeremiah 15:1-6, 597 BC)

2.       597 BC: "“You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.” For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bear them, and their fathers who beget them in this land: “They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as dung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth.” For thus says the LORD, “Do not enter a house of mourning, or go to lament or to console them; for I have withdrawn My peace from this people,” declares the LORD, “My lovingkindness and compassion. “Both great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, they will not be lamented, nor will anyone gash himself or shave his head for them." (Jeremiah 16:2-6, 597 BC)

3.      Notice the connection of Jer 16:2-6 with Paul’s advice not to marry in AD 54 because of the “present distress” that will be “trouble” for families is used also of the destruction of Jerusalem:

a.       The Jews were the primary persecutors of Christians before the great persecution of Nero that lasted 42 months from AD 64-68.

b.      The present distress was a combination of both current Jewish and future Roman persecutions.

c.       "Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. I think then that this is good in view of the present distress [Strongs # 318-“annanke”], that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife," (1 Corinthians 7:25–33)

d.       “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress [Strongs # 318-“annanke”] upon the land and wrath to this people" (Luke 21:23)

4.       The false prophets contradicted God saying there would be peace in 609, 597 BC:

a.       “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace." (Jeremiah 6:14, 609 BC)

b.      “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace." (Jeremiah 8:11. 609 BC)

c.       "But, “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’ ”" (Jeremiah 14:13, 597 BC)

 

B. Coals from Altar of Sacrifice: Final destruction begins

1.       Ezek: Physical altar in Jerusalem temple. Rev: True altar in heaven

2.       Angel throws burning coals into temple:

a.       592 BC: "And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight." (Ezekiel 10:2, 592 BC)

b.      AD 70: "Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake." (Revelation 8:5)

3.       Zedekiah’s rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in 593 BC is the last straw for God.

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Trumpets against Jerusalem

Revelation 8:6-13

Ezekiel 10-12 on Sept 592 BC

 

7 Woe Trumpets against Jerusalem

1st Trumpet: Rev 8:7 Hail & fire & blood: 7th Egyptian plague Ex 9:24

1.      a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up” Rev 8:7

2.      Mass deforestation: 1/3 of the trees burned up

3.      Josephus records that by 3rd June AD 70, all trees had been cut down within 18km of Jerusalem. “Titus found Materials hard to find for all the trees that were about the city had been already cut down for the making of the former banks. Yet did the soldiers bring with them other materials from the distance of ninety furlongs (18km, 11 miles), (Josephus Wars 5:523)

2nd Trumpet: Rev 8:8 Water to blood: 1st Egyptian plague: 2nd bowl  = 2nd trumpet = 1st plague of Egypt: Rev 16:3-4 = Rev 8:8 = Ex. 7:14-25

1.       "‘Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. “The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile.” ’ ”" (Exodus 7:17–18)

2.       "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood." (Revelation 16:3–4)

3.       "The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood," (Revelation 8:8)

3rd Trumpet: Rev 8:10 Wormwood star: Jer 9:14-15; 23:15; Deut 29:18

1.       "but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,” therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink." (Jeremiah 9:14–15)

2.       "“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, ‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem Pollution has gone forth into all the land.’ ”" (Jeremiah 23:15)

3.       "so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood." (Deuteronomy 29:18)

4th Trumpet: Rev 8:12 Two-thirds darkness: 9th Egyptian plague: Ex 10:21; messianic prophecy of Jesus crucifixion resulted in 2/3rd darkness: Zech 13:7-9

1.         Ezek 11 is about the destruction of Jerusalem and are the same as the first 4 trumpets of Revelation.

2.         Both sections in Rev and Ezek contain messianic-prophetic content:

a.       Ezek 11:19-20 is messianic, echoing the New Covenant of Jer 31:31ff.

                                                               i.      "“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19–20)

                                                             ii.      "“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," (Jeremiah 31:31)

b.      The 1/3rd fire of Rev 8:12, as noted above, echoes the messianic prophecy in Zech 13:7-9

                                                               i.      "The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way." (Revelation 8:12)

                                                             ii.      "“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the Lord of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones. “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”" (Zechariah 13:7–9)

 

2 Sign Acts of Ezekiel confirm Jerusalem will be destroyed

1.       Ezek 12:1-16: mimics going into exile with baggage, digging hole in house wall for escape, flees city.

a.       "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. “Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house. “Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile. “Dig a hole through the wall in their sight and go out through it. “Load the baggage on your shoulder in their sight and carry it out in the dark. You shall cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have set you as a sign to the house of Israel.” I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark and carried the baggage on my shoulder in their sight. In the morning the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are in it.” ’ “Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.’ “The prince who is among them will load his baggage on his shoulder in the dark and go out. They will dig a hole through the wall to bring it out. He will cover his face so that he can not see the land with his eyes. “I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. “I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will draw out a sword after them. “So they will know that I am the Lord when I scatter them among the nations and spread them among the countries. “But I will spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the pestilence that they may tell all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the Lord.”" (Ezekiel 12:1–16)

2.       Ezek 12:17-20: eats trembling in horror as if the city is under siege

a.       "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with quivering and anxiety. “Then say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel, “They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water with horror, because their land will be stripped of its fullness on account of the violence of all who live in it. “The inhabited cities will be laid waste and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”" (Ezekiel 12:17–20)

 

 

5th Trumpet/1st Woe: 5 month Civil War

Revelation 9:1-12

1 Maccabees 6:48–52

 

Five-Month Civil war and 5 months Siege of Rev 9:5,10: Monday 7th March AD 70 – Monday 6th August AD 70

 

A. Overview:

1.       There is a correspondence between the 6th and 7th trumpets and the 6th and 7th bowls.

a.        We already know that the first four trumpets and bowls are the same.

b.       Again, Rev 9 and 16 (trumpet 6,7 and bowl 6,7) are discussing EXACTLY the same time period.

c.        Trumpets 1-4 = Bowls 1-4

d.       The 6th trumpet (2nd woe) of Rev 9 = 6th bowl of Rev 16

e.        The 7th trumpet (3rd woe) of Rev 9 = 7th bowl of Rev 16

2.       Twice Revelation 9 give the specific time of torment to the Jews:

a.        "And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man." (Revelation 9:5)

b.       "They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months." (Revelation 9:10)

3.       The locust/scorpion is literally the Roman catapult which was LITERALLY called “the scorpion” commonly in the first century. (see section on Revelation describing first century warfare)

4.       The Holy Spirit was careful to show that this includes a siege, not just open warfare where men a killed.

a.        Notice it causes pain not death

b.       Those afflicted wished for death, but did not die.

5.       The 5-month civil war: Oct 69 - March 70

a.        We know that when Titus arrives, the civil war was in full action and at the peak of battle.

b.       Josephus records that Titus actually decides to wait a few days for the Jews to weaken themselves through the civil war, hoping they would surrender to him.

c.        This means that the civil war had been raging for sometime earlier, so 5 months is a good fit for the heat of battle between the three rebel leaders inside the city walls.

6.       The 5 months siege of Jerusalem:

a.        Start when Titus arrives: Monday 7th March AD 70

b.       Ends: Monday 6th August AD 70

 

B. 5th Trumpet = 1st Woe: 5-month Civil war: Rev 9:5,10 (Oct 69 - March 70)

1.        The 5th trumpet is the 3-way civil war.

a.       The event is prepared in advance of when it happens.

b.      Just like the destroying armies of the next trumpet (6th) are summoned but take time to arrive in Jerusalem.

c.       This is an example of where an future event is placed in a different chronological order that would be expected. But if you look at it closely, the abyss opens releasing the Devil who will cause the torment, then God sends Titus. After Titus arrives the 5 months of torment happens during the siege that follows till the city is destroyed.

2.        There is long pattern of the enemies of the Jews destroying themselves. Here is a case where God allows the Jews who crucified Jesus to destroy themselves. When Titus arrives, he actually waits a few days to allow the Jews to weaken themselves through self-destruction, making his job easier.

3.        Those without their foreheads marked with a seal are harmed: Rev 9:4 = Ezek 9:4

a.         Rev 9:4 Torment to those “men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” means, the Jews who rejected Christ. "They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads." (Revelation 9:4)

b.        Ezekiel 9:4 Righteous marked, wicked did not get the seal. “The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”" (Ezekiel 9:4)

c.         See the authors book on Seals and Bulla

 

C. The Roman “Scorpion” (catapult) Roman “engines” are symbolized as Scorpions and Locust: Rev 9:7-10

 

1.        These catapult machines known as “SCORPIONS”:

a.         Scorpions were noisy

b.        Scorpions threw arrows

c.         Scorpions threw fire

2.        Rev 9:7-10:

a.         "The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months." (Revelation 9:7–10)

b.        Every first century Jew knew that locust caused famine and scorpions caused pain.

c.         This is exactly what happened in Jerusalem with widespread reports of famine, cannibalism, disease and physical injury/pain/suffering.

3.        1 Macc 6:48-52 says the Romans had “fire throwing machines” and engines of war that threw large stones (ballista), smaller tennis ball sized sling stones and arrows:

a.         "And from the army of the king, they went up to meet them in Jerusalem, and the king camped in Judah and in Mount Zion. And he made peace with those from Beth-zur, and he came out from the city because there were no supplies for them there to close themselves in it, because it was a Sabbath year for the land. And the king captured Beth-zur and commanded a garrison there to hold it. And he camped at the sanctuary many days and built there siege towers and engines of war and fire machines and catapults and a scorpion for launching arrows and slings. And they [Judeans] also made war machines to match their war machines, and they fought many days." (1 Macc 6:48–52)

4.        Five-month period stated twice: This may represent two different periods:

a.         The civil war: November AD 69-7th March AD 70

b.        The Roman siege: Monday 7th March AD 70 – Monday 6th August AD 70

c.         Titus arrives at Jerusalem Monday 7th March AD 70 and begins the 5-month siege that ended with the burning of the temple.

d.        "And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man." (Revelation 9:5)

e.         "They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months." (Revelation 9:10)

5.        F-16 FIGHTER JETS? NO! Futurists wrongly see 21st century warfare:

a.         Futurists misapply this 1st century war poetry and see 21st century F-16 fighter jets in the locusts and scorpions:

                                                               i.      "The appearance of the locusts (F-16) was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women (exhaust smoke), and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron (Metal F-16’s); and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots (jets engines make loud sound), of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions (bombs), and stings (nuclear bomb); and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months." (Revelation 9:7–10)

b.        Those who see F-16 fighter jets whose wings make a loud sound overlook the fact that the symbolic language exactly describes the appearance, sound and harm Scorpion catapults cause and would be immediately recognized as such by the Jews in Jerusalem.

c.         “Hair like a woman” = the smoke trail the fire darts made as they flew through the air.

d.        The author has caught many scorpions and locust in Israel!

 

 

D. Dead Sea Scrolls: Common Jewish Messianic terminology used in Revelation:

1.              Terminology used in the 5th trumpet that was common Jewish vernacular at the time of Christ:

a.           Rev 9:1 Abyss opened, 5 months pain on unsealed men at the hands of the Devil. (Mt 9:34; 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:17)

b.           "But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”" (Matthew 9:34)

c.           "But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”" (Matthew 12:24)

d.          "The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”" (Mark 3:22)

e.           "The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”" (Luke 10:17–20)

f.            The “angel of the abyss” was Satan of the pit and was common Jewish thought before Christ.

2.              Abaddon is used in scripture that doesn’t directly connect first century BC Jewish thought with the well-developed imagery of Revelation as seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Abaddon is found in Prov 15:11; Ps 88:11; Job 26:6, also used in the Dead Sea scrolls.

a.           "Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, How much more the hearts of men!" (Proverbs 15:11)

b.          "Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon?" (Psalm 88:11)

c.           "“Naked is Sheol before Him, And Abaddon has no covering." (Job 26:6)

3.              Angel of the Pit” (Rev 9:11) is drawn directly from imagery of first century thought witnessed in many Dead Sea Scrolls The “angel of the abyss” was Satan of the pit and was common Jewish thought before Christ:

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

“Angel of the Pit”: Rev 9:11

90-50 BC

DSS 4Q286 Frag. 7 ii:6 (50 BC) reads: “the sons of Beli[al] in all the iniquities of their office until their annihilation [… Amen. Amen.] Blank 7 And [cursed be … the ange]l of the pit and the sp[irits of des]truction in al[l] the designs of [your] g[uilty] inclination”

 

DSS 1Q33 Col. xiii:10 (50 BC) reads: “From of old you appointed the Prince of light to assist us, and in [his] ha[nd are all the angels of just]ice, and all the spirits of truth are under his dominion. You 11 made Belial for the pit, angel of enmity; in dark[ness] is his [dom]ain, his counsel is to bring about wickedness and guilt. All the spirits 12 of his lot are angels of destruction, they walk in the laws of darkness; towards it goes their only [de]sire.”

 

DSS 11Q11 Col. ii:2 (50 BC) reads: “he will invo[ke …] 3 [… the spir]its and the demons, […] 4 […] These are [the de]mons, and the Pri[nce of Animosi]ty 5 [… w]ho […] the aby[ss …]

 

Song 5 of 13, 4Q401, Frags. 3-4, 50 BC

 

 

3.           “Abaddon” (Rev 9:11) 5th trumpet: Abaddon found in Prov 15:11; Ps 88:11; Job 26:6, also used in the Dead Sea scrolls:

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

“Abaddon”: Rev 9:11

90-50 BC

DSS 4Q491: Frags. 8–10 i:15 (50 BC) reads: “Rise up, ri]se up, Oh God of gods, and raise with power, King of ki[ngs! …] you have [pl]aced over 14 […] may scatter [from] before you all the sons of darkness, and [may your] great light […] and men 15 [… a fire bu]rning in the dark places of Abbadon, in the places of destruction of Sheol may it bu[rn to consume everlasting … the s]inners 16 […] in all the times appointed for ever.”

 

DSS 1QHa: Col. xi:32 (50 BC) reads: “The torrents of Belial break into Abaddon.”

 

DSS 11Q11: (50 BC) reads: “who will [bring] you [down] to the great abyss, 8 [and to] the deepest [Sheol.] And … […] … And it will be very dark 9 [in the gr]eat [abyss. No … lo]nger over the earth 10 […] for ever. And […] with the curse of Aba[ddon,] 11 […] the fury of Y[HWH]’s anger. [… in] darkness for a[ll] 12 [periods of] humiliation […] your gift”

 

 

4Q491, 1QHa, 11Q11, 50 BC

 

 

 

6th Trumpet/2nd  Woe: Destroying armies of Titus arrive

Revelation 9:13

Ezekiel 24 on 589 BC

 

 

 6th Trumpet = 2nd Woe: Destroying armies of Titus arrive: 7th March AD 70. Rev 9:13-21 = Ezek 10:3-22

1.        Synchronisms with Ezekiel:

a.         "The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord. Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks. It came about when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he entered and stood beside a wheel. Then the cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire which was between the cherubim, took some and put it into the hands of the one clothed in linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings. Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. When they moved, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went. Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar. Now when the cherubim moved, the wheels would go beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them. When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them. Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead." (Ezekiel 10:3–22)

2.        Direct synchronism between Babylonian armies in 587 BC and Titus in AD 70.

a.         Nabopolassar send his son, Nebuchadnezzar who later became king and Vespasian sent his son, Titus who later became Caesar.

b.        Both came from the north through Sebaste south to Jerusalem in AD 70.

c.         200 million = Both Babylon and Romans had unstoppable armies.

3.        The Euphrates is the historic origin of both destructions of the 10 northern tribes by Assyria in 723 BC and Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 BC. So Revelation borrows this well known association and applies it to Rome who used the same route in AD 70.

a.         Ezekiel sees 4 cherubim with coals of fire at a tributary of the Euphrates: Ezek 10:12,20.

b.        John sees 4 fire and brimstone breathing angels at the Euphrates: Rev 9:14, 17.

c.         The Euphrates is the historic northern border of Israel: Gen 15:18.

4.        Roman Armies sent:

a.         Nero sends Vespasian in December AD 66 (Wars 3:6) who in AD 69 comes from the north, destroys Khirbet el-Maqatir (Ephraim of Jn 11) where the author excavated the skeletons of 8 women and children killed by Vespasian on his way to Jerusalem but delays siege and goes to Alexandria to be appointed Caesar.

b.        Vespasian sends Titus on 20th December AD 69 from Alexandria, who moves north along the coast to Caesarea then over to Sebaste, then south to Jerusalem taking the same route Nebuchadnezzar took in 587 BC.

 

 

Two Witnesses: Ezekiel & Jesus ben Ananus

Revelation 10-11:14

Ezekiel 2 on July 593 BC

Ezekiel 40-48 on Oct 574 BC

Ezekiel 16 on Sept 592 BC

Ezekiel 23 on Aug 591 BC

Zech 4

Josephus

 

 

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witnesses overview and summary

 

A. Two Witnesses: Ezekiel & Jesus ben Ananus: 10:8-11:14

1.       Both Ezekiel and John saw a man who shone like sun with a rainbow and clouds over his head:

a.        Ezekiel saw a radiant man (Jesus) on His throne with clouds and rainbow: "Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking." (Ezekiel 1:26–28)

b.       Rainbow around God’s Throne: "And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance." (Revelation 4:3)

c.        John saw a radiant angel with clouds and rainbow: "I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;" (Revelation 10:1)

2.       John eats bitter-sweet book and are told to prophecy 42 months

3.       John measures temple = prophesying destruction

4.       Two Witnesses prophecy 42 months as John is measuring

 

B. 7 Lampstands & 2 olive trees of Zechariah 4

1.       7 lampstands = word of God = “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit”: Zech 4:6. Faith not war machinery will win

2.       2 Olive trees: “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zek 4:14

 

C. Two Witnesses and Elijah:

1.        Both called for fire down from heaven:

a.       "Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty." (2 Kings 1:10)

2.        Both can start and stop the rain:

a.       "Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. “It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land." (1 Kings 17:1–7)

b.      "Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”" (1 Kings 18:1)

c.       "It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’ ”" (1 Kings 18:44)

3.        Both are taken up to heaven directly by God:

a.       "As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven." (2 Kings 2:11)

4.        7000 men:

a.       7000 faithful: "“Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”" (1 Kings 19:18)

b.      7000 killed: "And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:13)

 

D. Ezekiel and John measure temple:

1.        John measures the temple: Rev 11:1

2.        Ezekiel was told to measure the temple in 574 BC, 12 years AFTER Solomon’s temple was already destroyed in 587 BC.

3.        He has an elaborate vision of the third temple, which is the church and also the heavenly sanctuary seen in Rev 21.

4.        The entire vision is messianic, fulfilled in the church in the first century.

 

E. 2 Witnesses: 7 Synchronisms: Ezekiel & Jesus ben Ananus

1.        Same 3-stage process: Revelation 10:9-11:3; 21:15 Ezekiel 2:8–3:7: 1. Eat scroll 2. Prophecy to Jews. 3. measure temple:

2.        Initial Peace: 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Jeremiah 28:3-4; Josephus Wars 6:300

3.        Same message: “Woe, Woe”. Rev 8:13; 18:10,16,19; Ezekiel 2:10; 16:23; Josephus Wars 6:304

4.        Prophesied 7 yrs:

5.        Mute-prophets for 7 yrs:

6.        42 months: From Liberation of Jerusalem to start of siege: Rev 11:3,15 2 witnesses killed=7th trumpet blows.

7.        Persecuted: Rev 11:5; Ezek 2:6; 3:25; Wars 6:302

 

F. Jerusalem = Holy City, Sodom & Egypt

The critical statement is: And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great Holy city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt.

1.       Jerusalem = The Holy City: Rev 11:2 (Cannot be Rome!)

2.       Jerusalem = Sodom: In 587 BC: Ezekiel 16:46; In Jer 23:14-15 notice Sodom and wormwood in same passage, cf 3rd trumpet: Rev 8:11; Josephus calls Jerusalem “Sodom” in Wars 5.566

3.       Jerusalem = Egypt In 591 BC: Ezekiel 23:2-27. Two different chapters in Ezekiel (16 & 32) record the allegory of two sisters but in chapter 16 Jerusalem is “Sodom sister” and in chapter 23 Jerusalem is “Egypt sister”. In both 587 BC and AD 70 Jerusalem was called Sodom and Egypt. In 730 BC, Isaiah calls Jerusalem both Sodom and a Harlot (Isa 1:10,21). Jesus said any city that rejects the Gospel will be as guilty as Sodom. (Mt 10:15)

4.       Jerusalem = Crucifixion city: “where also their Lord was crucified

 

G. 2nd Woe: 1/10th of the city and 7000 died in earthquake

1.         The timing of the 2nd wore is the death of the two witnesses

2.         These must be the men who physically hurt or harmed Jesus ben Ananus while he prophesied.

 

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witnesses: Jesus predicted literal signs in stars and heavens

 

A. Literal and Symbolic signs in the Bible:

1.       Literal heavenly signs were used at the birth of Jesus which the Magi followed from Babylon to Bethlehem.

a.       “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2)

b.      "Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared." (Matthew 2:7)

c.       "After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was." (Matthew 2:9)

2.       CRUCIFIXION SIGNS: Joel 2:28 predicted literal darkened sun and moon on 3 April AD 33

a.       "“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." (Joel 2:30-31)

b.      The sun was darkened from noon to 3 PM on 14th Nisan AD 33.

c.       There was a literal “NASA VALIDATED” Lunar Eclipse at 6 PM 14th Nisan AD 33.

d.      See outline on the NASA Lunar Eclipse of 3 April AD 33 predicted by Joel 2:28 in 588 BC.

3.       Jesus predicted symbolic heavenly signs for previous literal destructions of past cities and nations: day of the Lord, Lord is coming quickly and riding on clouds, sun and moon dark, turned to blood, dark day etc. All these are fully fulfilled past events. However this same symbolic language is used of the destruction of heaven and earth at the future second coming.

a.       Babylon 539 BC: "Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man’s heart will melt. They will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of them; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger." (Isaiah 13:6–13)

b.      Egypt: 568 BC: "The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them." (Isaiah 19:1)

c.       Edom 550 BC: "And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree. 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 34:4–5)

d.      Egypt: 568 BC: "“For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, A time of doom for the nations. “A sword will come upon Egypt, And anguish will be in Ethiopia; When the slain fall in Egypt, They take away her wealth, And her foundations are torn down." (Ezekiel 30:3–4)

e.      Egypt: 568 BC: “And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud And the moon will not give its light. “All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you And will set darkness on your land,” Declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 32:7–8)

f.        Israel/Samaria 723 BC: "Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light; As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?" (Amos 5:18–20)

g.       Israel/Samaria 723 BC: "“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I will make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight." (Amos 8:9)

h.      Jerusalem 587 BC: "Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests." (Zephaniah 1:7)

i.         Jerusalem 587 BC: "Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers." (Zephaniah 1:14–16)

j.        Jerusalem 587 BC: "I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the LORD, before His fierce anger. For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction. “For this the earth shall mourn And the heavens above be dark, Because I have spoken, I have purposed, And I will not change My mind, nor will I turn from it.”" (Jeremiah 4:23–28)

k.       Future second coming: "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:10–13)

5.      Josephus documents that many false prophets killed up to 6000 Jews at a time by their false signs: Wars 6.283-287

 

B. Jesus prophesied literal signs in Josephus in Jerusalem:

1.      JESUS GAVE LITERAL STAR SIGNS FOR DESTRUCTION in AD 70:

a.       Jesus predicted Literal heavenly signs using the same symbolic language. If there were no evidence of the signs the disciples could recognize the warnings to flee when they see them are worthless.

b.      "As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”" (Matthew 24:3)

c.       "“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." (Matthew 24:30)

d.      "and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11)

e.      "“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves," (Luke 21:25)

2.      Fulfillment: Introduction about the signs recorded by Josephus:

a.       It is entirely possible that Josephus was used as a providential agent of God to record his histories, including partial inspiration. On the other hand, Josephus must be considered as a purely human document and potentially flawed history. We do know that Josephus made several mistakes.

b.      Josephus records that the two witnesses of Revelation began crying “woe to Jerusalem” in AD 62, for years and 5 months. (see section on the two witnesses for details)

c.       All the while the two witnesses were crying “woe to Jerusalem” starting at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) 7th Oct. AD 62, notice that the first sign of the sword star and comet lasted for a year from Passover AD 65 and lasted till Pentecost AD 66, which is only 50 days after the time when Josephus says the First Jewish War started at Passover in Jerusalem with uprising beginning 18 days later in Caesarea on 17th May AD 66. It was during the time the sword star and comet were in the sky that the other five signs happened. The second sign was 7 days before Passover AD 66 and the last sign ended Pentecost AD 66. Once the War began in Jerusalem, the two witnesses of Revelation continued crying for exactly 42 months, starting when the sword star and comet vanished on Pentecost AD 66 until they were killed 7th March AD 70 (Pentecost AD 66 - 7th March AD 70 = 42 months).

d.      The sequence of signs recorded by Josephus are stunningly synchronistic with Jesus the Messiah, Revelation and Ezekiel.

e.      Josephus, a Jew, missed all the connections with Christianity. Had he made the connection with Jesus of Nazareth he likely would not have recorded them as he did. Josephus does reference Jesus a few times, but Christianity is completely lacking as a discussion topic in his histories.

f.        We also know these signs are not a “latter Christian scribal addition” to the manuscript of Josephus, because it completely lacks and direct connections in the narration to Jesus. So these are Josephus’ autograph words.

g.       Use of “7” in the signs was like Revelation: The connection with the seven signs and the seven trumpets/woes/seals/bowls of wrath in the book of Revelation is obvious. The signs begin 7 days before and 7 days after Passover.

h.      All the signs are connected with the Jews killing Jesus, which is why Jerusalem is being destroyed in AD 70.

 

Rev 10-11:14

The 7 signs of Josephus Wars 6:288-300

 

SEVEN Literal signs in Josephus in Jerusalem: In chronological order AD 62-70:

Note: The author is the first person (to his knowledge) to make the synchronistic connection with the 7 signs of Josephus that synchronize with Jesus from birth to Ascension, Revelation and Ezekiel.

 

1.           SIGN #1: YEAR LONG COMET: “Heavenly signs” predicted by Christ

a.       Josephus: a comet, that continued a whole year.” (Josephus Wars 6:288-289)

b.      Duration/Date: Lasted 1 year from Tuesday, 2nd April AD 65 (7 days before Passover) to Passover, Monday 28th April AD 66. Notice that the first of the seven signs began exactly one week before Passover and in AD 70, titus arrived to destroy Jerusalem exactly one week before Passover. Then on Passover John of Gischal kills Eleazar who was using the temple as a fortress of war. John then continues to use the temple as his military headquarters until it is burned.

c.       Synchronism: Jesus predicted many heavenly signs in Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21 (see above)

d.      Signs 1,2,3 likely all began the same day.

e.      The Comet and Sword Star both lasted about one year. Both started and stopped at the same time.

f.        We are not told exactly when the started or stopped except it continued into the period of the war in AD 66.

2.           SIGN #2: YEAR LONG SWORD STAR: “Star of Bethlehem”

a.       Josephus: “Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend, nor give credit, to the signs that were so evident and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see, or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. (289) Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.” (Josephus Wars 6:288-289)

b.      Duration/Date: Lasted 1 year from Tuesday, 2nd April AD 65 (7 days before Passover) to Passover, Monday 28th April AD 66.

c.       Synchronism: Birth of Christ Josephus Wars 6:288 with Star of Bethlehem: Birth of Christ in Bethlehem, Herod tried to kill, Jews killed

d.      Signs 1,2,3 likely all began the same day.

e.      Both the Sword Star and Comet shine continuously for one year while 5 other signs occur, from Passover 65-Passover AD 66.

f.        The Star of Bethlehem signalled life through Jesus but the sword star signalled death through Jesus.

g.       The connection with the Star of Bethlehem would not be missed. Herod tries to kill Jesus (Sword Star and Comet) Jesus of “Nazareth” (lit: “the branch of David”, born in Bethlehem (Star). When Herod killed the children in 1 BC and the Jews killed Jesus in AD 33, both times there was an eclipse of the moon. Herod tried to kill Jesus, death of many Jewish children would be remembered as a major event. Double visit of the Magi: First: The Magi were attracted to see the birth of Jesus in 1BC, then saw the moon eclipse the day Herod killed the babies as they fled a different way home.  See authors outline of the “Qubur Bani megalithic tomb of Rachel weeping for her children”.

h.      See full outline on: The two lunar eclipses that mark the birth and death of Christ.

i.         Both the Sword Star and Comet shine continuously for one year from Tuesday, 2nd April AD 65 - Passover AD 66, while 5 other signs occur between Passover the Pentecost AD 65. The last and 7th sign was the temple earthquake and angelic voices saying in the temple “remove the temple” which occurred on Pentecost 16th June AD 65, exactly 33 years (Jewish inclusive counting) after the church began and church officially replaced the Physical temple as God’s object of blessing, forgiveness of grace. When the two star signs stopped shining on Passover 28th April AD 66, it marked the beginning of the First Jewish war in Jerusalem when the Jews complained to Cestius about Florus who then went strait to Caesarea to start the uprising by desecrating a synagogue. (Josephus Wars 2.280). Meanwhile the two witnesses of revelation continue crying “Woe is Jerusalem” till AD 70.

3.           SIGN #3: TEMPLE/ALTAR SHINE: “God’s glory appears” Ezek 43:1-4. Birth, Triumphal entry, cleanse temple

a.       Duration/Date: Lasted ½ hour at 3 AM on Tuesday, 2nd April AD 65 (7 days before Passover)

b.      Synchronism: Birth, Temple, Transfiguration, Triumphal entry, Temple cleansed: Josephus Wars 6:290 with Ezek 10:17-19; Rev 8:1; Jn 2:18, Mt 21:-1-17

c.       Josephus: “Thus also, before the Jews’ rebellion (staring 26th August - 15th September AD 66), and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan] [Tuesday, 2nd April AD 65], and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which light lasted for half an hour. (291) This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. (292) (Josephus Wars 6:290-292)

d.      Signs 1,2,3 likely all began the same day.

e.      7 days before Passover: While the two stars are shining, God’s illuminates temple with His Glory in advance of his withdrawing His grace and in advance of the birth of the Messiah. God, in a repeat of Ezekiel in 587 BC, has sent chariot wheeled Cherubim to remove the glory of God and destroy the city just like in Ezekiel 10:17-19 (Temple shines). You find the new church temple in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.

                                                         i.            "Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city [of Jerusalem in 587 BC]. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east." (Ezekiel 43:1–4)

                                                       ii.            "When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them. Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them." (Ezekiel 10:17–19)

e.      Synchronism: between Ezekiel and Revelation and the three Josephus signs: Glory, East gate opens, Chariot Angels in sky:

                                                         i.            First: Chariot wheeled cherubim illuminates the temple indicating God’s presence was departing. In Rev 8:1 the seventh seal signalled the departing of God’s presence and beginning of the destruction of the temple. Notice the silence in heaven for ½ and hour was the same time the temple shone in Josephus which also signalled the commencement of the destruction of the temple. "When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour." (Revelation 8:1)

                                                       ii.            Second: The Chariot wheeled cherubim leave the city through the EASTERN GATE. The same gate the destroying angels used in Ezekiel.

                                                     iii.            Third: The Chariot wheeled are seen in the clouds surrounding the city just like in Ezekiel when they lifted up and removed the glory of God from the temple.

f.        Birth of Christ came with Shining Glory:

                                                         i.            "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened." (Luke 2:9)

g.       Jesus presented in temple with Glory:

                                                         i.            "And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him." (Luke 2:27–33)

h.      Transfiguration of Glory:

                                                         i.            "And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him." (Luke 9:30–32)

i.         Triumphal entry was 7 days before Passover: Glory, cleansing temple then destroy it and replace it with His body, the church of Christ: 

                                                         i.            "As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”" (Luke 19:37–38)

                                                       ii.            "And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves." (Matthew 21:12)

                                                     iii.            "The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken." (John 2:18–22)

4.           SIGN #4: COW’S VIRGIN BIRTH OF BABY SHEEP: Jesus the Passover lamb was born on Passover

a.       Date: Passover (Nisan 14) Tuesday, 9th April AD 65

b.      Synchronism: Virgin birth of Lamb of God: Josephus Wars 6:292 and the virgin birth of Christ: On Passover a virgin “Cow” heifer miraculously gives birth to a “sheep” lamb [Jesus, lamb of God], which was a double miracle because the priests were careful to never let the heifer near a bull and cows don’t give to sheep.

c.       Josephus: “At the same festival [Passover] also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.” (Josephus Wars 6:292)

d.      Jesus was most likely born just before Passover 2 BC not December 25th 6 BC. It was Constantine who chose Dec 25th in 325 AD. Many conservative Bible students teach that Christ was born in the spring, which fits Passover time. The author has excavated Bethlehem and believes that Jesus was born, in the “city of David”, at the very place and time where the temple Passover lambs were born. Alive with Jesus were the two Passover lambs that would be used in the new Herodian temple. In other words, the beside Jesus in the place he was born, the two newborn Passover lambs lay in the “double manger” that was excavated in Bethlehem.

e.      A cow giving birth to a baby sheep may be the only case of evolution documented in history!

f.        Notice this happened on Nisan 14 was the Passover. The connection with the virgin birth of Jesus as the Passover lamb of God, could not be missed, especially while the two stars continue to shine.

g.       "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

h.      Virgin birth of Jesus was a “sign”: Isa 7:14; Mt 1:18-25

i.         In AD 150 Jews were replacing “virgin” in their Greek synagogue pubic reading Septuagints with “young woman”: Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho the Rabbinical Jew 84. See detailed outline on Justin. Then in AD 160 the Jews at Zippori, lead by Rabbi Yose ben Halafta deliberately corrupted their Hebrew Tanakh to counter Christian theology and the Masoretic Text was born. See detailed outline on the Jewish corruption of their Masoretic Text. The Septuagint we have today preserves the autograph messianic prophecies before they were corrupted by the Jews in the second century AD.
 

5.      SIGN #5: EASTERN IRON GATE OPENS ON ITS OWN: Arrest, Trials, Crucifixion: Angel leaves with glory: Ezekiel 43:1-4

a.       Date: Passover (Nisan 14) Midnight Tuesday, 9th April AD 65

b.      Passover Synchronism: Arrest, Crucifixion: Josephus Wars 6:293-296, Ezekiel 43:1-3: Physical temple no longer where God’s grace is at the death of Christ.

c.       Josephus: “Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. (294) Now, those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it: who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty, was able to shut the gate again. (295) This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. (296) So these publicly declared, that this signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. (Josephus Wars 6:293-296)

d.      The Arrest and trials of Jesus began Passover midnight. Nisan 14 began sundown Thursday till sundown Friday. Thursday 12AM was the arrest/trials and crucifixion was 9AM-3PM Friday. See outline on the Six Trials of Jesus.

e.      On Passover: While the two stars are shining, the chariot wheeled Cherubim who came to destroy the city, exit out the east gate, just like in Ezekiel 10:17-19. (east gate opens)

f.        "When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them. Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD’S house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them." (Ezekiel 10:17–19)

g.       "Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city [of Jerusalem in 587 BC]. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face." (Ezekiel 43:1-3)

Extinction of Mosaic Judaism

Christ made extinct, Mosaic Judaism at the cross and abolished the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments. God replaced the temple with the church, the physical Jews with Christians and the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ. See detailed outlines on “Ten Commandments Nailed to Cross” and “The church is the Kingdom” and “Replacement theology” as taught by the Apostles and believed by the first century church.

 

1.       “He took it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col 2:14-17)

2.       "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." (Romans 2:28–29)

 

6.      SIGN #6: ANGELIC CHARIOT ARMIES: Ascension of Christ, Jesus’ sign of Jerusalem’s destruction

a.       Date: Before sunset, Thursday, 16th May 65 AD (36 days after Christ arose, short by 4 days from the traditional 40 of the ascension.) The ascension was 40 days after Resurrection Sunday, Nisan 16, AD

b.      Ascension Synchronism: Josephus Wars 6:296-929 with Ascension of Christ (NOT the second coming) and the specific prediction of Christ in Mt 24:30.

c.       Josephus: “Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month Artemisius [Iyar], [Thursday 16th May AD 65] (297) a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, (298) and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen (299) running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. (Josephus Wars 6:296-299)

d.      It is a direct fulfillment of Jesus sign that Jerusalem was to be destroyed: “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." (Matthew 24:30)

e.      This sign is very close to when Jesus ascended in the clouds 10 days before Pentecost. Josephus did not make this up because he was an unbeliever. The Christians would have recognized the significance of the timing of 14 days before Pentecost with the ascension of Christ. Josephus may have got the date wrong.

f.        At the corresponding time of the ascension of Christ, while the two stars are shining, the chariot wheeled Cherubim (chariot angels in sky) at the approximate corresponding time of Christ’s ascension in AD 33.

g.       To calculate the corresponding ascension day of Christ in AD 33 for AD 65, for you simply add two days to Passover (Tuesday, 9th April AD 65) to get Thursday 11th April 65 (corresponding resurrection day) and add 40 days which equals 21th May AD 65 [26rd Iyar]. So the ascension day of Jesus is only four 5 days later than when Josephus said the 6th sign of the angelic armies in the clouds, representing Jesus return in the clouds as an echo of the crucifixion. (Mt 26:64). (21st Artemisius/Iyar = 16th May AD 65)

h.      Jesus said to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin council that would have included Annas: "Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”" (Matthew 26:64) This event Jesus prophesied happened on Pentecost. Annas was appointed high priest sometime around AD 6 by Quirinius, who was the governor of Syria. Annas served in this office until ca. AD 14-15, when he was removed by Valerius Gratus. Mt 26:64 could not be speaking of this “sign of Christ coming in clouds” in AD 66 because the high priests were already old men at the trials of Jesus and surely dead. Remember, Jesus promised Caiaphas that his eyes would see it. We also know that Caiaphas was replaced by Vitellius in AD 37 and reinstalled the son of Ananias named Jonathan. Having said this, the 6th sign could have been an echo secondary fulfillment of Mt 26:64.

                                                         i.            "Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)" (Ephesians 4:8-10)

                                                       ii.            "Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”" (Acts 7:56)

i.         Full-Preterists would love to apply this “angels in the sky with clouds” to the second coming, but it corresponds with the Ascension not the second coming. Having said this, the Christians and Jews would clearly associate this as an echo of the ascension.

7.      SIGN #7: EARTHQUAKE & MYRIAD OF ANGELS VOICE IN TEMPLE: Birth of Spiritual Church Temple

a.        Date: Pentecost: Night after sunset, Sunday, 2nd June AD 65

b.       Synchronism: Josephus Wars 6:299-300 with Revelation 16:17-21 “It is finished-7th bowl” and Acts 2:38-41 when the 3000 souls were added to the New Temple of God, the church. Echoes both the death of Christ and Pentecost and

c.        Josephus: “Moreover at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple [Minora, Table of Showbread, Altar of Incense], as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, (300) and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.” (Josephus Wars 6:299-300)

d.       Tacitus: Supernatural omens had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this mighty destiny was reserved for them, and not even their calamities opened their eyes to the truth.  We are told that the number of the besieged, old and young, men and women, amounted to 600,000. All who could bear arms did so, and more than their numbers warranted had the courage necessary. They displayed an inflexible determination, women no less than men, and the thought that they might be compelled to leave their home made them more afraid of living than of dying.  This, then, was the city and nation which Titus faced. Since a headlong assault and the element of surprise were ruled out by the lie of the ground, he proposed to employ earthworks and mantlets. Each legion had its allotted task, and there was a lull in the fighting while they pushed on with the construction of every conceivable device for storming Cities, whether invented long ago or due to the ingenuity of modern times. (Tacitus, Histories 5:13, 100 AD)

a.       Tacitus records that the voice indicated the gods (angels) were abandoning the temple.

b.      Tacitus shows that the correct interpretation was the impeding destruction of the temple fulfilled specifically by Vespasian and Titus.

e.        Death and Pentecost connected with the abolition of Mosaic Judaism. While the death of Christ destroyed the Physical temple in Jerusalem and was “rebuilt” when he rose from the dead, it was not until Pentecost when Peter used the “keys of the kingdom” and opened the doors, for the first time, of the body of Christ. We get into the body of Christ through water Baptism: Gal 3:26-27; Rom 6:3-4)

                                                         i.            When Jesus died there was an earthquake as there was in Josephus’ sign.

                                                       ii.            The sign Joseph recorded echoes Death of Christ: Jesus words, “IT IS FINISHED” and the torn temple veil the exact meaning of “Let us remove”. Jesus destroyed temple in at the cross in AD 33: “destroy this temple and three days raise it up” (Jn 2:19)

                                                     iii.            The fact Josephus’ sign happened on Pentecost directly connects it with the birth of the Church, which on that day officially, physically and tangibly replace the temple with the Body of Christ, the Church of Christ.

                                                     iv.            Why not find this same first century “Church of Christ” in your own home town to worship with this coming Sunday! Click here to find one.

f.         Revelation 19:17-21, Josephus’ 7th sign and the First Jewish War on 1st January AD 70 there was a 3-Way civil war in Jerusalem where “The great city was split into three parts” = 7th Bowl of Rev 16:19. As the city was literally divided up geographically in a three-way bid for control between the three Jewish rebel leaders Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora, John of Gischala, Titus marches from Alexandria to Jerusalem via Caesarea.

g.        Pentecost and Revelation: Temple earthquake, voice of angels saying “remove the temple” "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.”" (Rev 16:17) See detailed outlines on “The church is the Kingdom” and “Replacement theology”.

The Church Temple

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19–22)

 

h.       Pentecost always fell on a Sunday. Regardless of which day of the week Passover fell on, you skip forward to the next Sabbath (7th day) then count 7 Sabbaths (49 days), then the next day is Passover Sunday (49 + 1). If Passover falls on a Friday, as in the 3 April AD 33 when Christ was crucified, you would start counting day one on the Sabbath Jesus was in the tomb. (4th April 33 AD). this means the ascension happened on 15th May 33 AD and Pentecost fell on Sunday 24th May 33 AD. In 65 AD, however Passover falls on a Tuesday, 9th April AD 65. To calculate Pentecost you start with Passover on Tuesday, 9th April AD 65, add four days to the next sabbath and add 49 days for seven sabbaths and the day after is Sunday 2nd June AD 65.

i.          Full-Preterists believe this is the actual second coming of Christ and resurrection of the dead:

                                                         i.            Full-Preterists say the Josephus gives us the exact day and hour of the second coming, Pentecost 4th June AD 66, based upon Josephus’ 7th sign but as we will see, this creates a cataclysmic contradiction in their theories. Full-Preterists, unlike other modern date setters for the second coming, chose a date in the distant past. “Josephus Wars 6:299 gives us the precise “day and hour” [night, Pentecost] when the angelic armies were seen in the sky signaling the beginning of his visitation in reward and judgment.” (Edward Stevens, Full-Preterist, 2018 AD)

                                                       ii.            Josephus’ 7th sign actually happened on Pentecost Sunday, 2nd June AD 65, but Full-Preterists wrongly date it one year later to 4th June AD 66.

                                                     iii.            A second major blow to Full-Preterists using Josephus’ 7th sign for the second coming, is that it corresponds to the beginning of the church, not the second coming! Full-Preterists failed to notice that the best match of Josephus’ 7 signs with the second coming is the 6th sign, where the army of wheeled-cherubim are seen in the clouds surrounding the city of Jerusalem in the air. Further, for Full-Preterists, Mt 26:64 is a perfect match with the 6th sign and has nothing in common with the 7th sign. But creates a new set of devastatingly contradictory problems for their theories.

                                                     iv.            Full-preterists teach this Josephus’ seventh sign was the invisible second coming which they wrongly date to Pentecost 4th June AD 66, where the souls under the alter are resurrected after they collectively say, “Let us be removed from this place of Hades below the ground” [expanded paraphrase of their meaning]. They connect Revelation 6:9 at the 5th seal were the souls are seen under the alter but told to wait for resurrection a while longer. They connect the earthquake when Jesus died that resulted in the bodily resurrection of some Christians out of the nearby graves. There are a few basic problems with this. First, the voice was heard in the holy place where the altar of incense is, not the outer court where the alter of burnt offerings is. Second, given the context of Josephus centering on how these signs are of the destruction of the city it is clear that when Josephus was told the story, he interpreted it as the temple being removed. Finally, this was supposed to be a sign from God that the city was going to be destroyed to the Jews working in the temple. Since Full-Preterism did not exist 200 years ago as a theology and even the Apostles were unfamiliar with it, the sign would be worthless and misinterpreted if it represented the second coming of Christ and general resurrection. Being a miracle, the priests would only conclude it was the voice of angels and their message could only be interpreted one way: the temple was going to be destroyed. Joseph comments on how this and other signs were so obviously foretelling the destruction.

                                                       v.            If we accept the Full-Preterist meaning of the voice “remove us human souls from the temple” it could easily be interpreted by the Christians to mean, “Flee the city” or “remove yourself from the temple-run!”

                                                     vi.            Finally according to Full-Preterists, after this day, every Christian on earth is raptured directly into heaven leaving zero Christians on earth on Pentecost 4th June AD 66. The church, now extinct, must restart from scratch using the Bible only. The first new converts, so the story goes, are those who “almost thou makest me a Christian” take that delayed plunge into the waters of Baptism to be born again and become a Christian. Too little too late. If only they had been baptized a few days earlier, they would be in heaven! However, the two witnesses of revelation as we will soon see, are both quite humans who started prophesying “Woe Woe to Jerusalem from AD 62 to AD 70, which refutes their entire system.

 

 

 

Rev 10-11:14

Two Witness of Revelation 11: Ezekiel and Jesus son of Ananus

Josephus Wars 6:300-309

 

Overview and text of Josephus Wars 6:300-309:

During a time of peace, one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 cried “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” day and night throughout all the streets of Jerusalem starting Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) 7th October AD 62 for seven years and 5 months till he was killed on 7th March AD 70. The wealthy and the leaders in Jerusalem were greatly irritated by him and had him whipped but he was silent (like Jesus). They took him to the newly installed Judean Governor Albinus who demanded he give an account of who he was, but again, like Jesus before Pilate, remained silent. Albinus had him severely whipped after each stroke he replied, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!”. Albinus concluded he was mad, just as they accused Jesus, and let him go free. Guess what his name was? “Jesus son of Ananus” So the Jews would clearly see the connection with this man named Jesus son of Ananus with the identical name as the high priest who killed Jesus Christ, and perhaps the literal son of this High Priest!) and Jesus the Messiah in both name and mannerisms.

 

 

 

Josephus Wars 6:300-309

Two Witnesses of Revelation 11

“Woe, Woe, is Jerusalem”

Ezekiel and Jesus ben Ananus

Both were “mute prophets” for 42 months from liberation to siege

 

Ezekiel’s total mute time: is 6.5 yrs: 6th Aug 593 (Ezek 3:24-27) to 19th Jan 586 BC (Ezek 33:21-22)

Ezekiel’s 42 mos begin: 6 August 593 BC (Ezek 3:24-27) Jerusalem liberated

Ezekiel’s 42 mos end: Nebuchadnezzar’s armies arrive on 27th Jan 589 BC (Ezek 24:25-27)

 

Jesus total mute time: 7 years 5 months from Sukkot AD 62 till 7th March AD 70

Jesus’ 42 months begin: Monday 15th Sept AD 66, Jerusalem Liberated

Jesus’ 42 months end: Stoned by Jews: 7th March AD 70, Titus’ armies arrived

 

“But, what is still more terrible there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast [Feast of Booths on 7th October AD 62, Sukkot, 15-22 Tishri] whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple [Neh 8:16], (301) began on a sudden cry aloud, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!” This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. (302) However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say anything for himself [silent when beaten like Jesus], or anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still he went on with the same words which he cried before. (303) Hereupon our rulers supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him [A prophet like Jesus] to the Roman procurator [Albinus: Judean Governor AD 62-64]; (304) where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet did he not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem! [Like Jesus: Mt 23:13,37]” (305) And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him who he was [like Jesus before Pilate], and whence he came, and why he uttered such words; he made no manner of reply [like Jesus before Pilate] to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman [like Jesus: Mark 3:21], and dismissed him. (306) Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, “Woe, woe, to Jerusalem!” (307) Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; [unmoved like John the Baptist and Jesus] but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. (308) This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his warning in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; (309) for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, “Woe, woe, to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!” And just as he added at the last,—“Woe, woe, to myself also!” there came a stone out of one of the engines [Jewish], and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same omens, he gave up the ghost.”

Josephus Wars 6:300-309, 7th March AD 70

 

 

 

A. Josephus describes in detail one of the two witnesses of Revelation 17 in Josephus Wars 6:300-309

1.        Revelation 11 clearly indicates there are two witnesses and the natural reading is they were both worked together for 42 months, killed together and raised from the dead after three days together.

a.        Josephus viewed Jesus ben Ananus as a true prophet of God.

b.       Since Revelation does use symbolism to describe real events, it is entirely possible that the two witnesses were Jesus ben Ananus and Ezekiel even though the latter was never killed and resurrected.

c.        Although Josephus describes one man Jesus ben Ananus, there may have been a second man he did not describe or did not know about.

d.       Although Josephus does not record that Jesus ben Ananus was raised from the dead after 3 days, does not mean it did not happen.

e.        Josephus was fully aware of Christianity and deliberately ignores it except in a few places.

f.         Even though Josephus believed the 7 signs and the prophetic nature of Jesus ben Ananus as direct supernatural events from God, he viewed it as justice for the wickedness of the Jews living in Jerusalem.

2.       A man named Jesus began proclaiming doom to Jerusalem on Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) 7th October AD 62

a.       Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman” (Josephus Wars 6:300)

b.      Plebeian means he was a low ranking poor commoner like John the Baptist.

c.       Husbandman means he was farmer.

3.      Total prophecy time: 7 years and 5 months (Josephus Wars 6:308)

a.       Start time: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) 7th October AD 62

                                                         i.            Contrary to modern Rabbinic Judaism, Josephus says booth were erected in the actual temple area: “that feast [Feast of Booths on 7th October AD 62, Sukkot, 15-22 Tishri] whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple (Josephus Wars 6:300).

                                                       ii.            Nehemiah confirms Josephus: "So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim." (Nehemiah 8:16)

b.      Death: 7th March AD 70

4.      The timing of the death of Jesus ben Ananus is highly synchronistic with Revelation and Ezekiel:

a.       This the exact time both Revelation and Josephus say the city was broken into three parts, a symbol of the three Jewish revolt leaders who were engaged in a civil were Jews, nor Romans were destroying the city.

b.      This was the exact time Josephus says that Titus arrived in Jerusalem to begin the final siege that destroyed the city.

5.      Jesus ben Ananus creates a catastrophic refutation Full-Preterism that teaches all Christian were raptured at the “second coming” on 4th June AD 66 because Jesus was a common farmer who started preaching on 7th October AD 62 till he was stoned on 7th March AD 70 for a total of 7 years 5 months. (Josephus Wars 6:308)

a.       To refute Full-Preterism, all you need is evidence that Christian baptized before the “second coming” lived afterwards.

b.      Jesus ben Ananus therefore, falsifies and refutes Full-Preterism.

 

B. Master Summary of Synchronisms:

1.       7 Synchronisms in the name of Jesus ben Ananus

a.       AD 33: Jesus the Nazarene, the Messiah

b.      AD 33: High Priest Annas (alternate: Ananus) who condemned Jesus: John 18:13

c.       AD 62: Ananus twice: High Priest Ananus ben Ananus stoned James, brother of Jesus: Ant. 20.197-203

d.      AD 62-65: High Priest Jesus ben Damneus

e.      AD 65-69: High Priest Jesus ben Gamaliel: Antiquities 20.213

f.        AD 66: High Priest Jesus ben Sapphias, Mayor of Tiberias who was chosen as one of the initial commanders to defend Jerusalem. Hated Josephus “without a cause” as a traitor of the Jewish nation. (Life 66, 134; Wars 2.566,599)

2.       7 Synchronisms between Jesus and Jesus ben Ananus:

a.        A prophet: Wars 6:303

b.       Woe Message: Mt 23:13,37; Wars 6:304

c.        Silent when given many severe stripes: “gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say anything for himself, or anything peculiar to those that chastised him” (Josephus Wars 6:302)

d.       Brought before Governor:

                                                               i.      Jesus: Pilot: AD 26-36

                                                             ii.      Jesus ben Ananus: Albinus: AD 62-64 “brought him to the Roman procurator” (Josephus Wars 303)

e.        Made no reply before Governor: “And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him who he was, and whence he came, and why he uttered such words; he made no manner of reply to what he said” (Josephus Wars 305)

f.         Thought to be a madman:

                                                               i.      Jesus: "When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”" (Mark 3:21)

                                                             ii.      Jesus ben Ananus: “Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him” (Josephus Wars 6:305)

g.        Killed by Jews of Jerusalem:

                                                               i.      We know when Titus arrived at first, he came to the city walls in peace while the Jews tried to hit him with their engines. This proves that Jesus ben Ananus was killed by Jewish ballista ball, not roman. See Josephus when he began the siege.

h.       “there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately” (Josephus Wars 6:309)

3.       7 Synchronisms between Ezekiel, 2 Witnesses & Jesus ben Ananus

a.        Initial Peace: 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Jeremiah 28:3-4; Wars 6:300

b.       Prophesied 7 yrs: Ezekiel: 6.5 yrs (Ezek 3:24-27; 33:21-22) Jesus ben Ananus: 7.5 years: Wars 6:300

c.        Mute-prophets for 7 yrs: Ezekiel 3:26-27; Wars 6:307

d.       42 mos. from Liberation of Jerusalem to start of siege: Rev 11:3,15 2 witnesses killed=7th trumpet blows. Zedekiah: 6 Aug 593 BC - 27th Jan 589 BC; Jesus ben Ananus died 42 months after Titus arrived 7th March AD 70. 42 mos ended in death: Rev 11:7; Ezek 24:25-27 (wife); Wars 6:308

e.        Persecuted: Rev 11:5; Ezek 2:6; 3:25; Wars 6:302

f.         Same message: “Woe, Woe”. Rev 8:13; 18:10,16,19; Ezekiel 2:10; 16:23; Wars 6:304

g.        Same 3-stage process: 1. Eat scroll 2. Prophecy to Jews 3. measure temple: Revelation 10:9-11:3; 21:15 Ezekiel 2:8–3:7

 

C. Synchronisms with the Two witnesses of Revelation 11 with Ezekiel and Jesus ben Ananus:

1.       Same job function at a 3-stage initiation process: 1. Eat scroll 2. Prophecy to Jews 3. measure temple

a.        Rev 11: Apostle John eats the sweet/bitter scroll and is then given measuring stick for 42 months and must prophecy at the same the Two Witnesses prophecy.

                                                               i.      Notice that the two witnesses like Ezekiel are sent to YHWH believing JEWS not pagan Romans.

                                                             ii.      "So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”" (Revelation 10:9–11:3)

b.       Jesus ben Ananus: The message of “Woe, Woe, to Jerusalem” to Jews is a perfect fit.

c.        Ezekiel: Ezekiel was given the sweet/bitter scroll then later told to measure the church/Temple as was the angel in Rev 21.

                                                               i.      "“Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it. When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe. Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth. Then He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. “For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel, nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you; yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate." (Ezekiel 2:8–3:7)

                                                             ii.      "So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway." (Ezekiel 40:3)

                                                           iii.      "The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall." (Revelation 21:15)

2.       Initial Peace: All three started prophesying during a time of peace:

a.        Bible principle: Many of the “comings of the Lord” that involved past destructions of cities, would over take the wicked like a thief at a time of peace. Jesus said the destruction of Jerusalem would be "While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

b.       Ezekiel began preaching at the time Zedekiah had rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and everyone believed it was a time of independence and peace. Zedekiah returns home from dedication ceremony of Daniel 3 and rebels against Nebuchadnezzar. The Sign Act in Av 594 BC (summer) (Jer 27/28) where Jeremiah is uses a yolk to inform Zedekiah he will be a slave to Nebuchadnezzar but the false prophet Hananiah smashes the yolk in front of Jeremiah and the king as a sign Zedekiah will “break the yolk” of Babylon. False prophet Hananiah says: "‘Within two years I am going to bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. ‘I am also going to bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’ ”" (Jeremiah 28:3-4) Like the Jews who rebelled in AD 66, Zedekiah believed Hananiah that rebellion against Babylon was a time of peace.

c.        Jesus ben Ananus: “But, what is still more terrible there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (301) began on a sudden cry aloud, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!” (Josephus Wars 6:300) Josephus says that Jesus ben Ananus began preaching destruction and “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” at a time of peace. Jesus said the destruction of Jerusalem would be at time of peace: “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:37–39) Jesus son of Ananus (one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11) cried “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” day and night throughout all the streets of Jerusalem starting Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) 7th October AD 62 for seven years and 5 months. The fact that Jesus ben Ananus started to proclaim destruction at a time of peace, changed 4 years later into war until the city was destroyed 8 years after he started. So the idea of “like a thief” means that the population were unaware of their wicked spiritual condition just like the cities and towns Christians live in to day but constantly warn of the future second coming that comes without any signs or warnings.

3.       Prophesied 7 years: Both Jesus ben Ananus and Ezekiel were prophets for about 7 years:

a.        Rev 11: only speaks of 42 months

b.       Jesus ben Ananus: Total preaching time is 7 years 5 months from Sukkot AD 62 till 7th March AD 70

c.        Ezekiel: Total preaching time is 6.5 years from Sunday 6th Aug 593 (Ezek 3:24-27) till Friday, 19th January 586 BC (Ezek 33:21-22)

4.       Mute-prophets for 7 years: Both were “mute” prophets except when the Lord spoke through them. In other words, the only things they said were prophetic. They could had to use sign language to order their Tim Horton’s coffee at the drive through and when they got to the window and paid they would say, “Woe, Woe Jerusalem”. When a mute-prophet tries to say “pass the salt” at the dinner table, the only thing he can blurt out is, Woe, Woe, to you all”!

a.        Ezekiel: "“Moreover, I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house. “But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 3:26–27)

b.       Jesus ben Ananus: The only words spoken were prophetic: “Woe, Woe, Jerusalem” etc. Josephus notes that he was make no personal replies when questioned by the governors. When given bread, he would not say thanks, but “Woe, Woe, Jerusalem” to everyone.

5.       42 months: All prophesied for 42 months between the time that Jerusalem was liberation to when the destroying armies arrived:

a.        Rev 11: 1260 days = 42 months

b.       Ezekiel: Begins being mute at the time Zedekiah liberated Jerusalem: 6 August 593 BC  (Ezek 3:24-27) and when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies arrive on 27th Jan 589 BC (Ezek 24:25-27) which is exactly 42 months.

c.        Jesus ben Ananus: While the total duration of Jesus ben Ananus was 7 years and 5 months (Josephus Wars 6:308), it was exactly 42 months from when Jerusalem was liberated on Monday 7 Sept AD 66 and his murder on 7th March AD 70. Start of 42 months: Jerusalem Liberated: Monday 7 Sept AD 66. Killed: Wednesday 7th March AD 70 is 42 months! Count the months for yourself!

6.       42 months started when Jerusalem is liberated from under foreign control:

a.        Rev 11: no specific information

b.       Jesus ben Ananus: 42 months start: Ezekiel/Jesus when Jerusalem is liberated by Zedekiah 593 BC, Manahem AD 66

c.        Ezekiel: 42 months end: Ezekiel/Jesus when armies arrive: Nebuchadnezzar Jan 598 BC, Titus March AD 70

7.       42 months ended when the destroying armies arrived:

a.        Rev 11: Perfect fit: The two witnesses are the sixth angel/trumpet which is also the 2nd woe.

                                                               i.      The angel releases the armies that will come and destroy Jerusalem. (When Titus left Alexandria via Caesarea to Jerusalem)

                                                             ii.      Bitter-sweet scroll, prophecy and measure temple 42 months

                                                           iii.      The two witnesses are killed.

                                                           iv.      After this, the angel blows the 7th trumpet

b.       Jesus ben Ananus: Titus arrives March AD 79

c.        Ezekiel: 27th Jan 589 BC. This is the same month when Nebuchadnezzar arrived.

8.       42 months ended in death at the hands of Jews in Jerusalem

a.        Rev 11: Two witnesses killed by Jews of City

b.       Jesus ben Ananus He was killed by a Jewish ballista stone of the Zealots. We know for certain it was not the Romans who killed him because Josephus says Titus had come to Jerusalem to inspect not to fight. The timing of Jesus ben Ananus killed Jews and the arrival of Titus who came in peaceful reconciliation not wanting to destroy the city but negotiate, is significant. Titus may have seen Jesus ben Ananus killed.

c.        Ezekiel: Ezekiel did not die till after 26th April 571 BC= 1st Nisan (Ezek 29:17-30:19) but his wife died at the end of the 42 months (Ezek 24:25-27). The Jews indirectly killed Ezekiel’s wife because their idolatry was the reason the temple was going to be destroyed.

9.       Persecuted: All were beaten and bound:

a.        Rev 11: It doesn’t say that they killed any one who tried to harm them, but echoing “eye for eye” of Jewish law, the physical harm anyone did to the two witnesses, was inflicted as justice on them. "And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way." (Revelation 11:5)

b.       Ezekiel:

                                                               i.      "“And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 2:6)

                                                             ii.      “As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them." (Ezekiel 3:25)

c.        Jesus ben Ananus: He was beaten and abused by townsfolk and the Governor.

10.   Same message: “Woe, Woe”. Double woe is only found in Revelation and Ezekiel.

a.        Rev 11:

                                                               i.      We are never told what the Two Witnesses say in Rev 11 but the three woes of the Angel’s 5th, 6th and 7th trumpets/3rd woe, happens after the two witnesses in chapter 11.: "Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”" (Revelation 8:13)

b.       Three woes of Rev 18:

                                                               i.      Kings: "standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’" (Revelation 18:10)

                                                             ii.      Merchants: "saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls" (Revelation 18:16)

                                                           iii.      Sailors: "“And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’" (Revelation 18:19)

c.        Jesus ben Ananus: “Woe, Woe, to Jerusalem” (Josephus Wars 6:304)

d.       Ezekiel:

                                                               i.      "When He spread the scroll out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe." (Ezekiel 2:10)

                                                             ii.      “Then it came about after all your wickedness (‘Woe, woe to you!’ declares the Lord GOD)," (Ezekiel 16:23)

 

D. Synchronisms between the name of Jesus ben Ananus, Jesus Christ the Ananus the High Priest:

Not only did Jesus ben Ananus immediately associate his “Woe, Woe, to Jerusalem” to Jesus the Messiah and Annas the High Priest who crucified him, but almost every High priest between AD 62-AD 70 had either single or double associations. It must have given the Jews in Jerusalem the chills… or they could have got the message, come to repentance and reaped eternal life!

1.       AD 33: Jesus the Nazarene, the Messiah

2.       AD 33: High Priest Annas (alternate spelling of Ananus) who condemned the Messiah at the first trial in AD 33. "and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year." (John 18:13) Annas was appointed high priest sometime around AD 6 by Quirinius, who was the governor of Syria. Annas served in this office until ca. AD 14-15, when he was removed by Valerius Gratus.

a.         His father’s name was the same as Annas (variant) the High Priest who tried and killed Jesus in 33 AD.

                                                               i.      "and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year." (John 18:13)

                                                             ii.      "So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest." (John 18:24)

                                                           iii.      "and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent." (Acts 4:6)

b.        He may be part of the high priest family bloodline or even be the actual son of Ananias who condemned Jesus. In the author’s outline on the Six Trials of Jesus, Annas was the first one to judge and condemn Jesus. Jesus had six trials: Three religious (Jewish), and three civil (Romans). Here are the results:

                                                               i.      All these six trials were carried out on Good Friday, from 12 AM to 10 AM, in 8 very stormy hours.

1.      Three Jewish religious trials where he was proclaimed a sinner:

a.       First Religious Trial (Jewish): Annas, Jn.18:12-14… Decision: Go signal given to execute Jesus.

b.      Second Religious Trial: Caiaphas, Mt.26:57-68… Decision: Death Sentence, charge of blasphemy, because Jesus proclaimed himself the Messiah, God the Son.

c.       Third Religious Trial, Sanhedrin, Mt.27:1-2, Lk.22:63-71… Decision: Death.

2.      Three Roman Civic trials where Jesus was proclaimed innocent.

a.       First Civil Trial (Roman): Pilate, Jn.18:28-38… Decision: Not guilty.

b.      Second Civil Trial: Herod, Lk.23:6-12… Decision: Not guilty.

c.       Third Civil Trial: Pilate again, Jn.18:39-19:6. Decision: Not guilty, but turned to the Jews to be crucified (Mt.27:26).

3.       AD 62: High Priest Ananus ben Ananus: Stones Jesus’ brother James, killed by the Idumeans inside Jerusalem in January AD 68

a.         Appointed by Agrippa in November AD 62 and deposed by Agrippa after 3 months for stoning James, brother of Jesus

b.        Josephus views the death of Ananus in January AD 68 was the beginning of the destruction of Jerusalem!

                                                               i.      I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city.” (Josephus Wars 4:318)

                                                             ii.      Betrayed and killed Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel in January AD 68 (Josephus Wars 4:318)

                                                           iii.      Now after these (Ananus and Jesus, the eldest of the high priests- Wars 4:238) were slain, the zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals, and cut their throats”

c.         In Ordered James (the Just), brother of Jesus Christ to be stoned:

                                                               i.      “And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator; but the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. (198) Now the report goes, that this elder Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons, who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and he had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests: (199) but this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; (200) when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned; (201) but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; (202) nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent;—(203) whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.” (Antiquities 20.197-203)

d.        Ananus ben Ananus was the high priest who is featured in the story of where he convinced the people to let Simon into the city in an effort to get rid of John in Jan AD 68

                                                               i.      Dec 67 - Jan AD 68: Ananus son of Ananus: Moderate, Former high priest who killed James, brother of Jesus Christ, gives a speech to the people and says the Zealots must be defeated. (Josephus Wars 162-192) but the Zealots catch wind and attack first. The Zealots are routed and retreat back inside the temple. John of Gischala is asked by Ananus to negotiate with the Zealots but instead lies to them that Ananus is secretly planning on a new attack with the personal help of Vespasian. (Josephus Wars 4:208-223). The Zealots seek help of Idumeans (at Petra) and they agree and bring and army of 20,000 to Jerusalem. (Josephus Wars 4:225-235) Ananus locks them out of the city and they become enraged but camp over night outside and endure a violent lightening storm which the Jews inside viewed as a bad omen. Here again we have Jerusalem surrounded by an army of 20,000! (Josephus Wars 4:283-287) The Idumeans cut through the city gate during the storm and kill 8500 inside the city during random looting. (Josephus Wars 4:305-314). The Idumeans and Zealots join forces and Ananus, the moderate is killed, (Josephus Wars 4:315) but the Idumeans learn they were lied to about Ananus being a traitor, they leave the city. (Josephus Wars 4:345-352) The departure of the Idumeans back to Petra triggers a massive killing spree of the Zealots against anyone who opposes them. (Josephus Wars 4:354-365) All this internal was is reported to Vespasian who decides to let the Jews kill themselves off a bit longer and he delays attacking the city. (Josephus Wars 4: 366-376) The irreligious of the city attack religion itself as the problem. (Josephus Wars 4:377-388).

4.       AD 62-65: High Priest Jesus ben Damneus: AD 62-65

5.       AD 65-67: Jesus ben Gamaliel:

a.         Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, became the successor of Jesus, the son of Damneus, in the high priesthood, which the king [Agrippa] had taken from the other; on which account a sedition arose between the high priests, with regard to one another; for they got together bodies of the boldest sort of the people, and frequently came, from reproaches, to throwing of stones at each other; but Ananias was too hard for the rest, by his riches,—which enabled him to gain those that were most ready to receive.” (Josephus Antiquities 20.213)

6.       December AD 67: Phannias, the son of Samuel: Extinction of priesthood

a.         Notice again the Jews, not the Romans brought about the extinction of the priesthood. In January AD 68, the Jews themselves caused the extinction of their own High Priesthood by choosing the unfit Phannias ben Samuel by lot, then executing the two legitimate High Priests, Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel, a month later.

b.        New High Priest chosen by lot which was never done before. (Antiquities 4:147-8, 4:153-156)

c.         The Jewish Zealots abolish Herodian appointed High priest dynasty and cast lots, asking God to chose their new High Priest who was a totally unfit in knowledge and morality.

d.        Within a few months, the two legitimate High Priests Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel are killed by the Idumean army that the Zealots let inside the city themselves. (Josephus Wars 4:315,325). “And I cannot but imagine that virtue itself groaned at these men’s case, and lamented that she was here so terribly conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Jesus.” (Josephus Wars 4.325)

e.        Death of Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel marked beginning of the destruction of Jerusalem: “But the rage of the Idumeans was not satiated by these slaughters; but they now betook themselves to the city, and plundered every house, and slew everyone they met; (315) and for the other multitude, they esteemed it needless to go on with killing them, but they sought for the high priests, and the generality went with the greatest zeal against them; (316) and as soon as they caught them they slew them, and then standing upon their dead bodies, in way of jest, upbraided Ananus with his kindness to the people, and Jesus with his speech made to them from the wall. (317) Nay, they proceeded to that degree of impiety, as to cast away their dead bodies without burial, although the Jews used to take so much care of the burial of men, that they took down those that were condemned and crucified, and buried them before the going down of the sun. (318) I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city.” (Josephus Wars 4.314-318)

 

Rev 11:1

Ezekiel Fulfilled: “Foursquare Temple Prophecy” (Rev 11:1; Ezekiel 40:47; 43:3; Wars 6.310-315)

The prophecy was fulfilled on 19th July AD 70: Wars 6:164-165

   

1.         Measuring the square temple in Revelation:

a.        That John measures the temple for 42 months, is an inference and not a direct statement. The direct statement is that John leaves out the outer tabernacle because it has been given over to the Gentiles for 42 months. However the very next statement is that the Two witnesses prophecy for 42 months. The conclusion is that John’s measuring, the outer court given to gentiles and the work of the Two witnesses all  happen within the 42 months.

b.       Notice the prophesying of John is described as the figurative “measuring the temple” and that the Two Witnesses also prophecy at the same time. “You [Apostle John] must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”" (Revelation 10:11)

c.        Revelation 11:1: John measures the temple for 42 months while the two Witnesses are prophesying: "Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it." (Revelation 11:1)

d.       The fact that John was to measure the temple at the same time the two witnesses were prophesying “Woe is Jerusalem” proves John was alive in AD 70 at the same time as Jesus ben Ananus.

e.        "The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements." (Revelation 21:15–17)

2.         The prophecy of the square temple indicating the city would be destroyed came from Ezekiel.

a.        Ezekiel measured a square temple on Sabbath, 7th November 574 BC.

b.       "He measured the court, a perfect square, a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits wide; and the altar was in front of the temple." (Ezekiel 40:47)

c.        "And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face." (Ezekiel 43:3)

3.         What this proves, is that the non-Christian Jews in Jerusalem in AD 70 viewed Ezekiel as prophetic of the destruction of the temple.

a.        Regardless of how they interpreted Ezek 40-48, their messianic expectation was that Ezekiel prophesied the destruction of the temple.

b.       We do know that they misunderstood other messianic prophecies.

c.        Josephus takes note that the Jews in Jerusalem during the war brought about the fulfillment of the foursquare temple themselves!

d.       This echoes that the fact that Jews destroyed their own temple while the Romans were trying to preserve it.

4.         The prophecy was fulfilled on 19th July AD 70

a.        19th July AD 70, Thursday [22 Panemus/Tammuz] Jews defensively burn the cloister (open arched patio) that adjoins the Antonia Fortress to protect access to the temple.

b.       “In the meantime, the Jews were so distressed by the fights they had been in, as the war advanced higher and higher, and creeping up to the holy house itself, that they, as it were, cut off those limbs of their body which were infected, in order to prevent the distemper’s spreading farther; (165) for they set the northwest cloister, which was joined to the tower of Antonia, on fire, and after that brake off about twenty cubits of that cloister, and thereby made a beginning in burning the sanctuary” (Josephus Wars 6:164-165)

5.         Josephus mentions a Jewish Oral prophecy that was written down “in their sacred oracles” that the Jerusalem temple would be destroyed if its dimensions ever became four equal sides: “foursquare”.

a.        “Now, if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation; but that men perish by those miseries which they madly and voluntarily bring upon themselves; (311) for the Jews by demolishing the tower of Antonia, had made their temple foursquare, while at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles [Ezekiel 40:47; 43:3],—“That then should their city be taken, as well as their holy house, when once their temple should become foursquare.” (312) But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.” (313) The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now, this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. (314) However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. (315) But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure; and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city, and their own destruction.” (Josephus Wars 6.310-315)

 

 

7th Trumpet/3rd Woe: Temple destroyed-Mosaic Judaism Extinct

Revelation 11:15-19

Jeremiah 31:31

Colossians 2:14

Hebrews 8:6-7; 8:13; 10:9

  

7th Trumpet = 3rd Woe: Extinction of Mosaic Covenant: Rev 11:15-19

1.       The destruction of Jerusalem is the 3rd woe. While not specifically stated but is implied through these proclamations:

a.        “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets” Rev 10:7

b.       “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

c.        You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign”

d.       Your wrath came”

e.        “time for dead to be judged”

f.         “time to reward Christians”

g.        “time to destroy those who destroy the earth” (Jews in Jerusalem)

2.       The 3rd woe corresponds to: 7th March AD 70

a.        The death of the Two witnesses: Jesus ben Ananus

b.       The arrival of Titus’s army to Jerusalem on 7th March AD 70

c.        The beginning of the final 5-month siege of Jerusalem ending in the burning of the temple.

3.       The 3rd woe is: Destruction of the Physical temple

a.        Fulfillment of prophecy: Jer 31:31 “days are coming when I will make a new covenant: Law of Christ replaces law of Moses.

b.       The Law of Moses became theologically extinct at the cross (Col 2:14; Heb 8:6-7,13) and functionally extinct with the destruction of the temple in AD 70 and so is to the present day 2000 years later.

c.        Final destruction of Jerusalem fulfills “He takes away the first in order to establish the second.” Heb 10:9

 

War in Heaven

Revelation 12

Numbers 24:17

Deuteronomy 33:11

Psalms 89:23

Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice

 

War in Heaven between God vs. Satan

 

A. Notes about Rev 12:

1.      Oppression and exodus language is used and applied to Christ and the church. Imagery is mixed without specific regard to chronological order in this section.

2.      First century Jewish messianic expectation taught that the messiah would engage in a great war to defeat Satan

a.       The Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice “the war of the godlike beings” (SSS 4Q401, Fragments 3-4, Song 5)

b.      Countless Dead Sea Scrolls reference a great final spiritual war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness.

c.       See author’s monograph on “The Messiah in Coins and Dead Sea Scrolls”.

d.      See author’s monograph on “Messianic expectation in the Dead Sea Scrolls”.

 

B. Bible passages used in Dead Sea Scrolls for Messianic War:

1.        Dead Sea Scroll:

a.       Archeological Exhibit #1: Dead Sea Scroll: Testimonia (4Q175-4QTestimonia)

b.      Archeological Exhibit #2: Dead Sea Scroll: Florilegium (4Q174-4QFlorilegium)

2.        "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth." (Numbers 24:17)

3.        "O Lord, bless his substance, And accept the work of his hands; Shatter the loins of those who rise up against him, And those who hate him, so that they will not rise again.”" (Deuteronomy 33:11)

4.        "But I shall crush his adversaries before him, And strike those who hate him." (Psalm 89:23)

5.        "Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying," (Psalm 2:1–2)

6.        "“I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men," (2 Samuel 7:10-14)

7.        "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And He will delight in the fear of the Lord, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist." (Isaiah 11:1–5)

 

C. War in Heaven: Dead Sea Scroll: Song #5: Songs Of The Sabbath Sacrifice: 4Q401, 50 BC

 

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice

Spiritual war in heaven: Angels vs Satan

4Q401

50 BC

Translation #1: “And the knowledge of the [most] ho[ly ones …] their […] the war of the gods in the per[iod …] for to the God of the divinities belong [the weapon]s of w[a]r […] the gods run to [his] muster, and a tumultuous noise […] the gods in the war of the heavens. (Lines 6-10)

 

Composite Translation #2 from all known fragments:5They shall be judged […] and they shall not come to the Yahad […] 6without [… those who pro]vide the plan[s] and the knowledge of the utt[erly holy …] 7light and insigh[t …] the war of the godlike beings in the […] 8removing […] Surely the [weap]ons of war[f]ar[e] belong to the God of divine beings [… the armies] 9of heaven and the won[ders of all the] divine [spirits] shall run at [His] command, while the voice of tumult [… with] 10His might, ar[mies of] divine [spirits] at war in the clouds. But [the victory] shall belong [to the God of divine beings.]” (lines 5-10)

Song 5 of 13, 4Q401, Frags. 3-4, 50 BC

 

 

1.            Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice was the pre-Christian, first century songbook used in every Jewish synagogue and was as well known as “Jesus loves me” in the church today.

a.       Also known as “The Angelic Liturgy”, it is a collection of 13 songs, sung responsively, every Sabbath for 13 weeks.

2.            Ten copies found in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

a.       Ten fragmentary copies found: 9 at Qumran and 1 at Masada.

b.      "Even though all of the ten copies of Sabbath Songs are fragmentary, enough remains to describe the basic structure of the individual compositions as well as the overall structure of the cycle." (Dictionary of New Testament Background, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, p1137, 2000 AD)

3.            Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice, combined with the book of Ezekiel was the template and prototype for the book of Revelation.

a.       Song seven was the climax song which featured Throne, Temple, Worship, Singing/praising Angels, Cherubim wheel-beings, Judgement, 7 spirits.

b.      Revelation sequentially follows the basic outline of thought in Ezekiel chapter by chapter.

c.       Revelation echoes many of the concepts in the Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice.

d.      Whereas Song of Sabbath Sacrifice builds to climax in the throne scene of song seven, Revelation begins with this climactic throne scene and increases in intensity making Revelation more profoundly interesting and intense.

4.            Read the author’s monograph on: The Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice “the war of the godlike beings” (SSS 4Q401, Fragments 3-4, Song 5)

 

 

D. War in Heaven in Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13 (11QMelch) 11QMelchizedek (90 BC)

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Messianic Melchizedek leader of spiritual war in heaven

11Q13

90 BC

“And as for what he said: Lev 25:13 «In [this] year of jubilee, [you shall return, each one, to his respective property», concerning it he said: Deut 15:2 «Th]is is [the manner of the release:] every creditor shall release what he lent [to his neighbour. He shall not coerce his neighbour or his brother, for it has been proclaimed] a release for G[od». Its interpretation] for the last days refers to the captives, who […] and whose teachers have been hidden and kept secret, and from the inheritance of Melchizedek, fo[r …] … and they are the inherita[nce of Melchize]dek, who will make them return. And liberty will be proclaimed for them, to free them from [the debt of] all their iniquities. And this [wil]l [happen] in the first week of the jubilee which follows the ni[ne] jubilees. And the d[ay of aton]ement is the e[nd of] the tenth [ju]bilee in which atonement shall be made for all the sons of [light and] for the men [of] the lot of Mel[chi]zedek. […] … over [the]m … […] accor[ding to] a[ll] their [wor]ks, for it is the time for the «year of grace» of Melchizedek, and of [his] arm[ies, the nat]ion of the holy ones of God, of the rule of judgment, as is written  about him in the songs of David, who said: Ps 82:1 «Elohim will [st]and in the assem[bly of God,] in the midst of the gods he judges». And about him he sai[d: Ps 7:8–9 «And] above [it,]  to the heights, return: God will judge the peoples». As for what he sa[id: Ps 82:2 «How long will you] judge unjustly and show partia[lity] to the wicked? [Se]lah.»  Its interpretation concerns Belial and the spirits of his lot, wh[o …] turn[ing aside] from the commandments of God to [commit evil.]  But, Melchizedek will carry out the vengeance of Go[d’s] judgments, [and on that day he will fr]e[e them from the hand of] Belial and from the hand of all the sp[irits of his lot.]  To his aid (shall come) all «the gods of [justice»; and h]e is the one w[ho …] all the sons of God, and … […]  This […] is the day of [peace about whi]ch he said [… through Isa]iah the prophet, who said: [Isa 52:7 «How] beautiful  upon the mountains are the feet [of] the messen[ger who] announces peace, the mess[enger of good who announces salvati]on, [sa]ying to Zion: your God [reigns.»]  Its interpretation: The mountains [are] the prophet[s …] … […] for all … […]  And the messenger i[s] the anointed of the spir[it] as Dan[iel] said [about him: Dan 9:25 «Until an anointed, a prince, it is seven weeks.» And the messenger of]  good who announ[ces salvation] is the one about whom it is written that […]  «To comfo[rt] the [afflicted», its interpretation:] to instruct them in all the ages of the wo[rld …]  in truth … […] … […]  […] has turned away from Belial and will re[turn …] … […]  […] in the judgment[s of] God, as is written about him: [Isa 52:7 «Saying to Zi]on: your God rules.» [«Zi]on» i[s]  [the congregation of all the sons of justice, those] who establish the covenant, those who avoid walking [on the pa]th of the people. And «your God» is  [… Melchizedek, who will fr]e[e them from the ha]nd of Belial. And as for what he said: Lev 25:9 «You shall blow the hor[n in] all the [l]and of […] … […] and know … […] God … […] and many […] […] … […] the law [up]on them […] and he will announce […] [t]he[y] shall devour Belial with fire [… of] Belial shall rebel […] with plot[s] in their hearts […] … it i[s …] the rampart[s] of Judah and … […] the rampart of Jer[usalem …] a wall, and to lift a column and … […] at its appointed time […] […] … […] […] the end of the Ju[bilee …] … […] … […] … [… he] will carry it […] two hundred […] in those […] the week […] … […] [the divi]sions of [the times …]

Dead Sea Scroll, 11Q13, 11QMelch, 11QMelchizedek,

Col. ii, lines 1-25; Col. iii frags. 5 + 7, lines 1-20, 90 BC

 

 

1.       When Jesus Christ came, the Jews had something right and something wrong:

a.       They correctly understood there was going to be a great spiritual war in heaven to defeat Satan (Belial).

b.      They mistakenly thought Melchizedek would lead that spiritual war in heaven with God’s angels against Satan (Belial)

c.       They correctly understood some kind of connection between Melchizedek and the Messiah

d.      They correctly knew they were looking for a supernatural being, who was more than a man.

e.      They mistakenly thought Melchizedek was that supernatural being.

f.        TRUTH: Jesus was a High Priest in the “type” of Melchizedek and Jesus was that supernatural being (God incarnate) who lead the spiritual war, using his angel Michael, to defeat Satan (Belial) through his blood which was shed on the cross.

2.       Jews expected Melchizedek to return as a “messianic heavenly being” to defeat Satan in a spiritual war in heaven:

a.       It is crystal clear that at the time of Christ, the Jews were expecting Melchizedek as messianic figure:

b.      Dead sea scroll 11Q13 (11QMelch) features Melchizedek as a divine being (angel etc.) directly connected with the expectation of the Messiah.

c.       “Although 1QapGen 22:14–17 retells the story of Melchizedek without elaboration, in 11QMelchizedek (a fragmentary eschatological midrash from the first century A.D. or .B.C..) Melchizedek ceases to be an earthly figure. He rather becomes an angel called “the heavenly one” (˒elōhı̂m, cf. Ps 82:1), and he is a central figure in the eschatological drama. At the end of days he proclaims release to the captives (11QMelch. 2:6; cf. Lev 25:10), exacts “the vengeance of the judgements of God” (11QMelch 2:13) and delivers the sons of light from Belial (11QMelch 2:13).” (Dictionary of the later New Testament and its developments, Melchizedek, p 729, 1997 AD)

 

E. War in Heaven: Dead Sea Scroll: 1Q33, 50 BC

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Spiritual war in heaven: Angels vs Satan

Spiritual war on earth: Sons of light and darkness

1Q33

50 BC

“For the Ins[tructor: The Rule of] the War. The first attack by the sons of light will be launched against the lot of the sons of darkness, against the army of Belial … And th]is is a time of salvation for the nation of God and a period of rule for all the men of his lot, and of everlasting destruction for all the lot of Belial. … there will be a battle, and savage destruction before the God of Israel, for this will be the day determined by him since ancient times for the war of extermination against the sons of darkness. On this (day), the assembly of the gods [angels] and the congregation of men shall confront each other for great destruction. The sons of light and the lot of darkness shall battle together for God’s might, between the roar of a huge multitude and the shout of gods and of men, on the day of the calamity. It will be a time of suffering fo[r al]l the nation redeemed by God.”

1Q33 Col. 1, lines 1-12, 50 BC

 

1.       The great spiritual war between the angels and the devil in heaven AND the war between the sons of light and darkness on the earth happens at the same time.

2.       Everlasting destruction for the “lot of Belial” = sinful men cast into hell.

 

F. Shoot of David Messianic Spiritual war (Isa 10:34): 50 BC

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Shoot of David Messianic Spiritual war (Isa 10:34)

4Q285

50 BC

“[… as] the Prophet Isaiah [said] Isa 10:34: «And [they] shall cut [the most massive of the] [forest with iron and Lebanon, with its magnificence, will] fall. A shoot will emerge from the stump of Jesse […] the bud of David. And they will go into battle Blank with […] and the Prince of the Congregation will kill him, the bu[d of David …] and with wounds. And [the High] Priest will command […] [… the s]lai[n of the] Kitti[m …]

4Q285 [4QSM] 4QSefer ha-Milhamah Frag. 5, lines 1-6, = 11Q14, 50 BC

 

1.            This is the Messianic war of the Messiah, seed/root/branch of David.

2.            What the Jews got right and wrong:

a.       The Jews correctly understood the Messiah was fighting a war against the enemies of truth.

b.      The Jew incorrectly thought this was a physical battle that would overthrow Rome.

c.       The Jews were also 180 degrees wrong in that God used the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem which was the enemy of truth, having crucified Jesus and killed the prophets.

3.            Even Jesus’ disciples wrongly believed that Jesus was a physical-warrior-messiah who overthrow Rome exactly as the Zealots wanted.

a.       "So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;" (Acts 1:6–7)

4.            In fact, the Messiah fought a spiritual battle in heaven between God and Satan.

a.       Jesus made it clear: I am a king, but not a physical king. If I was a physical king like the disciples and pre-tribulation premillennial rapturists believe, then JESUS’ DISCIPLES WOULD BE FIGHTING RIGHT THERE AND THEN.

b.       "Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him." (John 18:33–38)

 

G. God and Satan at war:

1.       Michael and Satan were at war in Daniel 10:13

2.       Satan is the historic accuser:

a.       Satan accused Job 1:9-11

b.      Satan accused the High Priest: Zechariah 3:1-7

4.      Devil tries to kill the “male child”: Moses, Christ

a.       The Devil literally tried to kill Moses/Christ both through Pharaoh and Herod

b.      The dragon is Rome with 10 horns & 7 heads and references when Herod killed the children surrounding Bethlehem not Jewish persecution of the church.

5.      Child escapes to the Mountain of God:

a.       Moses was caught up to “the mountain of God” at Sinai in Arabia (Midian) when he fled.

b.      Christ escapes to Egypt and was caught up at the Ascension, to the true “mountain of God” in heaven.

6.      Satan persecutes:

a.       When they failed, Pharaoh oppressed with slavery for 40 years and Satan attacks church through persecution after the cross.

b.      At the close of this section, we jump forward to AD 64 when Nero persecutes Christians for 42 months.

7.      42 months Ministry of Christ: Women fleeing was Israel and the church

a.       Flee to Mt Sinai (the mountain of God on Eagles wings: Exodus 19:4

b.      Israel was nourished by God through Moses at Mt. Sinai where he taught Israel the law.

c.       The church was nourished by God through Christ during his 3.5 year ministry.

d.      Daniel 12:11-12 also speaks of the 43 months/1290 days (not 42 months) of the 3.5 year ministry of Christ from Baptism to Cross.

e.      David fled Saul to wilderness: 1 Samuel 23:14

f.        Elijah flees to Mt. Sinai for sanctuary: 1 Ki 19

g.       Apostle Paul flees to Mt. Sinai for 3.5 years where he is directly taught from God, like Moses, the law of Christ: Gal 1:17–18

8.      42 months protection from Devil: Pentecost Sunday 24th May 33 AD – November AD 36

a.       War in heaven occurs after the cross and the devil is defeated by the blood of Christ and thrown down to earth where he is prevented from persecuting Christians for 42 months.

b.      The 42 months of protection are from Pentecost to the great dispersion of AD 36 when Stephen was stoned and the church fled in Acts 8:1-4.

c.       While the apostles themselves were persecuted by the Jewish leaders, God miraculously intervened by letting them out of jail.

d.      Overall, Pentecost Sunday 24th May 33 AD – November AD 36 was a period of rapid grown and peace.

9.      In Rev 13, however after this 42 months of protection Nero will persecute the church for 42 months AD 64-68.

 

H. Three periods of 42 months:

1.      CHILD: 42 months of Sanctuary with Moses/Christ being taught the law of God at Sinai/ministry of Christ baptism to cross

2.      CHILDREN: 42 months of protection after cross Pentecost to great dispersion of Acts 8:1-4 when Stephen was stoned.

3.      REST OF CHILDREN: 42 months of persecution by Nero AD 64-68. (Next chapter: Rev 13:1-10)

4.      Note: Daniel’s 70 weeks (Dan 9:24) end at the resurrection, exactly 490 solar years to the day starting 8 April 458 BC. In the LXX the messiah IS NOT cut off in the middle of the week as is commonly TAUGHT in error.

 

Beasts from Sea and Earth

Revelation 13

Daniel 7

 

 

Rev 13

Overview

 

A. Beast from Sea = Nero persecutes Christians 42 months

1.      Beast from sea:

a.       10 horns/7 heads = Rome

b.      10 horns = total number of 10 Roman Caesars

c.       7 horns = legitimate Caesars, not including the 3 who were usurpers

2.      42 months Nero = 666 who Persecutes Christians

a.       42 months: Rev 13:5 (Dan 7:8,21,24) 15th Nov. AD 64-9th June AD 68

b.      42 months start: Nero burns Rome 18th July AD 64 and three months later blames Christians starting 15th Nov. AD 64

c.       42 months ends: Nero commits suicide 9th June AD 68

 

B. Beast from Earth: = Jewish False Prophet = Jewish Revolt leaders destroy Jerusalem temple

1.                    Beast from earth: Taxonomic identification as a sheep. “Devil in Sheep’s clothing” Evil 2-horned Lamb = 3 Jewish rebel leaders (Josephus Wars 6.214-217):

a.       Simon ben Giora (Captured by Titus, executed)

b.      John of Gischala (Captured by Titus, life in prison)

c.       Eleazar ben Simon Killed by John of Gishala

2.                    2 horns may represent the last two leaders that remained from Passover AD 70 to burning of temple in August when Eleazar who had been using the temple as a military outpost, was killed and John took over the temple and continued to use it as a military fortress. (Wars 5:105)

3.                    One of the trademarks of the 587 BC destruction of the city were the Jewish False prophets who opposed Jeremiah.

a.       The Sheep Beast that speaks like a devil = false prophet.

 

C. Two beasts on each side of the Jerusalem wall:

1.      Notice the earth beast functions IN THE PRESENCE OF the sea beast.

a.       “earth beast rules as an equal king in the presence of the sea beast” Rev 13:12

b.      “earth beast performs signs in the presence of the sea beast” Rev 13:14.

2.      This exactly describes the Jewish war at Jerusalem:

a.       The sea beast was Rome outside the wall

b.      The earth beast was the Jews inside the wall

 

Rev 13:1

The Beast from the Sea: Nero/Rome

 

A. 10 horned Beast from the Sea: Rome. Nero who persecutes Christians 42 months

1.       The devil is behind and gives power to Rome to destroy Christians.

2.       "And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names." (Revelation 13:1)

a.       Ten horns are the 10 Caesars from Julius to Titus.

b.      Seven heads are the 7 Caesars less the three rebels: Galba, Otho and Vitellius

3.       Nero’s persecution of Christians lasted exactly 3 ½ years starting mid November AD 64 – June AD 68

4.       The identification of 666 is the beast from the sea not the beast from the earth:

a.       The beast from the earth is in the presence of the “666” beast from the Sea.

b.      666 specifically identifies Nero but in general, Rome.

 

B. 666 = Nero (Isopsephy) = Sea Beast

1.                    The sea beast is identified as 666=Nero, not the earth beast.

2.                    Isopsephy is the assigning of a single number to each letter of the alphabet so that every word, in any language has a corresponding numeric value.

a.       666= Nero Caesar transliterated into Hebrew: nrwn qsr: N = 50. R = 200. W = 6. N = 50. Q = 100. S = 60. R = 200.

b.      888 = Christ: I = 10, H = 8, Σ = 200, O = 70, Υ = 400, Σ = 200.)

c.       In AD 79, a Romantic man scribbled a graffiti to his lover named “Adelphe” on the wall of the doomed Pompeii, dating from around 79 AD: Φιλω ης αριθμος ϕμε, "I love her whose number is 545."

d.      If Nero’s mom had been inspired by Johnny Cash and named him “Sue” [שושנה], his number would have been 658!

e.      What is the number of your name? You may be surprised to find out that YOUR name adds up to 666.

3.                    The hidden meaning of 666:

a.       There is no biblical and prophetic significance of the number 666.

b.      There is no special secret symbolism behind the number 6, as some wildly poke in the dark to guess: “6 represents failure, falling one short of 7, which represents God.” The problem is that 7 IS NOT the number of God, but the 7 churches of Asia. Also remember that the use of seven in Revelation was borrowed from the first century Jewish synagogue songbook called, “The Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice”.

 

C. Nero is the 666 of Revelation: which dates the book to AD 66:

"Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, [notice the "mystery" name indicates it is not literal Babylon but Jerusalem!] “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus [crucifixion of Christ and persecution of Christians in Jerusalem]. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen [Julius Caesar - Claudius], one is [Nero, 54-AD 68, NRON QSR = 666, dates book of Revelation to AD 66], the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while." (Revelation 17:1–10)

1.          666 = Nero, the Harlot = mystery name of Babylon really and literally is Jerusalem:

a.       Nero when transliterated into Hebrew equals 666. Nobody denies this, but strangely this is ignored when none of the other Caesar’s name come close to equaling 666.

b.      Nero is the 6th Caesar from Julius Caesar who founded the Roman Empire and Vespasian is the 7th who destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70 by Titus his son who succeeded his father in 79 AD.

2.          7 or 10 Caesars? Daniel counted 10 Caesars but  Revelation only counted 7:

a.       It is not Daniel vs. Revelation but Daniel agrees with revelation!!!

b.      Daniel counts all ten, but then removes the 3 rebel Caesars. Historian Suetonius in The Lives Of The Caesars written 70-160 AD dismisses Gabla, Otho and Vitellius, calling them the “rebellion of the three emperors”.

c.       Revelation simply lists the 7 officially installed Caesars.

d.      We do the same thing when we do not include Absalom as a king, even though he ruled in 979 BC as king in Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 15:10-37)

e.      Name the first two kings of the divided kingdom and you will be wrong if you said Rehoboam and Jeroboam! We do not include Ish-bosheth as the first king of the divided kingdom 75 years before Solomon died! You probably never even heard of Ish-bosheth! Yet for two years Ish-bosheth was king of the 11 northern tribes at Mahanaim (1005-1003 BC) while David ruled in Hebron. Ish-bosheth is Saul's youngest son whom Abner made King at age 40. (2 Samuel 2:8-11)

f.        Strangely those who leave Julius out of the list fail to note that the very term Caesar was directly derived from him.

3.          Not including Julius Caesar as the first emperor of the list of 7 is like ignoring George Washington as the first USA president. Although Julius died before ever gaining control of the entire world, as Octavian did in 31 BC, he is the true genesis of the Roman empire and all of history, including first century culture considered Julius the first Caesar.

a.       Josephus Antiquities 18:32 (AD 70) “When Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus’s money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of [Julius] Caesar’s victory over Antony at Actium, he deprived Joazar of the high priesthood, which dignity had been conferred on him by the multitude, and he appointed Ananus, the son of Seth, to be high priest; (27) while Herod and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy, and settled the affairs thereof. Herod also built a wall about Sepphoris (which is the security of all Galilee), and made it the metropolis of the country. He also built a wall round Betharanphtha, which was itself a city also, and called it Julias, from the name of the emperor’s wife. (28) When Philip, also, had built Paneas, a city, at the fountains of Jordan, he named it Cesarea. He also advanced the village Bethsaida, situate at the lake of Gennesareth, unto the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained, and its other grandeur, and called it by the name of Julias, the same name with Caesar’s daughter. 2. (29) As Coponius, who we told you was sent along with Cyrenius, was exercising his office of procurator, and governing Judea, the following accidents happened. As the Jews were celebrating the feast of unleavened bread, which we call the Passover, it was customary for the priests to open the temple gates just after midnight. (30) When, therefore, those gates were first opened, some of the Samaritans came privately into Jerusalem, and threw about dead men’s bodies in the cloisters; on which account the Jews afterward excluded them out of the temple, which they had not used to do at such festivals; and on other accounts also they watched the temple more carefully than they had formerly done. (31) A little after which accident, Coponius returned to Rome, and Marcus Ambivius came to be his successor in that government; under whom Salome, the sister of king Herod, died, and left to Julia [Caesar’s wife], Jamnia, all its toparchy, and Phasaelis in the plain, and Archelaus, where is a great plantation of palm trees, and their fruit is excellent in its king. (32) After him came Annius Rufus, under whom died Caesar [Octavian], the second emperor of Romans, the duration of whose reign was fifty-seven years, besides six months and two days (of which time Antonius ruled together with him fourteen years; but the duration of his life was seventy-seven years); (33) upon whose death Tiberius [Caesar] Nero, his wife Julia’s son, succeeded.” (Josephus Antiquities 18.25-33)

b.      Josephus Antiquities 16.162-165:Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus:—Since the nation of the Jews have been found grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time but in times past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father [Augustus here calls Julius Caesar his father, though by birth he was only his uncle, on account of his adoption by him. See the same, Antiq. 14.14.4] , Caesar the emperor [Julius], (163) it seemed good to me and my counsellors, according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under Hyrcanus, the high priest of Almighty God; and that their sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour; (164) but if any be caught stealing their holy books, or their sacred money, whether it be out of the synagogue or public school, he shall be deemed a sacrilegious person, and his goods shall be brought into the public treasury of the Romans. (165) And I give order that the testimonial which they have given me, on account of my regard to that piety which I exercise toward all mankind, and out of regard to Caius Marcus Censorinus, together with the present decree, be proposed in that most eminent place which hath been consecrated to me by the community of Asia at Ancyra. And if anyone transgress any part of what is above decreed, he shall be severely punished.” This was inscribed upon a pillar in the temple of Caesar. (Josephus Antiquities 16.162–165)

c.       Dio Mussies, 135, like Josephus refers to Augustus as the “second emperor of the Romans”

d.      Suetonius, The Lives Of The Caesars (70-160 AD) Suetonius wrote an extensive history of each Roman Caesar called The Lives Of The Caesars and he starts with Julius and devote 89 chapters until moving on to the second Caesar, Octavian Augustus. He also dismisses Gabla, Otho and Vitellius calling them the “rebellion of the three emperors”.

e.      Theophilus of Antioch yo Autolycus 3.27: “The annual magistrates ruled the Romans, as we say, for 453 years. Afterwards those who are called emperors began in this order: first, Caius Julius, who reigned 3 years 4 months 6 days; then Augustus, 56 years 4 months 1 day; Tiberius, 22 years; then another Caius, 3 years 8 months 7 days; Claudius, 23 years 8 months 24 days; Nero, 13 years 6 months 28 days; Galba, 2 years 7 months 6 days; Otho, 3 months 5 days; Vitellius, 6 months 22 days; Vespasian, 9 years 11 months 22 days; Titus, 2 years 22 days; Domitian, 15 years 5 months 6 days; Nerva, 1 year 4 months 10 days; Trajan, 19 years 6 months 16 days; Adrian, 20 years 10 months 28 days; Antoninus, 22 years 7 months 6 days; Verus, 19 years 10 days. The time therefore of the Cæsars to the death of the Emperor Verus is 237 years 5 days. From the death of Cyrus, therefore, and the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, to the death of the Emperor Verus, the whole time amounts to 744 years.” (Theophilus of Antioch yo Autolycus 3.27, 115-181 AD)

f.        Cassius Dio (155-235 AD) In book 41, Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon River and is consistently called Caesar.

g.       “Then he answered me: This is the interpretation of this vision that you saw. 11 The eagle you observed coming up out of the sea is the fourth kingdom [Rome] that appeared in a vision to Daniel, your brother. 12 But it was not interpreted to him in the same way that I now interpret [it] to you or as I have interpreted [it]h. 13 Indeed, days are coming when a kingdom will rise on earth that will be more dreadful than all the kingdoms that existed before iti. 14 Twelve kings will hold sway over it, one after another. 15 The second [Augustus] to assume power will hold [it] longer than [any other one of] the twelve. 16 This is the interpretation of the twelve wings you saw.” (2 Esdras 12:10-15)

h.      Sibylline Oracles 5.12-51 “there will be the first prince who will sum up twice ten with his initial letter (Kaisar =Caesar; K is 20). He will conquer long in wars. He will have his first letter of ten (Julius), so that after him will reign whoever obtained as initial the first of the alphabet (A = Augustus).”

i.         Dio Chrysostom, Orator 34:7 (115 AD) Dio Chrysostom, like Josephus, refers to Augustus as the second Caesar.

4.          On the morning of 13th October 13 AD 54, “Nero the Beast” experienced supernatural “omens” that delayed his initial inauguration:

a.       “When the death of Claudius was made public, Nero, who was seventeen years old, went forth to the watch between the sixth and seventh hour (noon-1pm), since no earlier time for the formal beginning of his reign seemed suitable because of bad omens throughout the day.” (Suetonius, The Lives Of The Caesars, Nero 8, 70-160 AD)

b.      These omens were likely real from God, given he will become the arch-persecutor of Christians!

5.          The Nero Redivifus Myth: Nero: wounded head came alive:

a.       "I saw one (Nero) of his heads (the beast is a composite of the seven Caesars) as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;" (Revelation 13:3)

                                                         i.            Nero committed suicide on 9 June AD 68 and the stories he had come back from the dead lasted from July 68- AD 70 when the city was destroyed.

                                                       ii.            This local “current event” story would have been known to all the Christians and Jews living in Jerusalem.

b.      Tacitus records the story of a conn man, who looked physically like Nero was mistaken for Nero coming to life: A slave from Pontus (or a freedman from Italy).

                                                     iii.            He not only looked like Nero but he played the “harp” like Nero and Robbed stores like Nero.

                                                     iv.            Notice this imposter Nero actually had a gathering of men who stupidly and blindly followed him like Forest Gump on his runathon.

                                                       v.            “About this time Achaia and Asia were upset by a false alarm. It was rumoured that Nero was on his way to them. There had been conflicting stories about his death, and so numbers of people imagined—and believed—that he was alive. I shall describe the adventures of the other claimants in their chronological context as my story develops. On this occasion the man concerned was a slave from Pontus, or, according to other accounts, a freedman from Italy. The circumstances that he was a harpist and singer by profession when added to a facial resemblance [Nero played the Harp while Rome burned], made the imposture all the more plausible. He was joined by some army deserters who had been roaming about in destitution until he bribed them to follow him by lavish promises. With these men he embarked on board ship. A storm forced him to land on the island of Cythnus, where he recruited some troops returning from the east on leave, or had them murdered when they refused. He also robbed businessmen [“He (Nero) would also break into shops and rob them, afterwards opening a market at the Palace with the stolen goods, dividing them by lots, auctioning them himself, and squandering the proceeds.” Suetonius Lives of the Twelve Caesars 6.26] and armed the sturdiest of their slaves. A centurion named Sisenna, representing the army of Syria, happened to be bringing some symbolic ‘hands’ to the praetorians as a token of friendship. He was subjected to a variety of artful approaches, but finally slipped away from the island and fled in fear of his life. This caused a wave of panic, and many restless or discontented creatures rallied with eagerness to a famous name. The bubble reputation, daily increasing, was abruptly pricked by one of the chances of history.” (Tacitus, The Histories 2.8)

c.       Suetonius, The Lives Of The Caesars (70-160 AD) “Astrologers had predicted to Nero that he would one day be repudiated, which was the occasion of that well known saying of his: ‘A humble art affords us daily bread,’ doubtless uttered to justify him in practicing the art of lyre-playing, as an amusement while emperor, but a necessity for a private citizen. Some of them, however, had promised him the rule of the East, when he was cast off, a few expressly naming the sovereignty of Jerusalem and several the restitution of all his former fortunes.”

d.      Pagan literary sources of the Nero Redivifus Myth:

                                                         i.            Tacitus, Histories 1:2; 2:8

                                                       ii.            Suetonius, The Lives Of The Caesars, Nero 40:2; Domitian 6 (70-160 AD)

                                                     iii.            Dio Cassius, Roman History 63:9:3; 66:19:3

                                                     iv.            Xiphilinus 64:9

                                                       v.            Zonaras Annals 11:151-158

                                                     vi.            Dion Chrysostom, Oratwru 21

e.      Jewish literary Sources of the Nero Redivifus Myth:

                                                         i.            Talmud (Gittim)

                                                       ii.            Ascension of Isaiah

                                                     iii.            Jewish Sibylline Oracles

f.        Christian literary sources of the Nero Redivifus Myth:

                                                         i.            Lactantius

                                                       ii.            Severus

                                                     iii.            Jerome

                                                     iv.            Augustine

6.          Nero sang and played the cithara (not fiddle) while Rome burned:

a.       The following identify the instrument Nero played as a “cithara”: Dio Cassius, 62.20.2; S. Aurelius Victor, Caes. 10; Philostratus, Apoll. 7.12; Juvenal, 8.193‑206.

b.      "The emperor himself viewed the conflagration from the lofty tower of Maecenas, . . . it is said that he declaimed the Iliad in a tragedian's costume." (Orosius 7.7.6)

c.       "his measures, popular as their character might be, failed of their effect; for the report had spread that, at the very moment when Rome was aflame, he had mounted his private stage, and, typifying the ills of the present by the calamities of the past, had sung the Destruction of Troy." (Tacitus Ann. 15.39)

d.      “Viewing the conflagration from the tower of Maecenas . . . he sang the whole of the Sack of Ilion in his regular stage costume." (Suetonius, Nero 38)

e.      "Nero ascended to the roof of the palace from which there was the best general view . . . and assuming the kithara-player's garb, sang the Capture of Troy" (Dio Cassius, 62.18.1)

 

D. Nero’s 42-month persecution of Christians: Nov AD 64-June AD 68

1.       July 18th AD 64: Nero burned Rome

2.       November 15th AD 64: Nero blames Christians and begins to persecute them

a.       “But neither human help, nor imperial munificence, nor all the modes of placating Heaven, could stifle scandal or dispel the belief that the fire had taken place by order [of Nero]. Therefore, to dispel the rumour [that Nero had started the fire], Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. First, then, the confessed members of the sect were arrested; next, on their disclosures, vast  numbers were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race. And derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beasts' skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and, when daylight failed were burned to serve as lamps by night. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing with the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man.” (The Annals of Tacitus, Book 15:44)

b.      “The Neronian persecution. Foremost in the rank of those emperors, on whom the church looks back with horror as her persecutors, stands Nero, a prince whose conduct towards the Christians admits of no palliation, but was to the last degree unprincipled and inhuman. The dreadful persecution which took place by order of this tyrant, commenced at Rome about the middle of November, in the year of our Lord1. As a pretext for his cruelty, Nero did not, according to Tacitus, bring forward any accusation against the Christians on account of their religion, but imputed to them the commission of a most heinous crime against the public. For having himself, by way of sport, caused some houses to be set on fire, and thus kindled a conflagration, by which great part of the city of Rome was destroyed, he, in order to divert the tide of popular indignation from its proper channel, denounced the Christians as the authors of this public calamity, and displayed the utmost eagerness in directing against them all the vengeance of the state ; putting them to death without mercy, and even making a jest of their torments. Amongst other horrible cruelties exercised on them by his command, they were wrapped in pitched garments, and, being fastened to stakes, were lighted up as torches to dispel the darkness of the night; their punishment being thus made to bear somewhat of an analogy to the crime whereof they were accused.”
Footnote 1: “This [mid-November date] has been clearly proved by Al. de Vignoles, in two dissertations de Causa et Inilio Persequutionis Neroniamv, which are to be found in Masson's Histoire critique de la Republique des Leures, tom. viii. p. 74. 117. and torn. ix. p. 172. 166. See also Nicol. Toinard. ad Lactant. de Mortibus Persequutorum, p. 398. ed. Du Fresnoy.” (Historical commentaries on the state of Christianity during the first three hundred and twenty-five years, Johann Lorenz Mosheim, died d. 1755, volume 1, p138, 1852 AD)

3.       9th June AD 68: Nero commits suicide.

a.       Now as Vespasian was returned to Caesarea, and was getting ready, with all his army to march directly to Jerusalem, he was informed that Nero was dead, after he had reigned thirteen years and eight days.” (Josephus Wars 4.491)

 

Rev 13:11

The Beast from the Earth: “The dragon in sheep’s clothing”

 

A. The Beast from the Earth: 2-Horned Jewish Sheep speaks like a dragon:

1.       "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. (Revelation 13:11)

a.        The Jews were a “dragon in sheep’s clothing”.

b.       This beast is a deliberate taxonomic identification as a sheep/goat. It is natural for an animal to have two horns. The beast from the sea, with 10 horns and 7 heads is deliberately NOT taxonomic.

c.        “Dragon in Sheep’s clothing”: The figure is identical to WOLF in SHEEP’S clothing: The Jewish leaders were holy Jewish sheep who spoke like dragons.

d.       Two horns are a holy sheep or goat used in Jewish sacrifice but speaks like a dragon.

e.        It is natural for a holy sheep to have two horns, but is unnatural for a holy sheep to speak like Satan.

f.         The “HOLY YHWH-worshipping” high priests and three Jewish rebel leaders Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora, John of Gischala, all spoke like the devil!

g.        Notice that the Jewish beast from the earth ACTS with the same authority inside Jerusalem, “IN THE PRESENCE OF” the Roman beast from the sea stationed outside Jerusalem.

2.       The two horns may be a way to identify the “beast” as a sacrificial holy sheep/goat, which as a sum.

a.        The number of horns therefore may not represent two kings/rebel leaders but simply be a taxonomic identification as a sheep/goat.

b.       represents not only the three rebel leaders but the entire collection of Jews who were involved in the rebellion which were the primary cause of Jerusalem to be destroyed.

3.       The two horns may also identify the last two rebel leaders from Passover AD 70 to it final destruction in August.

c.       Passover AD 70: “These followers of John also did now seize upon this inner temple, and upon all the warlike engines therein, and then ventured to oppose Simon. (105) And thus that sedition, which had been divided into three factions, was now reduced to two” (Josephus Wars 5.98-105)

a.        Passover, 14th April AD 70 [Nisan 14]: ONLY TWO REBEL LEADERS REMAIN:

b.       Eleazar opens the temple gates for worshippers but John sends in assassins who kill many worshippers, defeat Ezeazar and capture the temple fortress.

c.        When John defeats Eleazar and captures the temple it reduced the civil war from three to two which may be symbolized by the two horns on the sheep John saw in Rev 13:11.

4.       He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed." (Revelation 13:12)

a.        The Jews inside Jerusalem were the false prophet who causes others to worship Satan whose goal was the destroy the city.

b.       This has nothing to do with emperor worship.

c.        The three Jewish rebel leaders were in rebellion to the first beast and having declared Jerusalem independent of the first beast from the Sea, indeed all acted with the same authority as the Roman Caesars.

d.       The rebel leaders were agents of Satan (the dragon) even though they viewed themselves as holy agents of YHWH.

e.        The Jewish rebel leaders paraded themselves as servants of God, but were servants of Satan.

5.       The Synagogue at Smyrna was also “Satan in sheep’s clothing”:

a.        "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 2:9)

b.       The Jews thought they were righteous but in fact their synagogue worship in AD 66 was viewed by God as pagan and idolatrous since they denied Jesus the Messiah rose from the dead.

c.        Notice the reference to a literal first century synagogue in Smyrna.

d.       See authors eBook on the Origin of Synagogues

6.       Jewish 3 Rebel leaders (Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora, John of Gischala) were the “beast of the Earth” who destroyed Jerusalem from the inside. Contrary to popular misconception, Titus made countless efforts to save the city and Temple and made numerous offers that if they would surrender and “come out” they would live.

a.        While the Jews were destroying Jerusalem from within, the Romans were trying to save it on the outside by sending Josephus to them twice! For details, see the Josephus chronology of the First Jewish war.

b.       On 4th June AD 70, Monday Josephus pleaded with his own people to come out of the city and live: “Josephus soon recovered of his wound, and came out, and cried out aloud, that it would not be long ere they should be punished for this wound they had given him. He also made a fresh exhortation to the people to come out, upon the security that would be given them. (547) This sight of Josephus encouraged the people greatly, and brought a great consternation upon the seditious.” (Josephus Wars 5.541-547)

7.       Jews polluted and desecrated their own temple with dead bodies:

a.        “As for the dead bodies of the people, their relations carried them out to their own houses; but when any of the zealots were wounded, he went up into the temple, and defiled that sacred floor with his blood, insomuch that one may say it was their blood alone that polluted our sanctuary.” (Wars 4.201)

b.       “And now the outer temple was all of it overflowed with blood; and that day, at is came on, saw eight thousand five hundred dead bodies there.” (Wars 4:313)

c.        Josephus says: “And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them,—and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city—for they foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen! (110) And are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.” (Wars 6:109-110)

8.       Titus blamed the destruction of the city upon the Rebel leaders:

a.        “This sad instance [cannibalism: mother killing and eating her child] was quickly told to the Romans, some of whom could not believe it, and others pitied the distress which the Jews were under; but there were many of them who were hereby induced to a more bitter hatred than ordinary against our nation;—(215) but for Caesar [Titus], he excused himself before God as to this matter, and said, that he had proposed peace and liberty to the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent practices; but that they [Jews], instead of concord, had chosen sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and abundance, a famine. (216) That they [Jews] had begun with their own hands to burn down that temple, which we [Romans] have preserved hitherto; and that therefore they deserved to eat such food as this was. (217) That, however, this action of eating one’s own child ought to be covered with the overthrown of their very country itself; and men ought not to leave such a city upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, wherein mothers are thus fed” (Josephus Wars 6.214-217)

b.       The words of Roman Titus: “And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? And why do you pollute this holy house with the blood both of foreigners and Jews themselves?” (Wars 6:126)

9.       All the while the two witnesses were crying “woe to Jerusalem” starting in AD 62, notice that the first sign of the sword star and comet began happened 7 days before Passover AD 65 and lasted till Pentecost AD 66, which is precisely when Josephus says the First Jewish War started in Caesarea. It was during the time the sword star and comet were in the sky that the other five signs happened. The last sign ended Pentecost AD 66. The two witnesses of Revelation continued crying for exactly 42 months, starting when the sword star and comet vanished on Pentecost AD 66 until they were killed 7th March AD 70. (Pentecost AD 66 - 7th March AD 70 = 42 months)

a.        The first sign started 7 days before Pentecost AD 65 and Titus arrives 7 days before Passover AD 70 when the Two witnesses were killed (Jesus ben Ananus)

b.       Signs 4,5&7 happened on Passover AD 65 and John of Gischala kills Eleazar ben Simon and takes the temple over as his new military fortress headquarters.

10.   Josephus records how Titus was careful to preserve the Temple and city, doing as little damage as possible to preserve the city for Rome to use:

a.        After the Jews first set fire to the outer porticos of the Temple, Titus then order fire extinguishers to save the temple itself and then holds a conference with his generals who all decide NOT to destroy the temple but to put out the fires: 

b.       Titus proposed to these that they should give him their advice what should be done about the holy house. (239) Now, some of these thought it would be the best way to act according to the rules of war [and demolish it]; because the Jews would never leave off rebelling while that house was standing; at which house it was that they used to get all together. (240) Others of them were of opinion, that in case the Jews would leave it, and none of them would lay their arms up in it, he might save it; but that in case they got upon it, and fought any more, he might burn it; because it must then be looked upon not as a holy house, but as a citadel; and that the impiety of burning it would then belong to those that forced this to be done, and not to them. (241) But Titus said, that “although the Jews should get upon that holy house, and fight us thence, yet ought we not to revenge ourselves on things that are inanimate, instead of the men themselves;” and that he was not in any case for burning down so vast a work as that was, because this would be a mischief to the Romans themselves, as it would be an ornament to their government while it continued. (242) So Fronto, and Alexander, and Cerealis, grew bold upon that declaration, and agreed to the opinion of Titus. (243) Then was this assembly dissolved, when Titus had given orders to the commanders that the rest of their forces should lie still; but that they should make use of such as were most courageous in this attack. So he commanded that the chosen men that were taken out of the cohorts should make their way through the ruins, and quench the fire.” (Josephus Wars 6.238-243, 5th August AD 70, Sunday, 9 Lous/Av)

 

B. The fiction of Emperor worship as the Beast from the Earth

1.       Fact vs. Fiction:

a.        Yes, the Roman Caesars were deified and worshipped as gods in the first century.

b.       No, you did not get executed if you refused to confess them as gods in the first century.

c.        There is no historical record of Christians, Jews or Greeks, being hunted down and forced, on the threat of death, to confess Caesar as a god in the first century.

d.       The earliest record of Christians being martyred for denying to worship pagan gods including Roman Caesars, is AD 248.

2.       Homer Hailey’s spiritualization of the entire book of Revelation led him to fabricate, without referencing a single ancient literary source, the idea of the “emperor worship cult” where Christians supposedly died unless they confessed Caesar as God. It is noteworthy, that Hailey never referneces Josephus once in his entire HISTORICAL introduction. Harkrider blindly adopts Hailey’s fiction but then then expands it further, again without a single ancient source.

3.       Caligula as a case example of emperor worhship:

a.        Caligula: The menacing sounding name in English literally means “little boot”, a nick name given him as a boy when he wore his tiny arm uniform.

b.       While Caligula wanted to erect a statue of himself in the Jerusalem temple as a deity, Agrippa intervened and actually rescinded the imperial order. (Philo Embassy 333) Yet, this direct defiance against Caligula’s “godhood” went unpunished.

c.        “But the emperor, having taken the letter and read it, and having considered every suggestion which was contained in it, was very angry, because his intentions had not been executed: and yet, at the same time, he was moved by the appeals to his justice and by the supplications which were thus addressed to him, and in some respects he was pleased with Agrippa, and in some he blamed him. (332) He blamed him for his excessive desire to please his fellow countrymen, who were the only men who had resisted his orders and shown any unwillingness to submit to his deification; but he praised him for concealing and disguising none of his feelings, which conduct he said was a proof of a liberal and noble disposition. (333) Therefore being somewhat appeased, at least as far as appearance went, he condescended to return a somewhat favourable answer, granting to Agrippa that highest and greatest of all favours, the consent that this erection of his statue should not take place; and he commanded letters to be written to Publius Petronius the governor of Syria, enjoining him not to allow any alterations or innovations to be made with respect to the temple of the Jews.” (Philo Embassy 331–333)

d.       The point is, that even the general Roman public rolled their eyes at the idea that the Emperors where gods, the same way we would today.

4.       While emperors were historically deified after death, the Jews had from the time of the Maccabees been exempt from all participation of Greek or Roman paganism through a collection of formal treaties or “edicts of toleration”.

a.        Every Roman knew that Jews would never confess any man to be God, especially the Emperor!

b.       “Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome” (Acts 18:1) but he didn’t kill them.

c.        The “confess Caesar or die” fiction, is shown to be false because if the Romans always tolerated Jews formal denunciations of Caesar as God, they would not suddenly be offended by the new cult of the Nazarene either.

5.       Contrary to the depictions of Hollywood and pop culture, the Roman Caesars were generally, highly respected army commanders.

a.        Vespasian was a highly successful army general sent by Nero to destroy Jerusalem

b.       Titus his son, came to Jerusalem in the spring of AD 70 and showed more reason, morality, justice and righteousness, than the Jews inside the city walls.

c.        The idea that these two key players, in the destruction of Jerusalem were mad or executed those who would not worship them as gods, is pure fiction, unsubstantiated by any source.

6.       The Pinch of Salt Myth: Polycarp: AD 156

a.        This was AD 156, not 96 AD and it far to late to have any bearing on the book of Revelation.

b.       Here is the actual account of the Martyrdom of Polycarp: “The captain of police, Herod, and his father Nicetas met him, and took him into their own carriage and seated at his side, tried to persuade him, saying: ‘But what harm is there in saying, “Caesar is Lord,” and in offering incense, and so forth, to be saved? At first he did not answer, but, when they persisted, he said: ‘I am not going to do what you advise me.’ 3 On failing to convince him, they spoke threateningly to him and made him descend so quickly that he bruised his shin as he got down from the carriage. Without even turning around, as though he had suffered nothing, he continued on his way eagerly and speedily, and was led into the stadium. The uproar in the stadium was such that nobody could be heard at all. … 1 Upon Polycarp’s entrance into the arena there came a voice from heaven, ‘Be brave, Polycarp, and act like a man.’ No one saw the speaker, but our people who were present heard the voice. 2 Finally, when he was brought forward, the Proconsul asked him if he were Polycarp; when he admitted it, he tried to persuade him to a denial of the faith, saying: ‘Have regard for your age,’ and other suggestions such as they usually make: ‘Swear by the genius of Caesar; change your mind and say, “Away with the atheists!” ’ Then Polycarp, with solemn countenance, gazed on the whole crowd of lawless pagans in the stadium, waved his hand at them, groaned, looked up to heaven, and said: ‘Away with the atheists!’ 3 As the Proconsul urged him and said: ‘Take the oath and I release you; revile Christ,’ Polycarp said: ‘Eighty-six years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?’ …  As he further insisted and said: ‘Swear by the genius of Caesar,’ Polycarp replied: ‘If you vainly imagine that I will swear by the genius [fortune] of Caesar, as you say, and pretend not to know who I am, let me tell you plainly: I am a Christian. … Then they decided to shout out unanimously to have Polycarp burned alive. For the vision revealed to him on the pillow had to be fulfilled (when he saw it burning as he prayed, and he turned and spoke prophetically to the faithful with him, ‘I must be burned alive’). This happened with indescribable speed. The crowds gathered and collected wood and bundles of brush from the shops and baths, the Jews in particular, as is usual with them, lending zealous assistance in this.” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 8–13.1)

c.        Polycarp was to offer incense not throw a pinch of salt.

7.       The first historical cases of Christians begin executed for refusing to worship the Emperor was AD 248, far, far too late to be of any significance to the book of Revelation, even for the “late daters”.

a.        “However, it was not especially the refusal to venerate the emperor that led to the persecutions of Christians, as appears from Pliny’s famous letter to Trajan and the Rescript (Ep. 10.96–97) and Christian martyr texts. Until the reign of Decius [248 AD] the emperor did not take steps against the Christians on his own initiative, and only responded to questions from the provinces. Usually the refusal by arrested Christians to worship the gods in general (including the emperor) led to their execution” (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Ruler Cult, p715, 1995 AD)

8.       Conclusion: Emperor worship as the foundation of the persecution of Christians in the book of Revelation:

a.        According to “late daters” Domitian was the great persecutor of Christians who forced, upon the threat of death, renouncing Christ and confession of Caesar as God. It never happened and there are no historical references to validate it.

b.       What history does record, is that after Domitian died, the entire Roman Senate removed statues, inscriptions and written references to him. (Seutonius, Domitian 23)

c.        Proving once again, that even the Roman’s “rolled their eyes” at the emperor’s claims of deity and played along while he lived.

d.       So widespread was the denial of the “Imperial cult” that nobody ever died or else the entire Roman empire would be wiped out.

e.        Obviously then, the notion that Christians were put to death for denying the emperor’s deity is absurd before AD 248 and certainly not in the first century.

f.         Above all, until validated though ancient literary sources, the first century AD “Emperor Cult” as used by “Late Daters” for the core of their interpretation of Revelation 13:11 as the beast of the Earth, will remain a fiction.

 

 

144,000, Wine Cup of Wrath prepared

Revelation 14

Ezekiel 14:19–22 on 592 BC

Jeremiah 25:15-18 on 587 BC

 

A. Physical Israel replaced by Christians as first fruits:

1.       Physical 144,000 (12k from each tribe) is replaces by Christians.

a.       The symbolism is that the first century church was composed of both Jew and Gentile and together, they were organized by God into 12 tribes.

b.      This is another example of replacement theology where the church replaces the physical temple and Christians replace physical Jews.

c.       See outline on replacement theology is the core theology of Christianity.

2.       Feast of First-fruits:

a.       “In the exercise of His will He brought us [Christians] forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” (James 1:18, written 36 AD)

b.       "“Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field." (Exodus 23:16)

c.       "“You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”" (Exodus 34:26)

d.      "“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest." (Leviticus 23:10)

3.       No lie, blameless:

a.       "And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless." (Revelation 14:5)

b.      "“The remnant of Israel will do no wrong And tell no lies, Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths; For they will feed and lie down With no one to make them tremble.”" (Zephaniah 3:13)

 

B. Jerusalem/Babylon is fallen

1.       Literal Babylon:

a.       “Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.” And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; And all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.”" (Isaiah 21:9)

b.      "“Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, ‘Babylon has been captured, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered; Her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered.’" (Jeremiah 50:2)

2.       Jerusalem:

a.       "And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”" (Revelation 14:8)

b.      "And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:2)

 

C. Worshippers of the beast:

1.      Not “emperor worship” or any specific religious worship.

2.      Idolatry: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed: Col 3:5

3.      God always destroyed His people for two reasons: literal idol worship (Non-Christian) and bad living (symbolic worship of the beast/devil)

 

D. Judgement=destruction: Rev 14:7 “the hour of His judgment has come”

1.       Not final judgement at second coming but a common expression used countless times in the Old Testament about a city or nation being destroyed by God.

2.       God “judged” Jerusalem in 587 BC:

a.       "“I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands." (Jeremiah 1:16)

b.      "“Also on your skirts is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor; You did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things," (Jeremiah 2:34)

c.       "a wind too strong for this—will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them." (Jeremiah 4:12)

d.      "therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations." (Ezekiel 5:8)

e.      "For thus says the Lord God, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!" (Ezekiel 14:21)

 

E. Four angelic reapers of the wicked with fire: Dead Sea Scroll: 1QapGen, 50 BC

 

 

Dead Sea Scroll

Parable of the Tares

1QapGen (Mt 13:37-42)

50 BC

“and what you saw, all of them […] will pass, most of them will be wicked. And what you saw,  the man coming from the South of the land, with a sickle in his hand and fire with him … it is … who come from the South of the land […] …  […] and wickedness. He will cast on the fire all … […]  and he will come between … and what you saw … […]  […] … […] … Four angels […]”

4Q252 (4QcommGen A) 4QCommentary on Genesis A, Col 5, lines 1-5, 50 BC

 

1.       Four angels destroy the wicked by harvesting them and casting them into fire.

2.       The function of the messiah was to cleanse his kingdom of the wicked.

3.       "And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:37-42)

 

F. Cup of Wrath to destroy Jerusalem is prepared

1.          In 587 BC Jerusalem was destroyed because it was a fruitless vine to be burned:

a.           "As the wood of the vine I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem, fire will consume them. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them." (Ezekiel 15:6-7)

2.          Contrast between the harvest of first fruits of righteous Christians and the harvest of wicked Jews who crucified Christ.

a.           Bumper crop of fruit of righteousness: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

b.          AD 70: Bumper crop of fruit of wickedness in Jerusalem

3.          Winepress outside the city is the Roman Army that God us using instrumentally as his agent to destroy.

a.           Neco II, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar were all used as God’s “anointed servants”

b.          All the kings of the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 were appointed by God as his agents.

4.          Cup given to Jerusalem in 587 BC:

a.           "Soon now I will pour out my wrath upon you; I will spend my anger against you. I will judge you according to your ways, and punish you for all your abominations." (Ezekiel 7:8)

b.          "While they were killing, and I was left alone, I fell prostrate on my face and cried out, “Ah Lord GOD! will you destroy all who remain of Israel as you pour out your wrath upon Jerusalem?”" (Ezekiel 9:8)

c.           “Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” For thus says the Lord God, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it! “Yet, behold, survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come forth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; then you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it." (Ezekiel 14:19–22)

d.           "For thus the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. “They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.” Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and its kings and its princes, to make them a ruin, a horror, a hissing and a curse, as it is this day;" (Jeremiah 25:15–18)

5.          Cup given to Jerusalem in AD 70: Rev 16:19; 18:6

 

7 Bowls to avenge Christians in Heaven

Revelation 15

Ezekiel 24 on 589 BC

 

A. God avenges Christians killed by Satan, Nero and Jews:

1.          The pouring of the bowls is an antitype of when God judged and overthrew Egypt in the Red Sea at the Straits of Tiran.

a.          The angels sing the song of Moses twice: Rev 5:3-4 & 16:5-7.

b.         It is significant that the original song of Moses was when the Jews triumphed over the Egyptians and here when the Christians triumphed over the Jews!

2.          "Christians who had been victorious over the beast [Satan], his image [Earth beast-Jews= False prophet] and the number of his name [Sea beast-Nero]" (Rev 15:2)

a.          “beast” = Satan: Rev 9:11; 11:7: "the angel of the abyss, Abaddon, Apollyon." (Revelation 9:11)

b.         “His image” = Jews=False prophet, beast from Earth gave life to the fatally wounded beast (Nero)

c.          “Number of his name” = Nero = 666

3.          The central theme of Revelation is the avenging of Christians and the final destruction of the city is vengeance.

a.          The Jews killed Jesus.

b.         The Jews employed the Romans to kill Jesus.

c.          The Romans killed Jesus.

d.         If the Jews never delivered innocent sinless Jesus up to the Romans, Jesus never would have been crucified.

e.          Both Romans and Jews killed Christians.

4.          For these reasons the wrath of God is focused on Jerusalem.

 

B. 7 angels with bowls/plague: Jan AD 69 – Aug AD 70 and final Siege

1.       “Son of man, write the name of the day, this very day. (589 BC) The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day." (Ezekiel 24:2)

2.       Out of the “tabernacle of testimony” came seven angels of the 7 bowls of wrath plagues.

3.       587 BC: The identical plagues when the siege of Babylon surrounded the city

a.        "One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them." (Ezekiel 5:12)

b.       "‘When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread. ‘Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’ ”" (Ezekiel 5:16-17)

c.        "‘The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city." (Ezekiel 7:15)

4.       Tabernacle of testimony is a direct reference to the ark of the covenant which held the “Covenant”, law of God, Ten Commandments.

a.        Ex 34:27-28: "God wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments."

b.       Deut 4:13: "His covenant, the Ten Commandments, two tablets of stone.

c.        1 Ki 8:9,21: nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone, the covenant of the Lord

d.       2 Chro 6:11: "In the ark is the covenant of the Lord

e.        2 Cor 3:2-11, abolished Old Covenant was 10 commandments!

  1. The Law of Christ is now the covenant in the Heavenly tabernacle

a.        1 Cor 9:27: “we are under the law of Christ”

b.       Gal 6:2: “fulfill the law of Christ”

  1. Temple closed until the 7 bowls are finished.

 

7 Bowls of Wrath

Revelation 16

Ezekiel 13 on Sept 592 BC

Ezekiel 23 on Aug 591 BC

Ezekiel 24 in 589 BC

 

A. Bowls avenge Christians & Jewish prophets killed in Jerusalem by Jews:

1.       "Righteous are You, for they [Jews] poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (Rev 16:5-6)

2.       Just as God destroyed the Egyptians to save the Jews from oppression, here God destroys the Jews to save the Christians from persecution. Just as the Egyptians deserved it, so did the Jews.

3.       “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation (AD 30 - 70 = 40 years)." (Matthew 23:34–36)

 

B. Jan AD 69 – Aug AD 70 Civil War including the final 5 month siege

1.       There is a correspondence between the 6th and 7th trumpets and the 6th and 7th bowls.

a.       We already know that the first four trumpets and bowls are the same.

b.      Again, Rev 9 and 16 (trumpet 6,7 and bowl 6,7) are discussing EXACTLY the same time period.

c.       Trumpets 1-4 = Bowls 1-4

d.      The 6th trumpet (2nd woe) of Rev 9 = 6th bowl of Rev 16

e.      The 7th trumpet (3rd woe) of Rev 9 = 7th bowl of Rev 16

2.       1st bowl of wrath: Boils = DISEASE

a.       Rev 6:2 = Ex 9:10 = 6th plague of Egypt

3.       2nd bowl of wrath: sea to blood: INJURY/BLOOD

a.       2nd bowl  = 2nd trumpet = 1st plague of Egypt

b.      Rev 16:3-4 = Rev 8:8 = Ex. 7:20-21

4.       3rd bowl of wrath: rivers, springs to blood: BITTER/POISON WATER

a.        3rd bowl = 3rd trumpet: Rev 8:10 Wormwood star that made the water’s bitter

b.       This is the second time the angels sing the song of Moses: Rev 5:3-4 & 16:5-7. The proclamation of the angel closely echoes the song of Moses:

Song of Moses used twice in Revelation

Rev 16:5-7

 Ex 15:2-4

“You are just in these judgments”

 “Just and true are your ways”

“you who are and who were”

 “King of the ages”

“the Holy One”

 “you alone are holy”

“because you have so judged”

 “your righteous acts are revealed”

It is significant that the original song of Moses was sung when the Jews triumphed over the persecuting Egyptians and here in Revelation the Angels sing the song of Moses when the Christians triumphed over the persecuting Jews!

5.       4th bowl of wrath: Hot sun: HEAT

a.       The temperatures in Israel from May to September often rise above 100 degrees F (38c)

b.      The 10s of thousands of dead bodies in the city that Josephus documents would putrefy rapidly.

6.       5th bowl of wrath: throne, kingdom darkened: ANARCHY

 

C. 6th bowl of wrath: Euphrates dried up: THIRST (Rev 16:12-16)

1.      This plague is twofold, in that it kills the Jews and summons the Roman armies to destroy the city.

2.      This plague hurts the Jews but helps the Romans:

a.       The drying up of water creates thirst for the Jews but makes it easy for them to cross the metaphoric Euphrates.

b.      FULFILLED: Incredibly, Josephus draws a synchronism between 587 BC and AD 70: The springs of Jerusalem dried up until the arrival of those who would destroy the city (Nebuchadnezzar, Titus) and with their arrival water began to flow abundantly for them. (Josephus Wars 5.409-411)

3.      This is the second time destroying armies have been summoned by God to come.

a.       6th Trumpet = 2nd Woe

b.      Destroying armies of Titus arrive: 7th March AD 70.

c.       Rev 9:13-21 = Ezek 10:3-22 = Rev 16:12

 

D. Battle of Armageddon (Jerusalem): 3 Frogs = 3 Rebel leaders

1.      Synchronism with Ezekiel:

a.         False Prophet = Jews: Ezek 13 on Sept 592 BC

2.      The three unclean spirit demon frogs:

a.         Demon Frog #1: Simon ben Giora

b.        Demon Frog #2: John of Gischala

c.         Demon Frog #3: Eleazar ben Simon

3.      These three will split the city into three-way civil war.

a.         Same internal wars happened in 587 BC: “I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. “With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones (slingstones), fire and brimstone." (Ezekiel 38:21–22)

b.        Josephus describes exactly this in AD 70: "The city of chaos is broken down; Every house is shut up so that none may enter." (Isaiah 24:10)

c.         They “gather everyone together for the war” at Jerusalem

d.        Jerusalem is Armageddon

4.      Hail = white Roman Ballista balls: War at Jerusalem

a.         Josephus records a civil war using Ballista on 1st Jan AD 70: 7th Bowl

b.        The Romans used these during the 5 month siege.

c.         1 talent hail=Ballista balls: Wars 4.580, 5:4-6

5.      Armageddon = Har [mountain] Megiddo [city]

a.         Used only in Revelation, it is a symbolic combination of the historic battles fought in the plains that surround Megiddo AND the mountain of Jerusalem.

b.        Distinct from the plain or valley (2 Chr 35:22; Zech 12:11) "In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon [Hadad = Baal, Rimmon = pagan god: 2 Ki 5:18] the plain of Megiddo." (Zechariah 12:11)

c.         “The name of the battle site, like the visions themselves, fuses elements from multiple biblical passages” (AYBC, Rev 16:16)

d.        So “Mountain of Megiddo” is the mystical name for Jerusalem as the location of the final battle in AD 70.

6.      Destruction of Jerusalem like Armageddon: Rev 16:13

a.         Jerusalem will mourn like Armageddon: Zech. 12:11

b.        Deborah vs. Jabin: Judges 4-5

c.         Saul vs. Philistines: Samuel 29-31

d.        Neco II vs. Josiah: Kings 23:29

 

E. “Great day of God” (Rev 16:14) = destruction, not second coming

1.      723 Assyrian destruction of Samaria

a.         "Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light." (Isaiah 13:9–10)

b.        "Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?" (Amos 5:18–20)

2.      587 BC Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem:

a.         battle on the day of the Lord” Ezek 13:5

b.        Zephaniah was written in 622 BC and was one of the earliest books predicting the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC: "Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung." (Zephaniah 1:14-17)

3.      568 BC Babylonian destruction of Egypt:

a.         "The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them." (Isaiah 19:1)

b.        “Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’ “For the day is near, Even the day of the Lord is near; It will be a day of clouds, A time of doom for the nations. “A sword will come upon Egypt" (Ezekiel 30:2-4)

4.      589 BC Persian destruction of Babylon:

a.         "Wail, for the day of the Lord is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light." (Isaiah 13:6,9–10)

5.      AD 70 Roman destruction of Jerusalem:

a.         "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-27)

6.      Future Second coming:

a.         Jesus left and returns with clouds: Acts 1:9

b.        "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:10-13)

c.         "Christ will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." (Hebrews 9:28)

 

 

Rev 16:17

7th Bowl: REV 16:19 = 1st January AD 70 = Beginning of final siege

 

City Split into Three-way civil war by three rebel leaders: Eleazer, Simon, John

 

A. 7th bowl of Wrath: “It is finished” The final siege begins with armies on the Mount of Olives, the great split!

1.         SIEGE PROPHESIED: Zechariah 12:2; 14:2

a.       “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah." (Zechariah 12:2)

b.       "Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people [Christians] will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In 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 by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south." (Zechariah 14:1–4)

2.         SIEGE FULFILLED: Revelation 16:19: 1 Jan AD 70:

a.       "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.” 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. 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. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 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." (Revelation 16:17-21)

b.      AD 70: Titus arrives Monday 7th March AD 70: “These legions had orders to encamp at the distance of six furlongs from Jerusalem, at the mount called the mount of Olives, which lies over against the city on the east side, and is parted from it by a deep valley, interposed between them, which is named Kidron.” (Josephus Wars 5:70)

3.         Key elements in the prophecy and fulfillment of the destruction of Jerusalem:

a.       Zechariah dates to 520-518 BC so the destruction of the city can only refer to AD 70. The city was not destroyed by Antiochus IV in 167 BC, only the temple was defiled.

b.      You have the armies of God (Titus) standing on the Mount of Olives, and Josephus Wars 5:70 records this was the very first camp Titus used when he arrived in Jerusalem at the time the siege began.

c.       The figure of the splitting the mount of Olives into two in Zechariah 14:1-4 is the same language that Jerusalem would be split into three in Revelation 16:17-21.

 

B. Overview:

1.        The siege armies arrive at the Mount of Olives:

c.        589 BC: “The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day." (Ezekiel 24:2)

d.       AD 70: Titus arrives Monday 7th March AD 70: “These legions had orders to encamp at the distance of six furlongs from Jerusalem, at the mount called the mount of Olives, which lies over against the city on the east side, and is parted from it by a deep valley, interposed between them, which is named Kidron.” (Josephus Wars 5:70)

2.        AD 70: Cup of destruction given to Jerusalem: Rev 16:19; 18:6

3.        723 BC: Ezek 23: “Samaria is Oholah” drank cup of wrath

a.        God gave the same cup of wrath to the 10 northern tribes and brought them to extinction.

b.       “I will give her [Samaria-723 BC] cup into your [Jerusalem-587 BC] hand… You will drink your sister’s cup … The cup of your sister Samaria." (Ezekiel 23:32-33)

4.        591 BC: Ezek 23: “Jerusalem is Oholibah” drank cup of wrath

a.        The cup of horror and desolation” (Ezek 23:33)

b.       Bring Babylon against them for terror and plunder” (Ezek 23:46)

5.        587 BC: Jer 25: Jerusalem drank the cup of wrath and was destroyed:

a.        "Cup from the Lord’s hand sent to drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and its kings and its princes, to make them a ruin, a horror, a hissing and a curse, as it is this day;" (Jeremiah 25:17-18)

b.       “I am beginning to work calamity in this city [Jerusalem] which is called by My name” (Jer 25:29)

 

C. Details:

1.        1st January AD 70: 3-Way civil war: “The great city was split into three parts” SEVENTH BOWL (Rev 16:19)

a.        The three Jewish rebel leaders, Eleazar ben Simon, Simon ben Giora and John of Gischala each had exclusive control of different parts of Jerusalem and were constantly attacking each other with Roman made Ballista and Scorpions (catapults).

b.       Revelation 16:19: FULFILLED on 1 Jan AD 70: “City split into three parts”: Three-way civil war for control of Jerusalem between Eleazar, Simon and John

c.        As the civil war rages, Titus marches from Alexandria to Jerusalem via Caesarea to destroy Jerusalem.

2.        The three Jewish Rebel leaders fighting the civil war inside Jerusalem:

a.        Eleazar son of Simon: Headquarters inside the temple with 2400 troops. He set up four towers on the corner of the Jerusalem Temple and used the elevation to his advantage to use the “Engines” to throw large rocks, and arrows down upon both John and Simon.

b.       John of Giscala, Galilee: Zealot 6,000 troops controlled the lower city and the Temple's outer court. Threw catapults, slings and arrows down to Simon below and also to Eleazar whose men are above inside the temple. Many worshippers were killed this way by John.

c.        Simon ben Gioras: Zealot (Josephus Wars 2.652; 4:121) with 15,000 troops controlled the upper city and part of the lower city. “Now this Simon, who was outside the wall [with his army], was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves”. (Josephus Wars 4.558)

3.        Revelation and Josephus both mark the civil war as the beginning of the destruction of Jerusalem:

a.        “the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice. (3) Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased; (4) but for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh.” (Josephus Wars 5:4-6)

b.       “And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other.(Josephus Wars 5:21)

c.        The city was literally divided up into three geographic camps. Speaking of the three rebel camps when the Romans arrive: “What are we doing here, and what do we mean, when we suffer three fortified walls to be built to coop us in, that we shall not be able to breathe freely?” (Josephus Wars 5.73)

d.       The incredible statement by Josephus (Wars 5:4-6) was that the destruction began when the city was split into three factions that fought each other like wild unreasoning BEASTS just as in Rev 16:19.

e.        Inside Jerusalem "there were three generals and three armies, and between these three there was constant fighting, treachery, and arson" (Tacitus, Histories 5.12.3)

f.         Josephus describes the three way battle of the civil war and echoes the words of Jesus, Where the [dead] body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.” Lk 17:37

6.      Here is Josephus’ own account of the civil war between the three rebel leaders: Nov -Dec AD 69: Josephus Wars 5.1-28

a.        When therefore Titus had marched over that desert which lies between Egypt and Syria, in the manner forementioned, he came to Cesarea, having resolved to set his forces in order at that place, before he began the war. (2) Nay, indeed, while he was assisting his father at Alexandria, in settling that government which had been newly conferred upon them by God, it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice. (3) Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased; (4) but for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh. 2. (5)

b.       For Eleazar, the son of Simon, who made the first separation of the zealots from the people, and made them retire into the temple, appeared very angry at John’s insolent attempts which he made every day upon the people; for this man never left off murdering: but the truth was, that he could not bear to submit to a tyrant who set up after him. (6) So he being desirous of gaining the entire power and dominion to himself, revolted from John, and took to his assistance Judas the son of Chelcias, and Simon the son of Ezron, who were among the men of greatest power. There was also with him Hezekiah the son of Chobar, a person of eminence. (7) Each of these were followed by a great many of the zealots; these seized upon the inner court of the temple, and laid their arms upon the holy gates, and over the holy fronts of that court; (8) and because they had plenty of provisions, they were of good courage, for there was a great abundance of what was consecrated to sacred uses, and they scrupled not the making use of them; yet were they afraid on account of their small number; and when they had laid up their arms there, they did not stir from the place they were in. (9)

c.        Now as to John, what advantage he had above Eleazar in the multitude of his followers, the like disadvantage he had in the situation he was in, since he had his enemies over his head; and as he could not make any assault upon them without some terror, so was his anger too great to let them be at rest; (10) nay, although he suffered more mischief from Eleazar and his party than he could inflict upon them, yet would he not leave off assaulting them, insomuch that there were continued sallies made one against another, as well as darts thrown at one another, and the temple was defiled everywhere with murders. 3. (11)

d.       But now the tyrant Simon, the son of Gioras, whom the people had invited in, out of the hopes they had of his assistance in the great distresses they were in, having in his power the upper city, and a great part of the lower, did now make more vehement assaults upon John and his party, because they were fought against from above also; yet was he beneath their situation, when he attacked them, as they were beneath the attacks of the others above them. (12)

e.        Whereby it came to pass, that John did both receive and inflict great damage, and that easily, as he was fought against on both sides; and the same advantage that Eleazar and his party had over him, since he was beneath them, the same advantage had he, by his higher situation over Simon. (13) On which account he easily repelled the attacks that were made from beneath, by the weapons thrown from their hands only; but was obliged to repel those that threw darts from the temple above him, by his engines of war; (14) for he had such engines as threw darts, and javelins, and stones, and that in no small number, by which he did not only defend himself from such as fought against him, but slew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations; (15) for notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten leave of them, how cruel soever they were, to come into that court, were yet often destroyed by this sedition: (16) for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went all over the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; (17) insomuch that in any persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; (18) till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcases stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves. (19) And now, “O most wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy internecine hatred! For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou longer continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulchre for the bodies of thine own people, and hadst made the holy house itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine! Yet mayest thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.” (20) But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of history, since this is not a proper time for domestic lamentations, but for historical narrations; I therefore return to the operations that follow in this sedition. 4. (21)

f.         And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred firstfruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John plundered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon. This Simon had his supply of provisions from the city, in oppositions to the seditious. (22) When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he made his men turn about, throwing his darts upon those citizens that came up against him, from the cloisters he had in his possession, while he opposed those that attacked him from the temple by his engines of war; (23) and if at any time he was freed from those that were above him, which happened frequently, from their being drunk and tired, he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his party; (24) and this he did always in such parts of the city as he could come at, till he set on fire those houses that were full of corn, and of all other provisions. The same thing was done by Simon, when, upon the other’s retreat, he attacked the city also; as if they had, on purpose, done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the siege, and by thus cutting off the nerves of their own power. (25) Accordingly, it so came to pass, that all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides, and that almost all the corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. (26) So they were taken by the means of the famine, which it was impossible they should have been, unless they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure. 5. (27) And now, as the city was engaged in a war on all sides, from these treacherous crowds of wicked men, the people of the city, between them, were like a great body torn in pieces. (28) The aged men and the women were in such distress by their internal calamities, that they wished for the Romans, and earnestly hoped for an external war, in order to their delivery from their domestic miseries.” (Josephus Wars 5.1-28)

 

 

Rev 16:21

Roman engines were called Ballista and Scorpions (Catapult)

Hailstones | Fire | Locust | Scorpions | Noise | Blood | Famine | Plague | Pain

 

Note: The author was the first (to his knowledge) to directly connect the symbolism in Revelation to Roman war machines known at Ballista and Scorpions (Catapults).

 

A. Revelation symbolism describes Roman Warfare:

1.          All the symbolic language in Revelation is describing first century Roman Warfare in the destruction of Jerusalem. Animal designations are often transferred to army implements and war machines.

2.          This is particularly true of war-machines:

a.       the wall-battery was called a “ram”,

b.      the sheltering shed was called the “tortoise”

c.       the catapult was called the “scorpion”.

3.          Every Christian living in Jerusalem were familiar with the “Roman Engines” called “Scorpions, Ballista, Catapults” which threw stones, darts, arrows and fire, causing death, famine, plague, blood, famine and pain.

4.          They knew this from first hand experience and did not need to read Josephus to understand this.

5.          They knew Roman Catapults were literally called “Scorpions” and did not need to research first century history.

 

B. The Roman Ballista: Hailstones are white, like Ballista balls!

 

1.       1 Talent hailstones = 1 Talent ballista cannon balls: Rev 16:21; Josephus Wars 3.167

a.       Ballista balls are white like hailstones!

b.      Fulfillment: Rev 8:7; 16:21: Roman war engines that threw “One Talent Hailstones”, “fire machines”, sling stones and arrows that caused a blood bath in the city.

2.       Revelation says hailstones weighed 1 talent (34.2 kg=75 lbs)

a.       "And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds [Lit: Talent=34.2 kg=75 lbs.] each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe." (Revelation 16:21)

b.      "The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." (Revelation 8:7)

3.       Josephus says Ballista cannon balls weighed 1 talent and also threw fire and arrows in the battle at Jotapata in AD 67

a.       Vespasian was very desirous of demolishing Jotapata, where Josephus was captured: (Josephus Wars 3.341)

b.      “Vespasian then set the engines for throwing stones and darts round about the city; the number of the engines was in all a hundred and sixty; and bade them fall to work and dislodge those that were upon the wall. (167) At the same time such engines as were intended for that purpose, threw at once lances upon them with great noise, and stones of the weight of a talent were thrown by the engines that were prepared for that purpose, together with fire, and a vast multitude of arrows, which made the wall so dangerous that the Jews durst not only not to come upon it, but durst not come to those parts within the walls which were reached by the engines” (Josephus Wars 3.166–167)

c.       Battle at Jotapata where Josephus was captured is described: “But still Josephus and those with him, although they fell down dead one upon another by the darts and stones which the engines threw upon them, yet did not they desert the wall, but fell upon those who managed the ram, under the protection of the hurdles, with fire, and iron weapons, and stones; (241) and these could do little or nothing, but fell themselves perpetually, while they were seen by those whom they could not see, (242) for the light of their own flame shone about them, and made them a most visible mark to the enemy, as they were in the daytime, while the engines could not be seen at a great distance, and so what was thrown at them was hard to be avoided; (243) for the force with which these engines threw stones and darts made them hurt several at a time, and the violent noise of the stones that were cast by the engines was so great, that they carried away the pinnacles of the wall, and broke off the corners of the towers; (244) for no body of men could be so strong as not to be overthrown to the last rank by the largeness of the stones; (245) and any one may learn the force of the engines by what happened this very night; for as one of those that stood round about Josephus was near the wall, his head was carried away by such a stone, and his skull was flung as far as three furlongs. (246) In the daytime also, a woman with child had her belly so violently struck, as she was just come out of her house, that the infant was carried to the distance of half a furlong; so great was the force of that engine. (247) The noise of the instruments themselves was very terrible, the sound of the darts and stones that were thrown by them was so also; (248) of the same sort was that noise the dead bodies made, when they were dashed against the wall; and indeed dreadful was the clamor which these things raised in the women within the city, which was echoed back at the same time by the cries of such as were slain; (249) while the whole space of ground whereon they fought ran with blood, and the wall might have been ascended over by the bodies of the dead carcasses; (250) the mountains also contributed to increase the noise by their echoes; nor was there on that night anything of terror wanting that could either affect the hearing or the sight: (251) yet did a great part of those that fought so hard for Jotapata fall manfully, as were a great part of them wounded.” (Josephus Wars 3.240-251)

4.       In Ezekiel, God judges Against God and Magog and describes the attacking army as using hailstones

a.       "With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone." (Ezekiel 38:22)

b.      Notice the metaphor of “rain on him”.

c.       This another case of God sending an army to destroy and describing the “warfare” in symbolic terms.

5.       1 Macc 6:48–52 says the Romans had “fire throwing machines” and engines of war that threw large stones (ballista), smaller tennis ball sized sling stones and arrows:

a.       "And from the army of the king, they went up to meet them in Jerusalem, and the king camped in Judah and in Mount Zion. And he made peace with those from Beth-zur, and he came out from the city because there were no supplies for them there to close themselves in it, because it was a Sabbath year for the land. And the king captured Beth-zur and commanded a garrison there to hold it. And he camped at the sanctuary many days and built there siege towers and engines of war and fire machines and catapults and a scorpion for launching arrows and slings. And they [Judeans] also made war machines to match their war machines, and they fought many days." (1 Macc 6:48–52)

6.       The author has excavated many flint sling stones, bronze war axe heads and arrowheads in Israel.
 

 

 

Jerusalem the Great Harlot Rides on Rome

Revelation 17

Ezekiel 16, 23 on Sept 592 BC

 

A. Jerusalem the Great Harlot:

1.      In 723 BC, Isaiah calls Jerusalem a Harlot.

a.         "How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers." (Isaiah 1:21)

2.      In 723 BC, God divorced Samaria, sent her away and gave her a certificate of divorce but Jerusalem was “also a harlot” committing the same sin of adultery with “stones and trees”:

a.         "Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. “I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. “And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. “Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. “Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 3:6-10, 609 BC)

3.      In 587 BC, Jerusalem is specifically called a harlot: Ezek 16:35; 23:44; Jer 2:20; 3:1

a.         "Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord." (Ezekiel 16:35)

b.        "“But they went in to her as they would go in to a harlot. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women." (Ezekiel 23:44)

c.         "“For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, ‘I will not serve!’ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot." (Jeremiah 2:20)

d.        "God says, “If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,” declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 3:1)

4.      In AD 70, Jerusalem is the Great Harlot:

a.         Jerusalem is in self-denial thinking God is still present: Notice the harlot thinks she has a husband “I am a queen, not a widow” but God has divorced fleshly Jerusalem at the cross and in Rev 21:2 marries new city of Jerusalem, the church bride.

5.      The Harlot Jerusalem RIDES ON THE BACK OF Rome

a.         This creates a huge problem for those who equate the Harlot with Rome.

b.        The Harlot Jerusalem rides on top of Rome the way a woman rides on a horse.

c.         A woman is not a horse. They are two different creatures.

d.        Harlot Jerusalem sits on top of Roman Empire as two different entities.

6.      She “sits on [top of] many waters”

a.         Used of Babylon: "O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your end." (Jeremiah 51:13)

b.        On [top of] seven hills (used of Rome). The seven hills directly and specifically refers to the 7 Caesars, and indirectly to Rome but not Jerusalem.

7.      Rome, Jerusalem and Babylon literally DO NOT sit on many waters but are inland:

a.         Both Jerusalem and Rome are 50 km inland from the ocean.

b.        Babylon sat between two rivers hundreds of kilometers from the ocean.

 

B. Ten horns and 7 heads of Rome:

1.      Ten horns are the 10 Caesars from Julius to Titus.

2.      Seven heads are the 7 Caesars less the three usurpers: Galba, Otho and Vitellius

3.      Head #6 is Nero is the Caesar who is currently in power and dates the writing of Revelation to AD 66.

4.      See notes on Nero for details.

 

C. The Roman beast HATES and DESTROYS the Jewish harlot riding on its back:

1.       “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire." (Revelation 17:16)

a.          This amazing statement once again confirms the book of Revelation is all about the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome.

b.         Notice the beast from the sea (Jews) , is riding upon the beast from the sea (Rome) like horse and rider.

c.          The other figure is of a woman rider on a horse, usually beautiful and majestic, but she is a wicked dirty harlot and her horse is an ugly beast that bucks her off and destroys her!

2.       A perfect synchronism with the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70.

a.          Titus truly hated Jerusalem because of how wicked they were.

b.         The words of Roman Titus to those inside Jerusalem: “And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? And why do you pollute this holy house with the blood both of foreigners and Jews themselves?” (Wars 6:126)

3.       Titus made many attempts at saving the city and the temple from destruction.

a.          Titus was more righteous than the Jews.

b.         Titus blamed the Jews immorality for their own destruction.

c.          See notes and Josephus chronology of Jewish war

 

D. God’s uses Satan (the beast) to destroy Jerusalem:

1.       “For God has put it in their [Jewish harlot and Roman horse] hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast [Satan], until the words of God will be fulfilled." (Revelation 17:17)

a.          Remember, the Jews had almost completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple BEFORE Titus arrived.

b.         Satan has one goal: destroy Jerusalem.

c.          Both Jews and Romans “worship Satan” by doing his bidding in the destruction of the ancient holy city.

d.         All of this is the will of God.

2.       God has used wicked nations as his instrument to destroy Samaria, Judea and Jerusalem many times in the past.

3.       The fact that God used Babylon to destroy Jerusalem in 587 BC was difficult for Habakkuk the prophet to understand:

a.          "Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness [Babylon] with favor. Why do You look with favor on those [Babylon] who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked [Babylon] swallow up those more righteous [Jerusalem] than they?" (Habakkuk 1:13)

b.         Jerusalem exceeded God’s threshold of wickedness and determined to destroy Jerusalem by Babylon, who was even more wicked.

 

E. The choices of the Harlot govern what Rome choses to do:

1.      “The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”" (Revelation 17:18)

2.      In the final statement of Revelation 17, the Harlot is said to rule over Rome.

a.         When the Jews rebelled against Rome, they were the one’s who summoned the armies of Rome.

b.        Had the Jews not rebelled, Jerusalem would never have been destroyed in AD 70.

c.         In this way, the Jews RULED over the ACTIONS of the Romans.

 

 

Jerusalem Temple destroyed: Monday 6th August AD 70

“Come out of her, my people”

Revelation 18

Ezekiel 33:21 on 19th Jan. 586 BC

 

A. Revelation 18 is the final destruction of the city and burning of the Temple: Monday 6th August AD 70

1.       587 BC: "Now in the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month [Friday 19 January 586, 5 Tebeth], the refugees from Jerusalem came to me, saying, “The city has been taken.” Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me in the evening, before the refugees came. And He opened my mouth at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened and I was no longer speechless." (Ezekiel 33:21–22)

2.       Titus burned the temple on Monday 6th August AD 70

a.          Fire was cast into the inner Temple, essentially completing the destruction of the city (Josephus Wars 6:244-264).

b.         Notice Josephus the Jew understood the burning of the temple was God’s judgement.

c.          Notice the Jews lit the fires that burned the temple, not the Romans.

d.         It was the Jews, “the beast from the Earth” the “Dragon in sheep’s clothing” the “worshippers of Satan”, who did the Devil’s work in burning down their own temple.

e.          “Hereupon the Jews found themselves not able to sustain their onset, and upon the slaughter of those in the forefront, many of the rest were put to flight; (248) but as the Romans were going off, the Jews turned back upon them and fought them; and as those Romans came back upon them, they retreated again, until about the fifth hour of the day they were overborne, and shut themselves up in the inner [court of the] temple. So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house; (250) but, as for that house, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the month Lous [Ab], upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon; (251) although these flames took their rise from the Jews themselves, and were occasioned by them” (Josephus Wars 6.247–251)

3.       Both temples in 587 and AD 70 were burned on the exact same day of the month: 10 Av:

a.          “So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house; but, as for that house, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the month Lous [Ab], upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon” (Josephus Wars 6.249-250)

b.         “Now although anyone would justly lament the destruction of such a work as this was, since it was the most admirable of all the works that we have seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the vast wealth bestowed upon it, as well as for the glorious reputation it had for its holiness; yet might such a one comfort himself with this thought, that it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevitable, both as to living creatures and as to works and places also. (268) However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burnt formerly by the Babylonians. (269) (Josephus Wars 6.267-269)

 

B. THE GREAT SWAP: FLEE JERUSALEM or DIE! (Revelation 18:2-5)

Blessings of Jerusalem transferred to Babylon and the Curses of Babylon transferred to Jerusalem

The author is not aware of any other Revelation commentator who has noticed this central and critical synchronism.

 

Blessings of Jerusalem transferred to Babylon

Curses of Babylon transferred to Jerusalem

 

1.       Come out of Jerusalem:

a.       While we are following the chronological sequence of the destruction of Jerusalem, remember that when it was written in AD 66, the burning of the temple, described in Rev 18, is still 4 years away, therefore the call to FLEE THE CITY THEN because of its doom.

b.      Synchronism: Both 587 BC and AD 70 were told to COME OUT FROM JERUSALEM.

                                                               i.      Jeremiah said “come out of Jerusalem and surrender”: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. “He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. “For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.” ’" (Jeremiah 21:8–10, 587 BC pre 10th Av)

                                                             ii.      Jesus warned in AD 33 flee the city: "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled." (Luke 21:20-22)

                                                           iii.      John warned in AD 66 “come out of Jerusalem”: "I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;" (Revelation 18:4)

 

2.       Flee Jerusalem because the Blessings of Jerusalem transferred to Babylon and the Curses of Babylon were transferred to Jerusalem

a.        "LEFT BEHIND… The biblical movie" is what happened in 605 BC when the 70 year Babylonian captivity began.

                                                               i.      Prophets commanded everyone in Jerusalem to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar or die: "Come out from among them (Jerusalem), Surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, live in Babylon and be blessed."

                                                             ii.      This language transcends the entire Bible from Abraham to Revelation and is a fitting architype for the final end of physical Israel.

b.       Two passages clearly illustrate the swaps of blessings and curses between Babylon and Jerusalem in 587 BC:

                                                               i.      “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. “He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. “For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.” ’" (Jeremiah 21:8–10, 587 BC pre 10th Av)

                                                             ii.      Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. ‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ … ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 29:1–14)

c.        This is the reason they were told to flee the city in 587 and the same is true in AD 70.

                                                               i.      Christians living in Jerusalem in AD 66 were ordered to “come out from among them”, just as Jeremiah had ordered in 605 BC and Daniel obeyed by surrendering to Nebuchadnezzar.

d.       COME OUT OF LITERAL JERUSALEM BEFORE AD 70:

                                                               i.      "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled." (Luke 21:20–22)

                                                             ii.      There is a direct command to leave the city of Jerusalem: “Come out of her [Jerusalem], my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Revelation 18:2–5)

 

3.       Surrender or Die: Those who surrendered and those who did not!

a.       605 BC: DANIEL, SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABED-NEGO SURRENDER:

                                                               i.      605 BC: "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god. … Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego." (Daniel 1:1-7; 605 BC)

                                                             ii.      605 BC: Baruch is told to be prepared to surrender because Jerusalem will surely be destroyed: "This is the message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written down these words in a book at Jeremiah’s dictation, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying: “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Ah, woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.” ’ “Thus you are to say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, what I have built I am about to tear down, and what I have planted I am about to uproot, that is, the whole land.” ‘But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the Lord, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.’ ”" (Jeremiah 45:1–5, 605 BC)

b.      597 BC: JEHOIACHIN (Coniah) SURRENDERS!

                                                               i.      597 BC: "At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. And Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it. Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his captains and his officials. So the king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign. He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, just as the Lord had said. Then he led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. So he led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also the king’s mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the land, he led away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. All the men of valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all strong and fit for war, and these the king of Babylon brought into exile to Babylon." (2 Kings 24:10–16, 598 BC)

                                                             ii.      597 BC: "Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of the Lord, and he made his kinsman Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem." (2 Chronicles 36:9–10, 598 BC)

c.       595 BC: ZEDEKIAH WAS ORDERED TO SURRENDER

                                                               i.      595 BC: "I spoke words like all these to Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live! “Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, famine and pestilence, as the Lord has spoken to that nation which will not serve the king of Babylon?" (Jeremiah 27:12–13, 595 BC)

                                                             ii.      “Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. “All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant. “It will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine and with pestilence,” declares the Lord, “until I have destroyed it by his hand." (Jeremiah 27:6-8)

                                                           iii.      595 BC: "Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house will now shortly be brought again from Babylon’; for they are prophesying a lie to you. “Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city become a ruin?" (Jeremiah 27:16–17, 595 BC)

d.      589 BC: ZEDEKIAH WAS ORDERED TO SURRENDER

                                                               i.      589 BC: “Thus says the Lord, ‘He who stays in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own life as booty and stay alive.’" (Jeremiah 38:2, 589 BC)

                                                             ii.      589 BC: "Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘If you will indeed go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will survive. ‘But if you will not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and you yourself will not escape from their hand.’"  Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I dread the Jews who have gone over [voluntarily surrendered] to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will abuse me.” But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live." (Jeremiah 38:17–20, 589 BC)

e.      587 BC pre 10th Av: Surrender or die!

                                                               i.      587 BC: to Zedekiah “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. “He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. “For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.” ’" (Jeremiah 21:8–10, 587 BC pre 10th Av)

                                                             ii.      587 BC pre 10th Av: “Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian [rescued Jeremiah from the cistern: Jer 38:7-13], saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day. “But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. “For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’ ” (Jeremiah 39:16-18, 587 BC, pre 10th AV)

f.        587 BC: Zedekiah, all the royal officials and the High priest refused to surrender and were executed at Riblah:

                                                               i.      "Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple. He also took from the city one official who was overseer of the men of war, and seven of the king’s advisers who were found in the city, and the scribe of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its land." (Jeremiah 52:24–27)

                                                             ii.      "Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came in and sat down at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sar-ezer, Samgar-nebu, Sar-sekim the Rab-saris, Nergal-sar-ezer the Rab-mag, and all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. When Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled and went out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and they seized him and brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes at Riblah; the king of Babylon also slew all the nobles of Judah. He then blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetters of bronze to bring him to Babylon." (Jeremiah 39:3–7, 587 BC)

                                                           iii.      "On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all the princes of Judah in Riblah. Then he blinded the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon and put him in prison until the day of his death." (Jeremiah 52:6–11, 587 BC, written in 561 BC)

                                                           iv.      "Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and he passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon." (2 Kings 25:4–7, 587 BC)  

g.       587 BC post 10th Av: SOME JERUSALEMITES OBEYED AND SURRENDERED

                                                               i.      587 BC, Post 10 Av: "As for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to him and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard carried them into exile in Babylon." (Jeremiah 39:9; post 10 Av, 587 BC)

                                                             ii.      587 BC, Post 10 Av, written in 561 BC: "Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the artisans." (Jeremiah 52:15, 587 BC, written in 561 BC)

 

4.       “Come out from among the cursed city” starts in Genesis with in Sodom and ends with Jerusalem in Revelation

    1. FLEE SODOM: LOT REMOVED: "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE (2075 BC)

                                                               i.      "Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city." (Genesis 19:12-16)

    1. FLEE EGYPT: The Exodus (1446 BC)

                                                               i.      Egypt cursed: Ten plagues of Egypt.

                                                             ii.      Countless times the Israelites wanted to return to Egypt.

                                                           iii.      "“Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”" (Numbers 14:3–4)

                                                           iv.      "“But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel.” ’ ”" (Exodus 9:4)

                                                             v.      "Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? “Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”" (Exodus 14:11–12)

                                                           vi.      "The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”" (Numbers 21:5)

                                                         vii.      “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity;" (Deuteronomy 30:15)

    1. FLEE JERUSALEM AT THE ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY OF 723 BC:

                                                               i.      "Depart, depart, go out from there [Jerusalem], Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the Lord." (Isaiah 52:11)

    1. FLEE LITERAL ASSYRIA/BABYLON after the captivity of 732 BC:

                                                               i.      "Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this, Send it out to the end of the earth; Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.”" (Isaiah 48:20)

                                                             ii.      "“I will punish Bel in Babylon, And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth; And the nations will no longer stream to him. Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down! “Come forth from her midst, My people, And each of you save yourselves From the fierce anger of the Lord." (Jeremiah 51:44–45)

                                                           iii.      History records that some of the Jews deported from Israel did return to Judah

    1. FLEE JERUSALEM AT THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY OF 605-587 BC: Jeremiah's message was to leave Jerusalem and surrender to Nebuchadnezzar:

                                                               i.      587 BC: to Zedekiah “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. “He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. “For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.” ’" (Jeremiah 21:8–10, 587 BC pre 10th Av)

    1. FLEE EGYPT: OF THE JERUSALEMITES TO MOVED TO EGYPT IN 587 BC

                                                               i.      Jeremiah was called a liar by the post 587 BC Jews who wanted to flee Jerusalem and live in Egypt: "Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You are not to enter Egypt to reside there’; but Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us to give us over into the hand of the Chaldeans, so they will put us to death or exile us to Babylon.”" (Jeremiah 43:2–3)  

                                                             ii.      The post 587 Jews who survived the Babylonian captivity by hiding or fleeing to Moab had literally BECOME EGYPT by moving there: Jeremiah warned them to leave Egypt and move back to Judah but they refused: "‘And I will take away the remnant of Judah who have set their mind on entering the land of Egypt to reside there, and they will all meet their end in the land of Egypt; they will fall by the sword and meet their end by famine. Both small and great will die by the sword and famine; and they will become a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation and a reproach. ‘And I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine and with pestilence. ‘So there will be no refugees or survivors for the remnant of Judah who have entered the land of Egypt to reside there and then to return to the land of Judah, to which they are longing to return and live; for none will return except a few refugees.’ ” Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly, including all the people who were living in Pathros in the land of Egypt, responded to Jeremiah, saying, “As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you! “but rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. “but since we stopped burning sacrifices to the Queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine.” “And,” said the women, “when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”" (Jeremiah 44:12-19)  

    1. OF LITERAL BABYLON in 561 BC shortly before the Darius the Great conquers Babylon in 536 BC:

                                                               i.      "“Wander away from the midst of Babylon and go forth from the land of the Chaldeans; Be also like male goats at the head of the flock." (Jeremiah 50:8)

                                                             ii.      "Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, For this is the Lord’s time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her." (Jeremiah 51:6)

                                                           iii.      "We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; Forsake her and let us each go to his own country, For her judgment has reached to heaven And towers up to the very skies." (Jeremiah 51:9)

                                                           iv.      "“Come forth from her midst, My people, And each of you save yourselves From the fierce anger of the Lord." (Jeremiah 51:45)

    1. THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF SALVATION TO COME OUT OF THE WORLD:

                                                               i.      “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)

                                                             ii.      "And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:40–41)  

 

C. 15th September AD 66. Jesus: Flee when “Jewish armies” surround Jerusalem: Lk 21:20

1.       The author was first (as far as he knows) to identify the first army surrounding Jerusalem was the Jewish army of Manahem (not Roman armies) to protect the city from Romans on 15th September AD 66. (Josephus Wars 2.434f).

a.       The primary trigger point for the Christians to flee would be on 10th Nov AD 66 when the Jews finally liberated the city. (Wars 2.554).

b.      Therefore, the armies Jesus was talking about would be at the beginning of the war in AD 66 and it is then we find several instances of Jewish armies successfully surrounding the city against the Romans. This must be the fulfillment of Luke 21:20.

2.      Chronology of Luke 21:20 vs. Revelation 18:

a.       Luke 21:20 was fulfilled on 15th September AD 66 when Manahem surrounded Jerusalem with Jewish armies

b.      Revelation 18 was fulfilled starting Monday 7th March AD 70 when Titus’s armies arrived and Monday 6th August AD 70 when the temple was burned.

c.       Remember that the book was written in AD 66 and the Christians in Jerusalem would read in the Revelation narrative, forward to the time of its destruction.

d.      The warning to flee is placed in Revelation at the time of its destruction but the warning was actually read 4 years earlier.

e.      Revelation was written in Jan AD 66 and 9 months later Jesus’ words, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies” were fulfilled on 15th September AD 66.

3.      Most preachers teach that Luke 21:20 was fulfilled when Titus surrounded the city in AD 70 with Roman armies, then withdrew them for seven days before the final destruction ended on 10 Av AD 70 [Monday, 6th August AD 70] giving the Christians the chance to flee the city. There are three serious problems with this view.

a.       First the pause did not permit ANYONE to leave the city and if they did leave the Romans would kill them.

b.      Second the city was under formal siege and if the Christians could leave, that meant the Romans could have entered.

c.       Third, it is way to late for the Christians to escape physically unharmed. By Aug AD 70 the Roman siege had caused tens of thousands of deaths through famine. Cannibalism occurred in Jerusalem during the sieges of 587 BC and AD 70 (Ezek 5:10; Jer 19:9; Josephus War 6.193-213).

4.      For certain, the Christians in Jerusalem had read Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels that contained clear warnings from Jesus to “Flee when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Jewish] armies, then recognize that her desolation is near” (Lk 21:20; Mt 24).”

a.       In AD 33, Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed before the end of that generation, ie. 40 years.

b.      The first Jewish war broke out in AD 66 [flee!], and the city was destroyed in AD 70.

5.      DIVINE OMEN: January AD 68, A violent storm the night Jerusalem surrounded by an army of 20,000 Idumeans. (Josephus Wars 4:235) When the Zealots let the army into the city, the Idumeans and Zealots join forces and the two high priests, Ananus ben Ananus and Jesus ben Gamaliel are killed, (Josephus Wars 4:315,325) but the Idumeans learn they were lied to about Ananus being a traitor, they leave the city. (Josephus Wars 4:345-352)

a.       Josephus marks this as the beginning of the destruction of the city. The Jews marked the wild storm as God fighting the Idumean army, but Josephus viewed it as an omen of the cities destruction.

b.      I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city.” (Josephus Wars 4:318)

c.       “But the shame that would attend them in case they returned without doing anything at all so far overcame that their repentance, that they lay all night before the wall, though in a very bad encampment; (286) for there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. (287) These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming. 6. (288) Now the opinion of the Idumeans and of the citizens was one and the same. The Idumeans thought that God was angry at their taking arms, and that they would not escape punishment for their making war upon their metropolis. Ananus and his party thought that they had conquered without fighting, and that God acted as a general for them; (289) but truly they proved both ill conjectures at what was to come, and made those events to be ominous to their enemies, while they were themselves to undergo the ill effects of them” (Josephus Wars 4.285-289)

 

D. Synchronism: Jerusalem THE GREAT CITY destroyed in both 587 BC and AD 70: Jer 22:8

1.      Jerusalem is called “The great city” 8 times: Revelation 16:19; 17:18; 18:10; 18:16; 18:18; 18:19; 18:21

a.         6 of the 7 times in Rev 18! (including 17:18)

2.      “For I will set apart destroyers against you, Each with his weapons; And they will cut down your choicest cedars And throw them on the fire. “Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this great city?’ “Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’" (Jeremiah 22:7-9)

a.         In 587 Jerusalem was called a GREAT CITY just like in Revelation

b.        In 587 Jerusalem was destroyed FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON: forsaking the covenant.

3.      Jerusalem is much greater than Rome being founded before 2100 BC and Melchizedek was the king of the city in Gen 14

a.         Yes, Rome was also a Great city, but never in Revelation!

4.      See section on Jerusalem as the GREAT CITY.

 

E. Physical Jerusalem was replaced by the church who has Christ as the husband:

1.      Jerusalem is in self-denial thinking God is still present

2.      Notice the harlot thinks she has a husband “I am a queen, not a widow”.

3.      God has divorced fleshly Jerusalem at the cross and in Rev 21:2 marries new city of Jerusalem, the church bride.

 

F. Woes of the city: Ezekiel and Revelation:

1.      Ezekiel and Revelation are the only places in scripture with two woes.

2.      One double-woe of Ezekiel 16:23: “Then it came about after all your wickedness (‘Woe, woe to you!’ declares the Lord GOD),"

3.      Three double-woes of Rev 18 of the loss of income opportunity now the city is destroyed:

a.         Kings: "standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’" (Revelation 18:10)

b.        Merchants: "saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls" (Revelation 18:16)

c.         Sailors: "“And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’" (Revelation 18:19)

4.      Ezek 24: 2 different single woes

a.         “Woe to the bloody city" (Ezekiel 24:6)

b.         “Woe to the bloody city" (Ezekiel 24:9)

5.      Jesus ben Ananus: “Woe, Woe, to Jerusalem” (Josephus Wars 6:304)

 

G. FULFILLED JESUS’ WORDS: Vengeance for blood of prophets and saints:

1.      “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

a.         While this could apply to the persecution of nero, it better fits Jerusalem.

b.        Rome persecuted Christians for 3.5 years.

c.         Jerusalem had been killing prophets for over 1000 years!

2.      “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!" (Matthew 23:34–38)

3.      Perfect fit for time: one generation = 40 years = AD 30 to 70.

 

H. At the end of Revelation 18 we cross over the chronological time line to the period AFTER AD 70 in both Revelation and Ezekiel

 

Revelation 1-18

Before AD 70

Ezekiel 1-33:20

Jerusalem Temple burned