Posts Tagged ‘Tribulation’

Note: I am posting chapters 12 thru 18 of my book (The Eighth Beast” in succession for ease of reading. The book deals with America in Prophecy, and these chapters address certain modern conceptions of eschatology that are in fact fairly contemporary.

Many believers nowadays are ignorant that most of the end-time theology which is being taught and widely accepted by both non-Catholics and Catholics alike concerning the antichrist, the rebuilding the temple, and his becoming a world leader, was originally taught by a French monk known as Adso of Montier-en-Der who died in 992 A.D. Though he was a prolific writer of poems, hymns, and biographies of the lives of saints, Adso’s most famous work was his “Letter to Queen Gerberga on the Place and Time of Antichrist,” which became known as the “Little Book on the Antichrist.”

However, Adso’s theology, which was so articulated over a thousand years ago, was presented basically as a rebuttal to the Protestants vehement protest against the papacy and Catholicism. At the time, it  was vehemently rejected by essentially every protestant commentator who sought to defend the truth of the Gospel with their pen. For the earlier commentators both agreed and therefore acknowledged Paul’s speaking in II Thessalonians 2:3 of “a falling away first” as the rise of Roman Catholicism, and “that man of sin… the son of perdition” as being the succession of popes. In the second century, Polycarp, deemed to be an apostolic father, in his Letter to the Philippians, paragraph 7, warned the Philippians that everyone who preached false doctrine was an antichrist. Polycarp’s use of the term “antichrist” agrees with the Apostle John who does not reference a single antichrist, but rather a class of people functioning under a spirit of antichrist. It is also interesting that the Apostle John, who coined the phrases “antichrist” and “many antichrists” DID NOT used those phrases in his writing of the Book of Revelation.

Nevertheless, the historical understanding of the Protestant churches concerning “a spirit of antichrist” that works to advance false prophets and teachers has for the most part been completely abandoned by non-Catholics today; most probably because most believers nowadays are ignorant of both scripture and history. Which means it would be prudent for the earnest seeker of the truth to ask what scriptural and historical justification the Protestant commentators have for interpreting it the way they used to, and why they have now embrace an eschatology that was birthed out of Catholicism itself. That and more is what is addressed in The Eighth Beast as I examine America in prophecy.

Sadly, most people’s understanding of end-time theology is similar to their hiking an old familiar trail where the slopes and turns have become so instinctive to them it requires very little focus (or faith) to navigate it. However, every so often along the way there is a hint of a old path that forks off the main trail where only the inquisitive will turn aside to see where it leads. Many never aware of the fact that beaten they always take is actually a newer path someone once took looking for an easier way and everyone else just followed, while the old path slowly becomes forgotten and less traveled. If someone wants to be sure they’re on the right path for where they’re wanting to go, they must be willing to leave the trail and take on the difficulties of climbing up to reach a vantage point that is open and clear enough to verify the path they’re on is correct for safely reaching their desired destination. As it says in Jeremiah 6:16 – Thus saith the LORD, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk therein.”

I share all this because in my book “The Eighth Beast” I re-introduce an old, yet to many, a whole new perspective that is going to require a willingness to endure the difficulties of setting their current theology on the altar of God and take that climb to where the perspective becomes clear if they are going to understand why America is headed for perdition; and why God has warned us to, “Come out of her, My people, that you partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues…”

 

Chapter 12

Before the Conclusion of the Seventy Weeks

It is asserted by those who embrace the doctrine of a seven year tribulation period that its primary scriptural foundation comes from Daniel chapter 9. In this chapter the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Gabriel then continues by telling Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

We must remember that Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications when he was confessing his own sins and the sins of Israel. Therefore the “matter . . . and the vision” which Gabriel was sent to help Daniel understand was connected to his prayer for Israel in captivity. In all, there were seven specific things Gabriel prefaces to the “understanding” of the vision with –

  1. It was a period of time(a) regarding Daniel’s people and the holy city(b)
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The Angel Gabriel continues explaining to Daniel that the seventy weeks are going to be divided into three specific time periods, whereby each will serve specific prophetic purposes with outlining events and definite conclusions –

  1. Seven weeks                    7
  2. Plus sixty two weeks           7 + 62 = 69 weeks total
  3. Plus the last week              1 + 69 = 70 weeks total

Let’s quickly review these verses to give us a fresh recall of them before we continue-

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

It is that last week in verse 27, commonly referred to as Daniel’s seventieth week that has become accepted and known as the Seven Year Tribulation and linked to this verse in Daniel. Originally I had intended starting this post by listing the particulars of this seventy weeks revelation from the angel.

At this time I must entreat your patience, as I originally had intended starting this post with addressing the particulars of this vision from the angel. However, before tackling the seventieth week, there are some noteworthy observations regarding the method of Daniel’s writing this prophetic book that should be addressed first.  Additionally, there are various key players in Daniel’s book, including the angel Gabriel, which it would be prudent to briefly investigate since there are several visions seen by various individuals; some of which are associated to Gabriel’s presence and interpretations while others are not. Some visions address events immediately on the horizon for the Kingdom of Babylon and Daniel, while others have events are far off and the understanding of them were sealed until the end.

Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Sadly, I know this will require more effort and energy to properly consider than even most Christians are willing to invest, but considering the gravity of this vision and the times in which we are living, it would stand as an indictment of lukewarmness and carelessness if I did not invest time to present to others this perspective of the final seventieth week of Daniel.

The first observation that is important to take note of is that the book of Daniel was not entirely written in Daniels own language of Hebrew, a fact that must be recognized as significant if we are to “rightly divide the word of truth” in trying to define the key players in Daniel; especially those involved with these seventy weeks. Daniel begins writing in Hebrew, but in chapter 2:4 he switches to the language of his conquerors. From that point all the way to the end of chapter 7 Daniel wrote in Chaldee. The explanation given by Commentator Adam Clark is as follows, “As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and prophecies from Daniel 2:4 to the end of Daniel 7:28, the whole is written in Chaldee.” Concerning chapter 8 to the end of the book, Adam Clarke continues explaining that Daniel wrote in Hebrew “as the prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy, and principally relate to the Church and people of God generally, they are [therefore] written in the Hebrew language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal all his counsels given under the Old Testament relative to the New.”

Adam Clarke’s profound statement is worthy of prayerful consideration, that the prophecies in Daniel after chapter seven are “posterior to the Chaldean monarchy” or post Babylon. I think this detail gives good foundation for believing that many living today upon earth will witness the destruction of Mystery Babylon before the final “sealing up of the vision and prophecy… upon thy people and upon thy holy city.” Meaning, it is feasible that The Eighth Beast goes into perdition (destruction) before the conclusion of the seventieth week. To simplify that even further, America, being The Eighth Beast will be completely destroyed before the final prophecies of the vision regarding Israel are fulfilled prior to the Lord’s return.

My next observations and thoughts would be directed temporarily to the angel Gabriel. In the Bible we only have four passages that mention him. The first we will but briefly address is where Gabriel is commissioned to explain to Daniel his vision of the ram and the he-goat, and to give the prediction of the 70 weeks.

Daniel 8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

Now I want to remind the reader that this vision is separate from the seventy weeks vision. Daniel was given this vision while Babylon was still an intact sovereign empire.

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

Now even though Babylon was still intact, all the prophecies about it were already given and were about to be fulfilled. Here in chapter eight Daniel returns to writing in Hebrew because from now on the vision and prophecies are dealing with Israel post Babylon.  However, this vision in chapter eight is somewhat a continuance of one Daniel had earlier under  the rule of Belshazzar, King of Babylon.

Daniel 7:1  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

These “four great beasts came up from the sea” represent four great monarchies. For the sake of clarity and presentation,we must set our discussing Gabriel aside temporarily and address these four beasts who are actually four of five key players in chapter seven.

Daniel 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

This first beast “like a lion” with eagle’s wings represents Babylon which invaded Israel quickly. Appropriately, in scriptures we find Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, being depicted as a lion and his conquests as swift as an eagle.

Jeremiah 4:7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.

Jeremiah 48:40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.

Isaiah 5:29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

Ezekiel 17:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar.

Nebuchadnezzar’s army conquered Israel and destroyed Jerusalem. The walls of the city were pulled down, the gates burned, the temple robbed of all its treasures and destroyed. In the process, a considerable percentage of the Israelites were killed, while the choicest of the young men were carried away captive, leaving only the poorest behind as miserable farmers.

Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

This second beast, represented by a bear, was the Medo-Persian Empire. It’s been noted by some commentators how the bear, being the largest species of these four beasts, were found in the colder mountainous regions of Mede/Media (modern Iran). The Medo-Persian Empire is compared to a bear on account of their aggressiveness and thirst for blood.

However, with the Jews in captivity, we see how the sovereignty of God moved the Medo-Persian Empire leaders to allow a return of the Jews back to rebuild Jerusalem. It is under this empire that we have both the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

The third beast, a four headed leopard with four wings of a fowl, is the Macedonian, or Greek Empire which rose to power under Alexander the Great. The swiftness with which Alexander accomplished his conquests is appropriately represented by “a leopard… with four wings of a fowl.” For though the Babylonian Empire was embodied in a lion with two wings to witness the speed of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquests, Alexander’s empire has four wings; since up till that time in history no other empire was its equal. The four heads of the leopard prophetically foretells the dividing of the Macedonian Empire upon Alexander’s death between his four generals.

It is important to note in verse 6 that “dominion was given to it,” meaning the triumphs of the Greek Empire were not due to of Alexander’s own the skill or even the courage of his troops, rather the nations were given to him. Bishop Newton stated that, “had he not been assisted by the mighty power of God, how could he [Alexander the Great], with only thirty thousand men, have overcome Darius with six hundred thousand; and in so short a time have brought the countries from Greece as far as India into subjection?” It was God who gave Alexander his dominion, for we must remember the vision and prophecy are specifically concerning “thy people and upon thy holy city.”

 Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Note that this fourth beast is not identified with a known species as it “was diverse from all the beasts that were before it.” It is the Roman Empire, dreadful, terrible, and exceeding strong and it devoured, and breaks in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. This not only witnesses to its absolute triumph over all the other nations, bringing them to naught, but more significantly points to how Rome destroyed Israel in 70 A.D. scattering the remnant thereof throughout the nations of the world.

Before I continue, I need to make a short run down a rabbit trail… God created man to be responsive to Him and to live under the discipline of His holy precepts, delighting in His laws and meditating therein night and day. When a man is responsive to God, he is being responsible and therefore permitted to freely enjoy the benefits of God’s creation and Kingdom. Humanity has no rights or privileges apart from their responsibilities to the Kingdom of God. This is important to acknowledge if we are going to be found  fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Hence the angel stated that Rome “was diverse from all the beasts that were before it,” for history reveals it was a republican form of government in contrast to the preceding monarchal empires. Perhaps this fact serves as the foundation as to why it was not identified with a known species. Though God created man to have dominion, He never intended for men to govern their own selves. Such a government therefore is unnatural, being a creation of man and not of God. The only form of government God can truly approve is a monarchal kingdom, which alone under His guidance can be fashioned and ruled so as to prophetically represent His own, where He is honored as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Nevertheless, when men reign over other men, they will eventually reject God’s word and His Kingdom. Then it is no longer man that reigns, but sin. Such lesson can be verified not only in the history of each of these empires, but in Israel’s history as well. For when sin reigns, it will always be found to be dreadful, terrible, and exceeding strong for it devours and breaks in pieces, and stamps the residue with its feet as it will seek every opportunity to trodden underfoot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and despites the Spirit of grace.

Back on point, the “ten horns” on the beast were prophetic of the fall of Rome and how later it would be divided into ten smaller kingdoms which to the best of my knowledge forsook the republic governing structure of Rome and returned to monarchies and  have been surmised to be the following –

1. The Roman senate

2. The Greeks

3. The Lombards

4. The Huns

5. The Alemans

6. The Franks

7. The Burgundians

8. The Saracens in Africa and a part of Spain

9. The Goths

10. And the Saxons

The Little Horn

 Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

This little horn is almost too quietly mentioned when contrasted against the weighed of “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” and “the four great beasts came up from the sea.” However, there are a few points worthy of prayerful consideration I would like to make, hoping those reading will have read my previous post and have already placed all their current persuasions on the altar of God so as to be open to examine these things afresh.

First, this little horn’s origin comes from “among them,” this to me speaks of a nation or empire that will rise up, not only out of the “ten horns,” but in all probability predominantly from one in particular. This is why it is prudent to compare each of these four beasts with the diverse attributes assigned to the Eighth Beast that rises up out of the sea.

Revelation 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Second observation, notice the “little horn” has “eyes like the eyes of man.” These “eyes of a man” speaks primarily to the lust of the eyes of men, signifying the little horn is never going to be satisfied till all it sees comes under its control and influence. Therefore he will be cunning, flattering and given to endless lies to achieve its conquests. The ‘little horn” also has “a mouth speaking great things,” which also can be associated with the Eighth Beast–

Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.  6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

God has been long-suffering and forbearing with the folly of humanity from the beginning, permitting many seemingly great things to occur that many people perceive to have been accomplished through the wisdom and might of men. Yet all this ultimately is permitted only to prove to the whole world there is in fact a God and Creator before whom all the nations are reckoned but dust in the scales, for all the souls of such powerful men will still stand before Him to give an accounting, acknowledging that His alone is the Kingdom, the power, and glory forever and ever.

Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

AGAIN, please also recall how the three other horns were “plucked up by the roots” by the little horn. Consider again the verse –

Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

It is simple history that originally the colonization of America was attempted by three of those ten horns; England, Spain and France. However, all three of these have been “plucked up by the roots” so to say and lost all sovereign claims to American soil.

It is evident that it was because of “the great words which the horn spoke . . . the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” Again, this too can be seen attributed to the Eighth Beast who is destined to be destroyed by the ten horns–

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Daniel saw both the rise and fall of this “little horn” which was confirmed to be under the sovereign watch of the “Ancient of days.” No kingdom, even though they may appear to be running rampant in defiance to His great authority, has ever gone beyond the tolerance of the Lord’s great power and restraint.

Daniel 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

At this point, I would like to stress the importance of noting that the destruction of this “little horn,” which became a great beast and was destroyed by fire, that its judgment does not bring the same timely end to the other horns or “beasts.” It is clear that they lose some of their power, but they are permitted to continue on “for a season and time.” I hope to address this more thoroughly later in a post on the Seven Year Tribulation.

Lastly, I wish to return our focus to Gabriel where he appears to Daniel in chapter eight. Again, this is where Daniel returns to writing in Hebrew after the prophecies concerning Babylon which were written in Aramaic. This is only a couple of years after Daniel was given the vision of all the beasts above; now he was given another vision in the “third year of the reign of King Belshazzar.”

In this vision Daniel foresees the coming of the Mede/Persia Empire (2nd beast) represented here as a ram with two horns, one higher than the other. As he was pondering the ram and its horns, a great he-goat appears with a single great horn between its eyes. This horn in chapter 8 is Alexander the Great, previously the third beast in chapter 7 (the leopard) to which “dominion was given.” As stated earlier, this dominion was not just over the other nations, but is specifically given to him over “thy people and the holy city.” Here Alexander the Great/Greece as the “he goat” moves so quickly it is said to not to even touch the ground –

Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

In the vision the he-goat smites the ram, breaks his two horns; taking away its power to stand and casts the ram down to the ground. After which the he-goat/Greece becomes a greater empire until the notable horn/Alexander the Great is broken and he dies. This leaves his empire to be divided among his four generals.

Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

There is not much said about the four note able ones that came up, for the emphasis of the verse straight way goes to another “little horn” that came forth from one of them. Now many people and commentators believe that this little horn is the same as the little horn in 7:8, but I disagree. The 7:8 horn comes from the remnants of the fourth beast’s ten horns, where this little horn comes from one of the four horns of the third beast. Also, this later second little horn is place in a time frame of “the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full,” which simply means the measure of Gods patience with the sins of the transgressors has come to an end; judgment is now eminent.

To put it simply here, I am strongly incline to believe this little horn was Antiochus Epiphanes who polluted the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar of God, blaspheming His name and was later defeated by the Maccabees. Antiochus died suddenly of worms and ulcers supposedly in 164 BC, in harmony with Daniel 8:25 which says “but he shall be broken without hand.”

I truly regret the length of this post, as I know many will not give themselves to read through all this. I would much rather be discussing Jesus Christ and His promises to us, but I felt some of these points needed be established for a foundation before entering the subject of the seventy weeks in chapter nine. However, for those that have read through thus far I would like to make one last point that concerns a clue given to us through an angel speaking to another asked concerning the duration of this vision–

Daniel 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

If the prophetic day here is to be understood the same as it is in chapter nine, then we can conclude the duration will be 2300 years that “the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot.” It has always been my strong inclination that the retaking of the Temple Mount in 1967 was a significant event, one which would not have happen unless God had foretold it by His prophets.

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.

If we subtract 1967 years from the 2300 we end up with 333 years from year 1 D.C. to 1 A.D. there is only 1 year to be counted since there is no O (zero) year to be counted in the timeline. Though we do not know the months or exact time of year, this is the very close if not exactly to the time of Alexander the Great entrance into the Persian-ruled Asia Minor in 334 B.C. 

Josephus in “The Antiquities of the Jews” Book XI, chapter VIII, paragraph 5, tells this story of Alexander the Great arriving in Jerusalem:

“And when he (the High Priest) understood that he (Alexander the Great) was not far from the city (Jerusalem), he (the High Priest) went out in procession with the priests and the multitude of citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations … and when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him (Alexander the Great), thought that they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he (Alexander the Great) saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed in fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his miter on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he (Alexander the Great) approached by himself, and adored that name (the name of God), and first saluted the high priest. The Jews also did altogether, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; where upon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind (They thought Alexander was crazy for bowing before the High Priest). However, Parmenio alone went up to him (Alexander the Great) and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, “I did not adore him, but that G-d who hath honored him with his high-priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit (high priestly garment), when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself, how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he (God) would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit (high priestly garment), and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.”

When the high priest went outside Jerusalem to meet Alexander the Great, he took the book of Daniel to show Alexander the prophecies concerning him. To which Alexander was so moved that he went to the temple to offer a sacrifice and worshipped God.

Summary

1. I strongly believe there is profound prophetic significance in that Daniel 2:4 thru 7:28 was written in Aramaic dealing with Babylon and its fall. This signifying to me that after the Eighth Beast and Mystery Babylon the Great falls, there will still be a brief period for other prophecies to come to past in the last days. That further indicates a necessity to prayerfully consider a literal interpretation of Revelation 18:4, to “”Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

2. Before we see the conclusion of the seventieth week of Daniel, we will have witness the fall of Babylon the Great, i.e. America, The Eighth Beast being completely destroyed before the final prophecies of Daniel’s visions regarding Israel are fulfilled just prior to the Lord’s return.

3. The “little horn” that plucks up three other horns by their roots agrees with America having fought and gained her independence from England, Spain and France.

4. That Gabriel comes after Babylon and declares the ends and beginnings of other events on God’s predetermined timeline. Commissioned to explain to Daniel the vision of the ram and the he-goat and gives the prediction of the seventy weeks (Da 8:16; 9:21) in the Old Testament. Later in the New Testament he appears to Zacharias proclaiming the birth of John the Baptist, and then later to Mary, announcing the birth of Jesus (Lu 1:19, 26). Thus, again, I feel the conclusion of the seventieth week of Daniel will be preceded by the fall of Babylon the Great.

5. All this is crucial to understanding the seventy weeks as a prophetic period of time pertaining to Daniels people and the holy city.

(Continued below)

Many people interpret the above as referring to a coming world leader many modern eschatology teachers are calling the Antichrist. To be straight forward and upfront in this post I want to let everyone know that I do not subscribe to that interpretation. After years of examining and re-examining these texts I have come to the persuasion that the adversary has attempted to high-jacked these verse to his own glory when they are in truth a testimony to the Lamb of God who alone worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

If this “He” above in Daniel 9:27 is indeed referencing Jesus Christ, then this part of the verse is certainly the most advantageous to understand. Therefore, I will begin with the following three questions.

  1. What “covenant” was the Lord Jesus confirming?
  2. How did He confirm it; by word, deed, or both?
  3. If this seventieth week designated for “confirming the covenant” was divided by Jesus’ death which caused the previously Mosaic obligation of sacrifices and oblations to cease, then what about the remaining three and a half years? For from His baptism to His death, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only three and a half years?

Even if it is only a possibility that Jesus is this “He” in Daniel 9:27, then these are legitimate questions that need to be asked if we are honest in our search of the Truth. Plus, if Jesus is indeed this “He” then there will be biblical answers to all these questions that would require your prayerful consideration.

So let’s look at first question again, what is the “covenant” that Jesus was confirming? Answer, it is that promise of certainty of which righteous Job wrote the following.

Job 19:25 – For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The covenant to which Job clings is the promise of a bodily resurrection; and not just Jesus’ resurrection, but all who love Him as well. Consequently, Jesus was constantly confirming this truth to His disciples.

Matthew 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live… 26 For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; 27 And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

John 6:39 – And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11:23 – Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 14:19 – Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.

This very covenant was revealed through the prophets of old and written in the scriptures; the very scriptures from which Jesus and the Apostles authoritatively preached the gospel.

Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

Isaiah 26:19 – Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Job 14:12 – So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13 O that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.

Psalm 16:9 – Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17:15 – As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.

Hosea 13:14 – I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes.

These are the scriptures from which Paul was trained as a Pharisee. Therefore after his conversion, Paul would have continued with great authority confirming this covenant, boldly preaching the certainty of it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being the apostle to the Gentiles, we can see in Paul’s epistles how he was constantly confirming to all men that this covenant was not only to Jews, but to all who loved the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:5 – For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

I Corinthians 6:14 – And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

I Corinthians 15:12 – Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.

II Corinthians 4:13 – We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

II Corinthians 5:1 – For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.

Philippians 3:10 – That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Likewise, the Apostle John also faithfully confirms the certainty of God’s covenant of a resurrection of the saints in his open thesis on the deity of Jesus as the Christ.

1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

Now the second question put forth at the beginning of this post was how did Jesus confirm the covenant of a literal resurrection? By word, deed, or both? Not only did He confirm the covenant in word, but with His own bodily resurrection as well. For by His resurrection Jesus Christ proved that not only did He have the power to raise Himself from the dead, but others too.

Matthew 27:52 – And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

John 20:25 – The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God!

Romans 1:4 – And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

The Spirit of Christ Which Was In Them

Daniel 9:24 – Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Now if Jesus “confirmed the covenant” in the Holy City to the Jews, both by His preaching and His bodily resurrection, then the last question that needs to be answered is where are the remaining three and a half years of the seventieth week whereby the week shall be completed with His confirming the covenant with many? Since the “seventy weeks” of the prophecy “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy,” I believe the final three and a half years will be fulfilled through the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 ministering to the Jewish people in Jerusalem.

Just like the prophets of old, Jesus and the apostles, so will these two witnesses continue to confirm the covenant of God to the descendants of Abraham in the last days by testifying that Jesus was indeed their promised Messiah the Prince. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.” Showing us that just as the devil has stirred up wicked men all throughout history to murder the righteous, so too will these two witnesses eventually be killed. Then in a vain attempt to finally discredit the declared “myth” of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, their bodies are left unburied in the open streets for three and a half days.

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth… 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Surely by now some are hard pressed to ask how these two witnesses could be the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27. After all, “He,” meaning Jesus, is the one who confirms the covenant. So wouldn’t Jesus need to be the one preaching if He is the one confirming? The answer would be an absolute yes. But for clarity I must first direct you once more to a few verses I hope you are getting very familiar with.

Hebrew 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.

Note the words in bold type, “God, spoke, by the prophets, by His Son.” Let’s continue.

II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Again we see it was “God” who “spoke, by the prophets” in Hebrews 1:1-2, and is again speaking by “holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Same God, same prophets and the same Spirit.  Again, let’s continue;

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

The “prophets” through which “God spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” were only speaking what “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.”

Such is why Paul made his statement to the Galatians, that as a minister of the Gospel he was crucified with Christ and thus Christ lives in and through him. But Paul doesn’t stop with applying this principle only to himself, for later he stresses how this principle applies to all who are Christ’s. For if we are truly “in Christ Jesus,” it is only because His Spirit lives in us; and if we are ever to truly be ministering life through the Gospel, it is because Christ is ministering it through us.

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

For this reason, Paul testified to both the Thessalonians and the Corinthians that what he preached unto them was not merely the word of a man, but rather the word of God. For what Paul had spoken was through the leading of the Spirit of Christ within him.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

II Corinthians 13:3 – Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Below is another passage further establishes this truth that it was Jesus Christ, who by His Spirit was ministering through the prophets of old. Unfortunately, it is also a passage that has been greatly misunderstood by many throughout the centuries. Sadly, this confusion has given way for many erroneous teachings to creep into the church about Jesus, His death, and the completeness of the work of the cross.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The “popular” understanding of this verse is that after He died, Jesus went to hell and preached to the souls there; and all those that believed were therefore set free. Added to this are other false assertions such as Jesus had to die spiritually, taste hell itself, and be born again in order to defeat the devil on his ground so that He could take back the keys of death and hell. All of which are false.

Many believers raised in traditional churches assume these beliefs to be credible because they lack an understanding of the scriptures and the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed they may have been compelled to memorize. For when it states that Jesus was “crucified, buried, descended into hell and rose again the third day,” they assume it means Jesus literally went to hell, the place prepared for the angels that had sinned. However, this reference to the death, burial, and resurrection which is a true tenet of the Christian faith actually refers to Jesus’ body being crucified, prepared for burial, and placed in the grave for three days after which He resurrected.

Psalms 16:10 – For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This psalm is speaking about the body of Jesus not being left in the grave to decay, or “see corruption.” It is not speaking about Jesus going into hell which was prepared for the devil and his angels. The word translated “hell” in English is the Hebrew word “sheol” which was used sixty-five times in the Old Testament; thirty-three times implying the “grave” and thus translated.

Oddly, many people falsely believe that Hell is the headquarters of Lucifer, when actually it is a prison made for the fallen angels and those who imitate their lawlessness. For when Jesus cast out demons out of the possessed Gadarenes man, they were terrified of hell and fearfully inquired if He had come to torment them before their time by sending them there.

Matthew 8:29 – And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Except for those fallen angels which were long ago cast down for their particular sins and are already bound in chains of darkness in Tartarus, the remaining principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world are still loose and share the sentiments of demons having a fear for the torment of hell, for they know this prison was created for them.

II Peter 2:4 – …God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

(Sadly, many are completely ignorant of the extent of the various rebellions and sins of these fallen angels, a subject far too vast to cover here. I would simply recommend two books on the subject which are available online in PDF format for those interested. The first would be “The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology” by Rev. John Fleming, A.B., published in 1879. The second would be “Earth’s Earliest Ages” by G.H. Pember, published 1889.)

Since Jesus created all things it would be foolish to assume He needed to go to hell in order to get the keys of death and hell, for He has always possessed them.

Psalms 68:20 – He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Revelation 1:18 – I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

One only needs to listen carefully to what Jesus is saying to correctly discern what He is not saying. For many have become so affixed by popular theology that they can only read the Holy Scriptures in the light of the theology they were taught: rather than proving their theology by the light of the scriptures.  For in Revelation 1:18, Jesus clearly says “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.” That is because once again to “confirm the covenant” He tells us that it is He who has “the keys of hell [meaning the grave] and death.”  After His death, Jesus ripped the veil of the Temple in two and “the graves were opened.” However, it was not until after His resurrection that “many bodies of the saints… came out of the graves… and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Matthew 27:50 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

While there are conflicting opinions on just who those saints were that “came out of the graves… and went into the holy city and appeared unto many,” I do not believe they were the old patriarchal saints. The scripture plainly states that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” making it evident that not all of “the saints which slept arose.” Thus, I am persuaded these were probably saints who had recently died; for the patriarchal saints would not have been known by their appearance as there were no photos of them whereby the townspeople would have readily recognized them. Rather these were saints who like Lazarus were brought back to life in their mortal bodies. Incontestably, Jesus was the “firstfruits from the dead,” which means that all those who have died in faith are still awaiting the fulfillment of the covenant to be resurrected with their own glorified, immortal bodies at His return.

Hebrews 11:39 – And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

So let’s look afresh once more at that greatly misunderstood passage in I Peter and see if we cannot properly discern the apostle’s meaning.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

First it is clear how Jesus suffered and “was put to death in the flesh,” but was then “quicken by the Spirit.” That phrase means His body was not resurrected by the power of that earthen vessel of humanity, rather by the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within. Paul had stated virtually the same thing in his Epistle to the Romans, which again can also be viewed as “confirming the covenant.”

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Next, notice how in I Peter 3:18 Peter stated “by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”  What Peter is saying is that it was by the Spirit that Jesus once went and preached to the spirits in prison and not in His bodily form. This reveals that it was not Jesus the “Son of man” which went somewhere and preached, but rather the Spirit of Christ.”

Also, unless we pay careful attention to just whose “spirits” these are that are “in prison,” then like so many others have we too will run the risk of jumping to all sorts of erroneous conclusions; which is completely unnecessary since Peter clearly states who they are. These are the spirits of those “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

Therefore, these spirits are not all the lost souls of humanity which died from the time of Adam to Christ; rather these are only the spirits of those who were alive during those the days “while the ark was a preparing.” This is an excellent example of how we must be careful not to apply content beyond what is written to the scriptures. So why then does it say it was Christ who preached to those souls which were alive in those last days of Noah while the ark was being built? Perhaps it will help to review what Peter said earlier in the context of this very epistle.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Not only was Noah a preacher of righteousness, he doubtlessly was one of these prophets Peter was referring to who preached by “the Spirit of Christ which was in” him. Thus it was Noah who preached unto them “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” but the people rejected what the Spirit of Christ had preached to them through the Prophet Noah and therefore they perished; their bodies decayed and returned into the earth but their “spirits” are now “in prison.”

No, Peter wasn’t saying after Jesus died that He went to hell to preach, for anyone entering into hell and offering any hope to those spirits would immediately find everyone grasping at any possibility of escape. Rather, Peter was affirming the omnipotence of Christ, that though He was a man who suffered and died in the flesh, He was much more, He was a quickening Spirit in Noah through which He warned the world that then was to flee the wrath to come, of which only the few righteous were spared while the disobedient perished.

Thus we have a sound scriptural account of Jesus preaching before Israel was a nation or there was a Holy City of Jerusalem and Temple, even before the time of His own incarnation. Why then would we fail to believe that the Spirit of Christ will again be there in like power and authority via the Two Witnesses at the next coming end of the world which is now cresting our own horizon?

II Peter 3:5 – For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These Two Witnesses will know exactly who they are; and by “the Spirit of Christ which is in them” they will testify in the last days how they are going be martyred and just like Jesus they too will be raised from the dead. Though their testimony will absolutely infuriate the world and most of the Jewish people, a remnant of the Jews will nonetheless believe and be watching, having been pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth. This remnant are those who will give glory unto God after the resurrection of these two witnesses once again confirms the covenant of God, perhaps for the very last time before the whole world.

Revelation 11:7 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The only way these Jews can give glory unto God is to honor the Son even as they honor the Father. Thus this remnant gives glory unto the Son as their Redeemer, Christ the Lord. This will be the in-grafting of the Jews back into the vine, resulting in the completion of the Angel Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel by ushering in the fulfillment of the covenant, the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15 – For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Luke 13:35 – Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And truly I say to you, You will not see Me until it come when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

In The Midst Of The Week

Lastly, one more reason why I believe that Daniel’s 9:27 reference to “in the midst of the week” refers to Jesus causing “the sacrifice and oblations to cease,” is because staying true to this verse, Jesus was crucified in the midst, or middle of the week, i.e. a millennial week.

Peter stated that when considering the coming of the Lord to be mindful of this one thing, that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. This concept is not new, for many Jews believed that it would be six thousand years before Messiah would come and reign in the seventh millennial day, making as it were a millennial week. However, it was in the fourth and middle millennial day that Christ came and died and caused “the sacrifice and oblations to cease.”

II Peter 3:1 – This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Notice in addressing the subject of the promise of His coming Peter says he is writing to “stir up” their minds by way of remembrance, “that they may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets.” It must be recognized that it is in this context, focusing on the Lord’s return that Peter references that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This phrase gives us the perfect key to properly understand what one of the prophets had written concerning both comings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hosea 5:9 – Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out My wrath upon them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. 12 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15 I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.

In the above passage we see the obstinacy of the Jews towards the Lord at His first coming. The Holy Spirit testifying through Hosea that “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound,” making reference those who move boundary stones seeking to lay claim to that which isn’t theirs. The fact that the Jews were trying to do this very thing to Jesus is witnessed in His parable against them concerning the keepers of the vineyard, where the wicked servant sought to kill the son of the landowner that they might steal his inheritance for their own.

Matthew 21:33 – Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them.

Therefore, just as Hosea had prophesied, Jesus became “as a lion and as a young lion to the house of Judah” and tore away the kingdom from them, bringing such desolation upon them that “none shall rescue him.” Hosea continued the prophecy saying “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.” Having gone through their affliction, and now like Daniel remembering that God’s judgments are foretold out of His earnest desire to show mercy, Hosea now gives prophetic voice to this remnant of Jews in the last days.

Hosea 6:1 – Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. 2 After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. 3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Thus by allowing Peter to stir up our minds “by way of remembrance, we too are made “mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” and see how his reference to “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” provides the perfect key to what Hosea had written concerning both comings of the Lord. Therefore, we can see that the crucifixion when “Messiah the Prince… was cut off” and the “sacrifices and oblations ceased” all transpired on the fourth millennial day, which is “in the midst of the [millennial] week.”

However, this millennial week isn’t the only week where we find “Messiah the Prince… cut off” and the “sacrifices and oblations [having] ceased… in the midst of the week.” However, for centuries there has been much confusion among God’s people concerning the timeframe of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainly the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection recorded in the Gospels don’t appear to offer help to the casual reader of God’s word, as each Gospel has its own list of various events which occurred around that glorious event.

The fact that these accounts each illustrate a different perspective of the resurrection story leaves many confused and thinking they are seeing contradictions in scripture. However, because all these different events are chronicled in God’s word assures us they all must be true. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s used in medical books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair. When this is done we discover the answer to the confusion is that there had to be multiple trips made to the tomb being recorded.

One of the important things to remember is that Jesus did not say He would be in the tomb for “three days,” He said it would be “three days and three nights.” Matthew clearly states the first trip was in the “end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,” which is dusk, not sunrise. Dawn here means the actual beginning of the first day of the week, sunset and not sunrise, which would actually have been the middle of the biblical day. This dawn being like the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, of which there was no sunrise ushering in the Age of Aquarius.

Furthermore, the scriptures tell us it was after the Sabbath that the women purchase the spices, which John 19:31 reveals was actually a “high day.” What that means is that particular Sabbath was the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that began on the fifteenth day of the first month right after Passover; a work day and the fourteenth day of the month. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread both the first and seventh days are high Sabbath days, which would mean a weekly Sabbath would naturally always fall in between those two high-days. Thus scriptures accurately states that after the “high-day” Sabbath which followed Passover that the women went and bought the spices and spent the remainder of the day preparing them. Afterwards they then “rested according to the [Fourth] Commandment” which would be the following the weekly Sabbath which began at sunset.

According to Matthew it was “in the end” of this weekly Sabbath, as the sunset was ushering in the first day of the week, that the women went to “visit the tomb,” without any mention being made of their taking the spices since night was falling. That is when the angel of the Lord descended like lightning and the stone was rolled away and the angelic proclamation made “He has risen.”

Again, Jesus, having been crucified in the latter half of Passover, the 14th day, was placed into the tomb just before sunset as it “dawn toward” that “high day” Sabbath of the 15th. Remember, according to biblical accounting the beginning of every day is at the setting of the sun.

It was then after the 15th which was a high-day Sabbath that the women on the 16th day went and purchased the spices and prepared them. They then rested the 17th day which was the weekly Sabbath. It was here, “in the end” of the latter half of the 17th day, as the setting sun was getting ready to usher in the 18th day yet still prior to the arrival of the 1st day of the week, that the resurrection of Jesus scripturally occurred; just before the Sabbath sunset, and not Sunday’s sunrise. For after Jesus’ resurrection, the priests and guards franticly met throughout the night to forge the lie that the disciples came during the night and had stolen Jesus’ body… for come sunrise everyone in Jerusalem was going to hear that the body of Jesus was missing.

Thus Jesus was three full nights and three full days in the tomb just like He said He would be. Night and day of the 15th day of the month, night and day of the 16th day of the month, and night and day of the 17th day of the month; making it in the end of the weekly Sabbath when He rose just before sunset. Which means Jesus was crucified “in the midst of the week,” on a Wednesday and not on Friday according to the Catholic invention of Good Friday. All this is cover in more detail an older post titled “Trips to the Tomb.”

Summary

If these things have plausible credibility, then the whole seven-year tribulation message that has been taught and widely promoted by such fables as the “Left Behind” series needs to be reexamined to determine on what foundation of scripture does it stand or fall. Regardless, we as believers must be diligent to rightly discern the times and the seasons in which we are living and pray always that we may be found worthy to escape the wrath to come. Let us therefore give earnest heed to the words of our Savior and His apostle.

Luke 21:34 – And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

II Thessalonians 1:5 – Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Continued below)

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Though the book has been available in Kindle format for over 2 years,

it is now availble in paperback.

This book is extensive and examines many aspects of modern endime theologies in light of both scripture and history. Due to the severity of the times and the endless volumes of end-times theologies being preached, for decades I have patiently sought the Lord that I might understand certain passages concerning prophetic end time events and the key players mentioned therein. My earnest desire as a husband and father is to obey the exhortation to “prove all things” that I might faithfully lead my family in the things of God appropriately and “hold fast to that which is good” and sound doctrine.

To start, I would like to prepare some by stating that the conclusions of my studies will be found to be very different from predominant beliefs held by many who have unquestioningly embraced the view point of the admittedly fictional “Left Behind” series which became very popular, even among non-Christians. It was amazing, even making news headlines while the public impatiently waited for the next release, eager to ingest each of the “16 best-selling” fictional Christian novels written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Sadly, that fact alone affirms what the Apostle Paul wrote under the unction of the Holy Spirit, that in the latter times men would not be able to endure sound doctrine. But instead they would willingly swallow mere fables or the fictional stories of men as if they were the truth of God.

II Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Many of these popular Christian “fables” will ultimately be found to have served as deceitful milestones in the religious journey of many so-called believers; as they subtly validate false doctrines of devils designed to hinder true faith. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people can be steered away from the truth, spiritual reality and saving faith, and be lured into trusting what is presented to them in fiction, simply because they are told it is “based upon the Bible.”

Mark Twain’s once said, “It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they have been fooled.” This has been proven over and over again, that the greatest hindrance to people accepting the truth is an already established belief or presupposition that prejudices them against it before completely hearing the matter. I therefore encourage everyone interest in reading The Eighth Beast to place their beliefs upon the altar of God were they will be safe, that you might be able to continue with sincere and prayerful humility and remain open to consider the things yet to be presented. For in it you might find some thoughts that are different from what you’ve always believed or heard from your parents or pastor. Each of us are obligated to prove all things, for Truth must be proven with a thorough examination and cross-examination of scripture. Just because some of our beliefs may align with certain passages doesn’t mean they necessarily agree with the whole of them.

For that reason, it is my intention is set forth for your examination those biblical and historical points that have brought me to my present persuasion. Let it be here duly noted that I fully expect many readers will be shaken both theologically and emotionally by my positions, which in some points are sharply different from what is being widely preached and accepted. Some readers will dismissively abandon this book; others will recognize that a shaking of their theology is healthy, for what stands will be proven to rest on a solid foundation. For much of what is being embraced nowadays by many non-Catholics professing to be followers of Jesus Christ has in fact only become fashionable to believe within the last hundred or so years. Those willing to invest minimal research will discover that this theology now being widely accepted by believers is in discord with what was understood, believed and therefore taught by many scholarly protestant believers just a hundred years ago.

That is why we must prove all things the best we can, for God rewards the diligent seeker and not those who lazily trust in other men’s labor to get by. Those who study to show themselves approved by rightly dividing (and applying) the Word of God will not just learn theology and memorized its proposed scriptural support, rather with diligent, prayerful study of God’s word, will be rewarded with an understanding that often excel their teachers.

Psalm 119:98 – Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.

Now do not think that I consider my position on all points to be completely unshakable, for certainly many of you may very well find them to be nothing more than a square three-legged table, if that. However, by reading The Eighth Beast, if you discover some of these points do in fact have a measure of credibility, then regardless what you have always believed or been taught by whoever, scripture would obligate you to re-examine and prove all things; that you may hold fast to that which may yet be waiting to be found by you and confirmed as sound and solid doctrine. So once again, I encourage a thorough reading of all scripture provided, and even taking further pursuit of them in their full context in your own bibles.

As an added note, when scriptures are given only as references in books, most people rarely take the time to look them up. Sure, when a point being asserted crosses ones long-held opinion, some references might actually get checked out. But sometimes when beliefs are so ingrained, it is too easy to automatically judge the other’s perspective to be wrong without ever bothering to examine the foundation of scripture provided whereupon the author’s statement is being asserted. Others are either so confident or indifferent, they simply dismissively quit reading the article and casually move on to the next, or without any examination simply toss a book aside deeming it unworthy of their time. How far remove many believers are today from that noble Berean spirit that once searched the scriptures to see if the things being stated were true, (Acts 17:10, 11).

But those who do authenticate other writers’ words with the scriptures referenced are well aware of the increased work and additional time that must be spent to responsibly prove the author’s message. Therefore, it is my practice to include all scripture referenced in my writing; except for the one above placed there to make my point.

The labor of any Christian author should be like the labor of one who strings pearls to make a necklace to grace the neck of the one who chooses to wear it. However, what I have written here can hardly be considered worthy to be the string whereby such priceless oracles are to be joined, seeing they were given to holy men of God. Men, who like the oyster, were often required to endure severe trials before the grace of God brought forth those glorious pearls of truth for the benefit of those who would receive them. Nevertheless, I assure you that this book is a labor of love and obedience to my Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 3:19 – The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

Therefore, it is my earnest recommendation that the reader make a commitment now before the Lord to read through all the verses in their entirety. After all, these pearls are His words and their inclusions are here for your benefit, so please take advantage of them.

For funsies…

Here’s a couple of very old and interesting pictures from National Geographic.

Be sure to read their captions…

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Stay blessable, onfire, and unburnable!

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This is the third and final edition.

It is asserted by those who embrace the doctrine of a seven year tribulation period that its primary scriptural foundation comes from Daniel chapter 9. In this chapter the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Gabriel then continues by telling Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

We must remember that Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications when he was confessing his own sins and the sins of Israel. Therefore the “matter . . . and the vision” which Gabriel was sent to help Daniel understand was connected to his prayer for Israel in captivity. In all, there were seven specific things Gabriel prefaces to the “understanding” of the vision with –

  1. It was a period of time(a) regarding Daniel’s people and the holy city(b)
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The Angel Gabriel continues explaining to Daniel that the seventy weeks are going to be divided into three specific time periods, whereby each will serve specific prophetic purposes with outlining events and definite conclusions –

  1. Seven weeks                    7
  2. Plus sixty two weeks           7 + 62 = 69 weeks total
  3. Plus the last week              1 + 69 = 70 weeks total

Let’s quickly review these verses to give us a fresh recall of them before we continue-

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

It is that last week in verse 27, commonly referred to as Daniel’s seventieth week that has become accepted and known as the Seven Year Tribulation and linked to this verse in Daniel. Originally I had intended starting this post by listing the particulars of this seventy weeks revelation from the angel.

(more…)

City of Destruction

One of my all time favorite books is Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, so I am starting this post with a short excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter –

“As I walk’d through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a Dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a Man cloathed with Rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a Book in his hand, and a great Burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the Book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying What shall I do?

“ In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his Wife and Children should not perceive his distress, but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his Wife and Children; and thus he began to talk to them: O my dear Wife, said he, and you the Children of my bowels, I your dear friend, am in myself undone by reason of a Burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed that this our City will be burned with fire from Heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my Wife, and you my sweet Babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered.

“At this his Relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed: But the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did; He told them Worse and worse: he also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened: they also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him.

“ Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time. Now, I saw upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was, as he was wont, reading in his Book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, What shall I do to be saved?

“ I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go…”

I believe the only wise way to “go” in order to flee the City of Destruction my friends is to “Come out of her My people.” Now please rest assured that I know John Bunyan was speaking about leaving the world and sin and seeking first the Kingdom of God. I love the book and I have read it joyfully and with tears many times. But in scripture, sometimes things we read are not just parables and proverbs for teaching us principles. Sometimes they are actual instructions revealing the will of God for His people their need to flee the wrath to come.

It is easy to find “believers” who readily acknowledge that the call to “come out from among her My people” applies to one’s spiritual life to live as it were separate from the world; I mean it’s a whole lot easier to find those who admit that than do it. But I am persuaded time is running out and it is rapidly becoming necessary (for all those who can) to wake up and literally comply with this call of God to physically, geographically, separate themselves from wherever He is getting ready to pour out His judgment and wrath, and right now it looks like it is America. (more…)

destruction

Why is it we don’t hear anyone crying out about this entity called “the eighth” that scripture tells us is headed for perdition?

Why are preacher’s so silent regarding it?

How is it they miss it when the angel clearly tells John that Revelation chapters 13-18 is all about the rise of “the eighth” and final empire in the last days that will go into destruction?

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

So why don’t preachers talk about this? Why aren’t they searching this out and teaching their people these things? Especially if the angel clearly connects the willful ignorance and consequent confusion of those who fail to understand these things with those who names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life?

Revelation 13:8 – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 17:8 – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Have you ever considered these things?

Do you know where you stand before the Lord when it comes to all this?

Does it matter to you if you understand these things or not in light of the two verses above?

Because the angel makes it very clear that the seven heads on the beast are there as prophetic imagery to stir up your mind and heart so that you would seek divine wisdom. For these clues are given so that the diligent seeker might have a starting point from which to search out understanding of the significance of the rise and fall of these empires; some of which are recorded in scripture both historically and prophetically specifically for our benefit today; all them having a direct correlation to the nation of Israel.

Are you one of those who is diligently seeking?

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

I am desperately trying to stir up as many people as I can, because the seduction of false religion has crept into the church and is everywhere today. Sadly, it is lulling so-called “believers” into a deep sleep of procrastination causing them to believe it’s really no big deal and doesn’t matter one way or the other whether they understand these things or not.

II Peter 2:1 – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Jude 1:4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet that is precisely how this Jezebellian spirit seduced the other empires represented by the seven heads of the beast, through their false religious systems that were full of empty promises and lies. All of which was the angel reveals was stemming from this Mother of Harlots that has “sat” upon all them throughout the ages. This can be clearly witnessed in scripture. (more…)

Many people interpret the above as referring to a coming world leader many modern eschatology teachers are calling the Antichrist. To be straight forward and upfront in this post I want to let everyone know that I do not subscribe to that interpretation. After years of examining and re-examining these texts I have come to the persuasion that the adversary has attempted to high-jacked these verse to his own glory when they are in truth a testimony to the Lamb of God who alone worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

If this “He” above in Daniel 9:27 is indeed referencing Jesus Christ, then this part of the verse is certainly the most advantageous to understand. Therefore, I will begin with the following three questions.

  1. What “covenant” was the Lord Jesus confirming?
  2. How did He confirm it; by word, deed, or both?
  3. If this seventieth week designated for “confirming the covenant” was divided by Jesus’ death which caused the previously Mosaic obligation of sacrifices and oblations to cease, then what about the remaining three and a half years? For from His baptism to His death, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only three and a half years?

Even if it is only a possibility that Jesus is this “He” in Daniel 9:27, then these are legitimate questions that need to be asked if we are honest in our search of the Truth. Plus, if Jesus is indeed this “He” then there will be biblical answers to all these questions that would require your prayerful consideration.

So let’s look at first question again, what is the “covenant” that Jesus was confirming? Answer, it is that promise of certainty of which righteous Job wrote the following. (more…)

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Christians are called to be a distinct people, who though living in the world are still separate from it, not succumbing to its various social norms and economic ambitions. Furthermore, Christians are supposed to be spiritually alive and discerning and thus withdrawn from the vain and dead “camp” of religiosity; be it antinomian or legalistic in nature. Still, even apart from all the other religious systems in the world, the Christian pendulum of faith will often be found ignoring the holy plumbline of God’s righteousness and swinging to the extremes of warring dogmas. On one side some are defiantly holding to an effortless believism of mere mental assent to justification, while the other extreme demands a strict adherence to distorted biblical regulations compounded by embellished definitions of self-denial and legalism.

That’s the problem with “-ism’s,” regardless to which side of center the pendulum swings, they all ignore the “legality” of the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that sets men free from the law of sin and death. God’s law has never been and never will be against faith, for even faith has a legal side to it or else there could be no “law of faith.” (more…)

After my first message, I was asked back to speak again in more depth on America in scripture at Covenant Love Fellowship . May the following message both bless and awaken you.

Live for the King!!

If we truly want to understand “who is the restrainer,” then we must give attention to about what happened to Paul, Silvanus and Timothy when they were in Thessalonica. Fortunately the Holy Spirit made sure those details were recorded by Luke in Acts, where we see how the “Jews which believed not, [and] moved with envy, [and] took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” This was no small commotion, for they “drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city,” and made charges against Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus; that these whom Jason had received “that have turned the world upside down are come hither also… and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

It is important to recognize that these are not minor complaints, but rather accusations of treason against both Caesar and Rome. Hence they were accused of having “troubled the people and the rulers of the city”  so that “when they heard these things and when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.” This means Jason and another brother was required to give money as a security, or bond, before they would let them go.

So I ask, does everyone understanding the seriousness with which Rome dealt with those who were seditious and traitors against Caesar? It was a guaranteed penalty of certain death, which is why “the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea.” But that wasn’t the only trouble Paul had encountered on us journeys, before going to Thessalonica, Paul and Silas had been in Philippi where they had been apprehended, beaten, because of accusations of going against the customs of Rome there as well. (more…)

Those who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I believe that America is the prophetic “eight that goeth into perdition.” But for those who are here for the first time please let me briefly address a few points before we get in where New York City’s destruction is foretold in scripture as “the city of the nations fell.” This very post was ran back on July 4th under the heading “Will New York City be nuked this Fourth of July?” That was after Rep. Peter King, member of the Homeland Security Committee told Megyn Kelly that New York City officials are concerned about a dirty bomb attack on the 4th of July.

Revelation –  17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

It amazes me that I never hear anyone anywhere talking about the above passage in regards to the Beast of Revelations chapter 13, let alone connecting it to America. Yet when the angel says to John, “Here is the mind which hath wisdom…” you would think more people wanting wisdom and understanding of who the beast is would jump on this verse to find out what it all means. Yet the only people who seem to look at the verse and discuss it are people who think it all applies to the Catholic Church and that it deals with a succession of popes a long time ago.

While I don’t have time to get into The Eighth Beast and America again now, I do want touch on Washington D.C. and New York City real quick here in this post after hearing the alert. But first let me present a quick outline for those who want to look into this further on their own before we get into the heart of the matter.

Revelation chapters 13-18 are about the rise and fall of this eighth empire which can also be identified by its direct correlation with the nation of Israel. In chapter 13 the seven-headed beast rises up out of the sea which represents multitudes, nation and languages and tongues, meaning it is a nation of multiple ethnic backgrounds and cultures, a land of immigrants.

The eighth beast rises to its height of power the same time the preceding global superpower, England, is waning and declining from its zenith prior to the rebirth of Israel. All this happens because there was a war where one of the heads of the beast received a deadly blow but was able to recover and the second beast of Revelation 13 called down fire from heaven in the sight of the men and the consensus of the whole world was “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

For the sake of brevity I am simply going to state for now that I believe there is strong scriptural and historical evidence the event of “fire from heaven in the sight of the men” was the world’s introduction to nuclear warfare as President Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which brought an end to the WW2, at which time the British Empire was fading and Israel was about to be born again as a nation. For more information please review The Eighth Beast or America.

Let me be forthcoming in stating that I believe the position of the President Of The United States is that second beast which scripture states had “two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” and “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” For while the succession of POTUS’s have tried to maintain the image of (a lamb) being for peace, history reveals they have actually been promoting the agenda of the dragon and constantly given to meddling in other sovereign nations and promoting self-serving wars. (more…)

Now some may wonder where I might get such a notion, but those who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I believe that America is the prophetic “eight that goeth into perdition.

Revelations –  17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

It amazes me that I never hear anyone anywhere talking about the above passage in regards to the Beast of Revelations chapter 13, let alone connecting it to America. Yet when the angel says to John, “Here is the mind which hath wisdom…” you would think more people wanting wisdom and understanding of who the beast is would jump on this verse to find out what it all means. Yet the only people who seem to look at the verse and discuss it are people who think it all applies to the Catholic Church and that it deals with a succession of popes a long time ago.

While I don’t have time to get into The Eighth Beast and America again now, I do want touch on Washington D.C. and New York City real quick here in this post after hearing the alert. But first let me present a quick outline for those who want to look into this further on their own before we get into the heart of the matter.

Revelation chapters 13-18 are about the rise and fall of this eighth empire which can also be identified by its direct correlation with the nation of Israel. In chapter 13 the seven-headed beast rises up out of the sea which represents multitudes, nation and languages and tongues, meaning it is a nation of multiple ethnic backgrounds and cultures, a land of immigrants.

The eighth beast rises to its height of power the same time the preceding global superpower, England, is waning and declining from its zenith prior to the rebirth of Israel. All this happens because there was a war where one of the heads of the beast received a deadly blow but was able to recover and the second beast of Revelation 13 called down fire from heaven in the sight of the men and the consensus of the whole world was “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

For the sake of brevity I am simply going to state for now that I believe there is strong scriptural and historical evidence the event of “fire from heaven in the sight of the men” was the world’s introduction to nuclear warfare as President Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which brought an end to the WW2, at which time the British Empire was fading and Israel was about to be born again as a nation. For more information please review The Eighth Beast or America.

Let me be forthcoming in stating that I believe the position of the President Of The United States is that second beast which scripture states had “two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” and “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” For while the succession of POTUS’s have tried to maintain the image of (a lamb) being for peace, history reveals they have actually been promoting the agenda of the dragon and constantly given to meddling in other sovereign nations and promoting self-serving wars. (more…)

1 Corinthians 13:2  – And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

For about 6 months now I have been having a great burden for God’s watchmen. Therefore I am sharing this very short word with God’s people.

Don’t let the power of your faith be exploited by the adversary who constantly boasts having done many great things. For of late it is evident through his intentional leaking and disclosure of “plans” and agendas, he has convinced too many watchman that what he has said he will do will surely come to pass. (more…)

Before the Conclusion of the Seventy Weeks

To download article’s MP3 file:  1. Click on this link  2. Right click on page  3. Select “save as”

It is asserted by those who embrace the doctrine of a seven year tribulation period that its primary scriptural foundation comes from Daniel chapter 9. In this chapter the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Gabriel then continues by telling Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

We must remember that Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications when he was confessing his own sins and the sins of Israel. Therefore the “matter . . . and the vision” which Gabriel was sent to help Daniel understand was connected to his prayer for Israel in captivity. In all, there were seven specific things Gabriel prefaces to the “understanding” of the vision with –

  1. It was a period of time(a) regarding Daniel’s people and the holy city(b)
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The Angel Gabriel continues explaining to Daniel that the seventy weeks are going to be divided into three specific time periods, whereby each will serve specific prophetic purposes with outlining events and definite conclusions –

  1. Seven weeks                    7
  2. Plus sixty two weeks           7 + 62 = 69 weeks total
  3. Plus the last week              1 + 69 = 70 weeks total

Let’s quickly review these verses to give us a fresh recall of them before we continue-

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

It is that last week in verse 27, commonly referred to as Daniel’s seventieth week that has become accepted and known as the Seven Year Tribulation and linked to this verse in Daniel. Originally I had intended starting this post by listing the particulars of this seventy weeks revelation from the angel.

(more…)

Because of the time in which we are living and because of the many different interpretations being giving of Matthew chapters 24 and 25, I have endeavored to compile some thoughts of some very learned commentators, some excerpts of history recorded by Josephus, as well as  some my own thoughts and reasoning with some scriptural cross references to clarify my present persuasion.

I share this for others considerations and encourage them to be fully persuaded in themselves as to the proper applications of Jesus’ words recorded by Matthew.

Matthew 24

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

This chapter contains a prediction of the utter destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, and the subversion of the whole political constitution of the Jews; and is one of the most valuable portions of the new covenant Scriptures, with respect to the evidence which it furnishes of the truth of Christianity. Every thing which our Lord foretold should come on the temple, city, and people of the Jews, has been fulfilled in the most correct and astonishing manner; and witnessed by a writer who was present during the whole, who was himself a Jew, and is acknowledged to be an historian of indisputable veracity in all those transactions which concern the destruction of Jerusalem. Without having designed it, he has written a commentary on our Lord’s words, and shown how every tittle was punctually fulfilled, though he knew nothing of the Scripture which contained this remarkable prophecy.

Christ foretells the destruction of the temple, vers. 1, 2.

His disciples inquire when, what shall be the sign of this  destruction, vers.  3.

Our Lord answers, and enumerates them-false Christs, vers.  5.

Wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, vers.  6-8.

Persecution of his followers, vers.  9.

Apostasy from the truth, vers.  10-13.

General spread of the Gospel, vers.  14.

He foretells the investment of the city by the Romans, vers.  15-18.

The calamities of those times, vers.  19-22.

Warns them against seduction by false prophets, vers.  23-26.

The suddenness of these calamities, vers.  27, 28.

Total destruction of the Jewish polity, vers.  29-31.

The whole illustrated by the parable of the fig-tree, vers.  32, 33.

The certainty of the event, though the time is concealed, vers.  34-36.

Careless state of the people, vers. 37-41.

The necessity of watchfulness and fidelity, illustrated by the parable of the two servants, one faithful, the other wicked, vers.  42-51

Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple.  2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Cross references:

Mark 13:1 – And as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

Josephus – Antiquities of the Jews – Book XV – Chapter 11:

“Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits [FIFTY feet long], their height was eight [SIXTEEN feet in thickness], and their breadth about twelve [TWENTY-FOUR feet broad].”

Matthew 24: 3 And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?

William E Males: In order to understand the answer Jesus gives to the disciples’ questions, we must first establish what the limit of their understanding was and what it was that they were expecting to soon come to pass. Only then might we find some reasonable clarity as to what they were truly asking, for only then could we hope to have some reasonable clarity as to what Jesus meant in His answer to them. The following scriptural references are to show the disciples awareness to the reality of the soon coming events and the reality of the Kingdom of God.

(For those willing to take the time I gave a teaching many years ago call “The Disciples did not understand” which I share here in an mp3 (audio) file. In the teaching I reason that it is important when endeavoring to interpret these verses to make sure we understand the mindset from which the disciples were asking these questions, for as of yet they have no comprehension of a resurrection from the dead or a “second coming.”)

Cross references:

John 13:36  Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father. 17 Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that He saith, A little while? we cannot tell what He saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me?

William E Males: From the above verses we can see that neither Peter nor the other disciples had any awareness of the Lord’s soon coming death, let alone His resurrection. Certainly this was not due to the Lord’s failure to forewarn them. Rather, their apparent incognizant was due to the stronghold of their own selfish preconceived ideas of what was about to take place, as we will see in the following verses.

Cross references:

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He spake that saying openly. And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Matthew 20: 17  And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, 19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Mark 9: 31 For He taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day. 32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask Him. 33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

Luke 9:43  And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, He said unto His disciples, 44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. 45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask Him of that saying. 46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

William E Males: Part of the reason they had argued amongst themselves who should be greatest and had their preconceived ideas about what Jesus was about to accomplish for the Jewish nation was because common thought that the Messiah was going to restore a physical kingdom, as was evident of the incredible praise that had erupted with the people on final His entrance into Jerusalem.

Cross references:

 Luke 13:18 Then said He, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?

Luke 17:20  And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 19:11 And as they heard these things, He added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

Matthew 21:1  And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me. 3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. (Isa 62:11, Zec 9:9) 6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. (2 Kings 9:13) 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. (Ps 118:25-26) 10 And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? (Mr 11:15; Lu 19:45; Joh 2:13,15) 11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary

Verse 9.  Hosanna to the Son of David etc. The word hosanna means, “Save now,” or, “Save, I beseech thee.” It is a Syriac word, and was the form of acclamation used among the Jews. It was probably used in the celebration of their great festivals. During those festivals they sang the 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th psalms. In the chanting or singing of those psalms, the Jewish writers inform us, that the people responded frequently hallelujah or hosanna. Their use of it on this occasion was a joyful acclamation, and an invocation of a Divine blessing by the Messiah.

Son of David. The Messiah.

Blessed is he, etc. That is, blessed be the Messiah. This passage is taken from Ps 118:25,26. To come in the name of the Lord, is to come by the authority of the Lord; to come commissioned by him to reveal his will. The Jews had commonly applied this to the Messiah.

Hosanna in the highest. This may mean either “Hosanna in the highest, loftiest strains;” or it may mean a prayer to God, “Save now, O thou that dwellest in the highest heaven, or among the highest angels.” Perhaps the whole song of hosanna may be a prayer to the Supreme God, as well as a note of triumphant acclamation: “Save now, O thou supremely great and glorious God; save by the Messiah that comes in thy name.”

William E Males: This grand entrance into the city has a tremendous impact on the disciples and everybody. This was the entrance of a King coming. Immediately after entering the city Jesus went straight to the temple and condemned the condition and practices of the then present  religious system.

 Cross references:

Matthew21:12  And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of hem that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them. 15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, 16 And said unto Him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Ps 8:2)

William E Males: All these things worked together to cause the disciples and others  to believe Jesus was going to soon be the new King over Jerusalem. This perception was founded upon their misunderstanding of Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah and Jerusalem. It was also this perception that enable the religious leaders to compel Palate to have Jesus crucified and post upon the cross the title “King of the Jews.”

Cross references:

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked Him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

27:37 And set up over His head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

27:42 He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.

John 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.

18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

18:39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote Him with their hands.

19:12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

 William E Males: After his crucifixion and resurrection we see how Jesus needed to instruct His disciples as to what the scriptures really meant in order to open their understanding.

Cross references:

Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. 17 And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. 21 But we trusted that it had been He WHICH SHOULD HAVE REDEEMED Israel [from Roman/Gentile rule] and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 25 Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

William E Males: Still even forty days later after his resurrection and up to just prior to His acsension, the disciples still were clouded with their own carnal perception of what was going to happen to Jerusalem. They would not fully understand until after the Holy Ghost would be given to them.

Cross references:

Acts 1:2 Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: 3 To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

John 14: 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28  Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for My Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

John 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.

William E Males: The importance of submitting  all these references was to establish the fact that the disciples had no idea or comprehension at all of a Second Coming of Christ for  “they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear,” (Luke 19:11).

Therefore, what was it they were really wanting to know when they asked the questions of Jesus, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” If we can figure that part out then we can begin to rightly divide Jesus’ answer to them.

What  we must remember that they asked the questions due to Jesus’ statement, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Therefore the first part of the disciples question, “when shall these things be?” deals with the destruction of the Herodian Temple. This was accomplish in 70 A.D. when as recorded in  Josephus, War, book vii. c. 1: “Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the whole city and temple.

Now the disciples,  knowing that Jesus was of God and a promoter of true religion,  would certainly expect that if the Temple was going to be destroyed, as Jesus said, and if Jesus truly was going to be made “King of the Jews,” then the new King must be intending to put, as it were,  “new wine [system of religious worship] into new bottles [or a new temple].” Certainly none of this could not be accomplished under the present Roman/Herodian rule, Jesus must first come into power, hence the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Matthew24:3 And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming . . .

 Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 3.   Tell us, when shall these things be?]  There appear to be three questions asked here by the disciples.  1st. When shall these things be? viz. the destruction of the city, temple, and Jewish state.  2dly. What shall be the sign of Thy coming? viz. to execute these judgments upon them, and to establish thy own Church: and 3dly. When shall this world end?  When wilt thou come to judge the quick and the dead?  But there are some who maintain that these are but three parts of the same question, and that our Lord’s answers only refer to the destruction of the Jewish state, and that nothing is spoken here concerning the LAST or judgment day.

William E Males: Finally, the 3rd part of the question, “Tell us, . . .  what shall be the sign of  the end of the world?

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

End of the world; or, of the age, viz. the Jewish economy, which is a frequent accommodated meaning of the word aiwn, the proper meaning of which is, as Aristotle (De Caelo) observes, ETERNAL  continual being: and no words can more forcibly point out eternity than these.

William E Males: The sign of the end of the world, refers to the end of this “age” of the existing governmental rule, the “the end of the world” as world then was. For if Jesus was going to be King, then Herod was going  to have be replaced. But Herod was but one of a lineage of “Herods,”1. King of Judah (Herod the Great)  Mt 2:1-23; 2nd.Tetrarch of Galilee (Herod Antipas)   Lu 3:1; 23:7; 3rd.  Son of Aristobulus (Herod Agrippa I)   Ac 12:1-23; 4. Herod Agrippa major or I, Acts 12.1-25; 23.35; 5. Herod Agrippa minor or II, Ac 25:1-26:32.

Therefore, if Herod was to be replace by Jesus as the new King, then the Government which put Herod into place would have to be overthrown as well, which was the Romans. Herod himself is shown to acknowledge their rule over him in the writings of Josephus.

Josephus Wars book XV – chapter 11;

“I am now, by God’s will, your governor, and I have had peace a long time, and have gained great riches and large revenues, and, what is the principal filing of all, I am at amity with and well regarded by the Romans, who, if I may so say, are the rulers of the whole world.”

 Matthew 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

 William E Males: Many come in the name of “Jesus,” but still preach,  “another Jesus, whom we have not preached, . . . another spirit, . . .  another gospel, . . .” II Corinthians 11:4.

Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

 FAMINES

Cross references:

Ac 7:11 Now there came a dearth [Famine] over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.

Acts 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth [Famine] throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Josephus – Wars Book 4 -Chap. 1  – para. 9 -THE SIEGE AND TAKING OF GAMALA;

But of the people of Gamala, those that were of the bolder sort fled away and hid themselves, while the more infirm perished by famine; but the men of war sustained the siege till the two and twentieth day of the month Hyperberetmus . . .

Josephus – Wars Book 4 -Chap. 3 – para. 3 – HOW THE JEWS RAISE SEDITIONS ONE AGAINST ANOTHER [IN JERUSALEM];

. . . the captains of these troops of [Jewish] robbers, being satiated with rapines in the country, got all together from all parts, and became a band of wickedness, and all together crept into Jerusalem, which was now become a city without a governor . . . besides the seditions they raised, were otherwise the direct cause of the city’s destruction also; for as they were an unprofitable and a useless multitude, they spent those provisions beforehand [destroyed their own stored food] which might otherwise have been sufficient for the fighting men. Moreover, besides the bringing on of the war, they were the occasions of sedition and famine therein.

Josephus – Wars book 4 -Chap. 6 – para. 9 – HOW THE ZEALOTS WHEN THEY WERE FREED FROM THE IDUMEANS, SLEW A GREAT MANY MORE OF THE CITIZENS; AND HOW VESPASIAN DISSUADED THE ROMANS WHEN THEY WERE VERY EARNEST TO MARCH AGAINST THE JEWS FROM PROCEEDING IN THE WAR AT THAT TIME;

 . . . as freed from such men as might hinder their designs, and plat some stop to their wickedness. Accordingly, they made no longer any delay, nor took any deliberation in their enormous practices, but made use of the shortest methods for all their executions and what they had once resolved upon, they put in practice sooner than any one could imagine. But their thirst was chiefly after the blood of valiant men, and men of good families; the one sort of which they destroyed out of envy, the other out of fear; for they thought their whole security lay in leaving no potent men alive . . . Nor did Niger of Peres escape their hands; he had been a man of great valor in their war with the Romans, but was now drawn through the middle of the city, and, as he went, he frequently cried out, and showed the scars of his wounds; and when he was drawn out of the gates, and despaired of his preservation, he besought them to grant him a burial; but as they had threatened him beforehand not to grant him any spot of earth for a grave, which he chiefly desired of them, so did they slay him [without permitting him to be buried]. Now when they were slaying him, he made this imprecation upon them, that they might undergo bothfamine and pestilence in this war, and besides all that, they might come to the mutual slaughter of one another; all which imprecations God confirmed against these impious men, and was what came most justly upon them, when not long afterward. they tasted of their own madness in their mutual seditions one against another.

Josephus – Wars Book5 -Chap. 1 – para 4 – CONCERNING THE SEDITIONS AT JERUSALEM AND WHAT TERRIBLE MISERIES AFFLICTED THE CITY BY THEIR MEANS;

And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred first-fruits, 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 opposition to the seditious. 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. 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; 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. Accordingly, it so came to pass, that all the [storage] places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides of it; and that almost all that corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. 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.

 Josephus – Wars Book5 -Chap. 8 – para 2 – HOW THE ROMANS TOOK THE SECOND WALL TWICE, AND GOT ALL READY FOR TAKING THE THIRD WALL;

For God had blinded their minds for the transgressions they had been guilty of, nor could they see how much greater forces the Romans had than those that were now expelled, no more than they could discern how a famine was creeping upon them; for hitherto they had fed themselves out of the public miseries, and drank the blood of the city. But now poverty had for a long time seized upon the better part, and a great many had died already for want of necessaries

Josephus – Wars Book5 -Chap. 9 – para 3 – HOW THE ROMANS TOOK THE SECOND WALL TWICE, AND GOT ALL READY FOR TAKING THE THIRD WALL;

For that the Romans are not unacquainted with that famine which is in the city, whereby the people are already consumed, and the fighting men will in a little time be so too . . . And though their fortifications should prove too strong for the Romans to break through them, yet would the famine fight for the Romans against them.

Josephus – Wars Book5 -Chap. 10 – para 2, 3, 4,& 5 – WHAT INTOLERABLE THINGS THOSE THAT STAID BEHIND SUFFERED BY FAMINE, AND THE SAD CONSEQUENCES THEREOF;

2. The madness of the seditious did also increase together with their famine, and both those miseries were every day inflamed more and more; for there was no corn which any where appeared publicly, but the robbers came running into, and searched men’s private houses; and then, if they found any, they tormented them, because they had denied they had any; and if they found none, they tormented them worse, because they supposed they had more carefully concealed it

3. It was now a miserable case, and a sight that would justly bring tears into our eyes, how men stood as to their food, while the more powerful had more than enough, and the weaker were lamenting [for want of it.] But the famine was too hard for all other passions, and it is destructive to nothing so much as to modesty; for what was otherwise worthy of reverence was in this case despised; insomuch that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eating out of their very mouths, and what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infants; and when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives: and while they ate after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing; but the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food; whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating almost up out of their very throats, and this by force: the old men, who held their food fast, were beaten; and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so doing; nor was there any commiseration shown either to the aged or to the infants, but they lifted up children from the ground as they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down upon the floor. But still they were more barbarously cruel to those that had prevented their coming in, and had actually swallowed down what they were going to seize upon, as if they had been unjustly defrauded of their right. They also invented terrible methods of torments to discover where any food was, and they were these to stop up the passages of the privy parts of the miserable wretches, and to drive sharp stakes up their fundaments; and a man was forced to bear what it is terrible even to hear, in order to make him confess that he had but one loaf of bread, or that he might discover a handful of barley-meal that was concealed; and this was done when these tormentors were not themselves hungry . . .

4. These were the afflictions which the lower sort of people suffered from these tyrants’ guards; but for the men that were in dignity, and withal were rich, they were carried before the tyrants themselves; some of whom were falsely accused of laying treacherous plots, and so were destroyed; others of them were charged with designs of betraying the city to the Romans; but the readiest way of all was this, to suborn somebody to affirm that they were resolved to desert to the enemy. And he who was utterly despoiled of what he had by Simon was sent back again to John, as of those who had been already plundered by Jotre, Simon got what remained; insomuch that they drank the blood of the populace to one another, and divided the dead bodies of the poor creatures between them; so that although, on account of their ambition after dominion, they contended with each other, yet did they very well agree in their wicked practices; for he that did not communicate what he got by the miseries of others to the other tyrant seemed to be too little guilty, and in one respect only; and he that did not partake of what was so communicated to him grieved at this, as at the loss of what was a valuable thing, that he had no share in such barbarity.

5. 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. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they might themselves appear comparatively less impious with regard to strangers. They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to gain a melancholy reputation, by acting gloriously against them, and did almost draw that fire upon the temple, which they seemed to think came too slowly; and indeed when they saw that temple burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled at it, nor did they shed any tears on that account, while yet these passions were discovered among the Romans themselves; which circumstances we shall speak of hereafter in their proper place, when we come to treat of such matters.

 Earthquakes

Josephus – Wars book 4 -Chapter 4 – paragraph 5;

And now did the Idumeans make an acclamation to what Simon had said; but Jesus went away sorrowful, as seeing that the Idumeans were against all moderate counsels, and that the city was  besieged on both sides. Nor indeed were the minds of the Idumeans at rest; for they were in a rage at the injury that had been offered them by their exclusion out of the city; and when they thought the zealots had been strong, but saw nothing of theirs to support them, they were in doubt about the matter, and many of them repented that they had come thither. But the shame that would attend them in case they returned without doing any thing at all, so far overcame that their repentance, that they lay all night before the wall, though in a very bad encampment; 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 continued lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. 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 any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.

 Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows [birthpangs].

Cross references:

I Thess. 5:1 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (Note: “travail” is the same greek word as “sorrows”  above)

Heb. 8:13 – In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary [The Temple] .

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Cross references:

Heb 10: 32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Cross references: 

Acts 8:9 – But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

Matt 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Cross references:

Gal 1: 6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

II Tim1:15 – This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

4:16  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

 Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 13. But he that shall endure]  The persecutions that shall come-unto the end; to the destruction of the Jewish polity, without growing cold or apostatizing-shall be saved, shall be delivered in all imminent dangers, and have his soul at last brought to an eternal glory.  It is very remarkable that not a single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though there were many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city; and, had he persevered in the siege, he would soon have rendered himself master of it; but, when he unexpectedly and unaccountably raised the siege, the Christians took that opportunity to escape. See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles lib. iii. c. 5

Cross references:

I Thess. 5:6 – Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath [the coming destruction of Jerusalem], but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Heb 10:35 –  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise [God hath not appointed us to wrath – I Thess. 5:9] 37 For yet a little while, and he [Titus the Roman general] that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Rev 18: 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Matthew 24: 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 14.   And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world]  But, notwithstanding these persecutions, there should be a universal publication of the glad tidings of the kingdom, for a testimony to all nations.  God would have the iniquity of the Jews published every where, before the heavy stroke of his judgments should fall upon them; that all mankind, as it were, might be brought as witnesses against their cruelty and obstinacy in crucifying and rejecting the Lord Jesus.

 In all the worlden olh th oikoumenh.  Perhaps no more is meant here than the Roman empire; for it is beyond controversy that pasan thn oikoumenhnLu 2:1 – “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that ALL THE WORLD should be taxed,” means no more than the whole Roman empire: as a decree for taxation or enrolment from Augustus Caesar could have no influence but in the Roman dominions; but see on Lu 2:1. Tacitus informs us, Annal. l. xv., that, as early as the reign of Nero, the Christians were grown so numerous at Rome as to excite the jealousy of the government; and in other parts they were in proportion.  However, we are under no necessity to restrain the phrase to the Roman empire, as, previously to the destruction of Jerusalem, the Gospel was not only preached in the lesser Asia, and Greece, and Italy, the greatest theatres of action then in the world; but was likewise propagated as far north as SCYTHIA; as far south as ETHIOPIA; as far east as PARTHIA and INDIA; and as far west as SPAIN and BRITAIN.

St. Paul himself speaks, Col 1:6,23, of the Gospel’s being come into ALL THE WORLD, and preached TO EVERY CREATURE under heaven.  And in his Epistle to the Romans, Ro 10:18, he very elegantly applies to the lights of the Church, what the psalmist said of the lights of heaven.  Their sound went into ALL THE EARTH, and their words unto the END of the WORLD.  What but the wisdom of God could foretell this? and what but the power of God could accomplish it?

 Then shall the end come.]  When this general publication of the Gospel shall have taken place, then a period shall be put to the whole Jewish economy, by the utter destruction of their city and temple.

Cross references: “preached in all the world

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Col. 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.

Cross references: for a witness unto all nations

Matt 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Matthew 24: 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)

 Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 15.   The abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel] This abomination of desolation, St. Luke, (Lu 21:20,21,) refers to the Roman army; and this abomination standing in the holy place is the Roman army besieging Jerusalem; this, our Lord says, is what was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, in the ninth and eleventh chapters of his prophecy; and so let every one who reads these prophecies understand them; and in reference to this very event they are understood by the rabbins.  The Roman army is called an abomination, for its ensigns and images, which were so to the Jews.  Josephus says, (War, b. vi. chap. 6,) the *Romans brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them over against the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there.  The Roman army is therefore fitly called the abomination, and the abomination which maketh desolate, as it was to desolate and lay waste Jerusalem; and this army besieging Jerusalem is called by St. Mark, Mr 13:14, standing where it ought not, that is, as in the text here, the holy place; as not only the city, but a considerable compass of ground about it, was deemed holy, and consequently no profane persons should stand on it.

*Havercamp’s note here: “This (says he) is a remarkable place; and Tertullian truly says in his Apologetic, ch. 16. p. 162, that the entire religion of the Roman camp almost consisted in worshipping the ensigns, in swearing by the ensigns, and in preferring the ensigns before all the [other] gods.”

Josephus – Wars Book 5 -Chap.1  – para. 1 – THE SEDITIONS AT JERUSALEM AND WHAT TERRIBLE MISERIES AFFLICTED THE CITY BY THEIR MEANS;

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. 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.

para. 3 – . . . slew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations. 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; for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went over all 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; insomuch that many 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; 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 carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves. And now, “O must wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred! ‘For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou long continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulcher for the bodies of thy own people, and hadst made the holy house itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine. Yet mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.” But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of history, since this is not a proper time for domestical lamentations, but for historical narrations; I therefore return to the operations that follow in this sedition.

Cross references:

Luke 13:1 –  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 Josephus – Wars Book 5 -Chap.1  – para. 5

They agreed in nothing but this, to kill those that were innocent. The noise also of those that were fighting was incessant, both by day and by night; but the lamentations of those that mourned exceeded the other; nor was there ever any occasion for them to leave off their lamentations, because their calamities came perpetually one upon another, although the deep consternation they were in prevented their outward wailing; but being constrained by their fear to conceal their inward passions, they were inwardly tormented, without daring to open their lips in groans. Nor was any regard paid to those that were still alive, by their relations; nor was there any care taken of burial for those that were dead; the occasion of both which was this, that every one despaired of himself; for those that were not among the seditious had no great desires of any thing, as expecting for certain that they should very soon be destroyed; but for the seditious themselves, they fought against each other, while they trod upon the dead bodies as they lay heaped one upon another, and taking up a mad rage from those dead bodies that were under their feet, became the fiercer thereupon. They, moreover, were still inventing somewhat or other that was pernicious against themselves; and when they had resolved upon any thing, they executed it without mercy, and omitted no method of torment or of barbarity.

Josephus – Wars Book 6 -Chap.2  – para. 1 – HOW TITUS . . . PERSUADED JOSEPHUS TO EXHORT THE JEWS AGAIN [TO A SURRENDER].

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. 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.”

 Matthew 24: 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

 Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 16.   Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains]  This counsel was remembered and wisely followed by the Christians afterwards.  Eusebius and Epiphanius say, that at this juncture, after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, and Vespasian was approaching with his army, all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem and fled to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan; and so they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country: not one of them perished.

  Matthew 24: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 17.   Let him which is on the house top]  The houses of the Jews, as well as those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, were flat-roofed, and had stairs on the outside, by which persons might ascend and descend without coming into the house.  In the eastern walled cities, these flat-roofed houses usually formed continued terraces from one end of the city to the other; which terraces terminated at the gates.  He, therefore, who is walking on the house top, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house; but let him instantly pursue his course along the tops of the houses, and escape out at the city gate as fast as he can.

Matthew 24: 18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 18.   Neither let him which is in the field return back] Because when once the army of the Romans sits down before the city, there shall be no more any possibility of escape, as they shall never remove till Jerusalem be destroyed.

Matthew 24: 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

 Cross references:

Deut. 28:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

Deut. 28:55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

Deut. 28:57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

 Josephus – Wars Book 6 -Chap.3  – para. 3,4,& 5 – . . . ANOTHER DESCRIPTION OF THE TERRIBLE FAMINE THAT WAS IN THE CITY;

3. Now of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable; for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did any where 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. 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; 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. Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew every thing, 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: the very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibres, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attic [drachmae]. 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 . . .

4. There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezob, 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. 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. This put the poor woman into a very great passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations she east at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them to anger against her; but none of them, either out of the indignation she had raised against herself, or out of 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 any way to find any more 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 any thing but with her passion and the necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural thing; 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? 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.Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, and a by-word to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews.” As soon as she had said this, she slew her son, and then roasted him, and eat the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed. Upon this the seditious 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. Hereupon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, and stood astonished at the sight, when she said to them, “This is mine own son, and what hath been done was mine own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself! 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.” After which those men went out trembling, being never so much aftrighted at any thing 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 this miserable case before their own eyes, they trembled, as if this unheard of action had been done by themselves. 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. 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. 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. 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. That, however, this horrid action of eating an own child ought to be covered with the overthrow 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, although such food be fitter for the fathers than for the mothers to eat of, since it is they that continue still in a state of war against us, after they have undergone such miseries as these. And at the same time that he said this, he reflected on the desperate condition these men must be in; nor could he expect that such men could be recovered to sobriety of mind, after they had endured those very sufferings, for the avoiding whereof it only was probable they might have repented.

Matthew 24: 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

 Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 20.   But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter] For the hardness of the season, the badness of the roads, the shortness of the days, and the length of the nights, will all be great impediments to your flight.  Rabbi Tanchum observes, “that the favour of God was particularly manifested in the destruction of the first temple, in not obliging the Jews to go out in the winter, but in the summer.”

Neither on the Sabbath-day]  That you may not raise the indignation of the Jews by travelling on that day, and so suffer that death out of the city which you had endeavoured to escape from within.  Besides, on the Sabbath-days the Jews not only kept within doors, but the gates of all the cities and towns in every place were kept shut and barred; so that their flight should be on a Sabbath, they could not expect admission into any place of security in the land.

Cross references:

Neh. 13:18 –  Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sakethose days shall be shortened.

Josephus – Wars Book5 -Chap. 10 – para 5 – WHAT INTOLERABLE THINGS THOSE THAT STAYED BEHIND SUFFERED. . .

5. 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.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 21.   For then shall be great tribulation]  No history can furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews:-rapine, murder, famine, and pestilence within: fire and sword, and all the horrors of war, without.  Our Lord wept at the foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for any humane person to read the relation of them in Josephus without weeping also.

William E Males: The famine, the seditions and the potential spread of the disease would have soon killed the Jews altogether, and this apart from the and war with Rome.  A quote from Titus, the Roman general, “We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men or any machines do towards overthrowing these towers?”

Matthew 24: 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  25 Behold, I have told you before.  26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Josephus WAR- Book 2 – Chap. 13;

But there was an Egyptian false prophet that did the Jews more mischief than the former; for he was a cheat, and pretended to be a prophet also, and got together thirty thousand men that were deluded by him; these he led round about from the wilderness to the mount which was called the Mount of Olives, and was ready to break into Jerusalem by force from that place; and if he could but once conquer the Roman garrison and the people, he intended to domineer over them by the assistance of those guards of his that were to break into the city with him. But Felix prevented his attempt, and met him with his Roman soldiers, while all the people assisted him in his attack upon them, insomuch that when it came to a battle, the Egyptian ran away, with a few others, while the greatest part of those that were with him were either destroyed or taken alive; but the rest of the multitude were dispersed every one to their own homes, and there concealed themselves.

Cross references:

Acts21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

Josephus WAR Book 6- Chap 5 – para 2;

And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to spare what was round about the holy house, burnt all those places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the gates, two excepted; the one on the east side, and the other on the south; both which, however, they burnt afterward. They also burnt down the treasury chambers, in which was an immense quantity of money, and an immense number of garments, and other precious goods there reposited; and, to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire riches of the Jews were heaped up together, while the rich people had there built themselves chambers [to contain such furniture]. The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer [court of the] temple, whither the women and children, and a great mixed multitude of the people, fled, in number about six thousand. But before Caesar had determined any thing about these people, or given the commanders any orders relating to them, the soldiers were in such a rage, that they set that cloister on fire; by which means it came to pass that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of them escape with his life. 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 upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on 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. 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 his deliverance.

Matthew 24: 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall  also the coming of the Son of man be.  28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 Cross reference:

Deut. 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

Josephus – Wars Book 6 -Chap.2  – para. 1 – HOW TITUS MARCHED TO JERUSALEM, AND HOW HE WAS IN DANGER AS HE WAS TAKING A VIEW O THE CITY OF THE PLACE ALSO WHERE HE PITCHED HIS CAMP

NOW, as Titus was upon his march into the enemy’s country, the auxiliaries that were sent by the kings marched first, having all the other auxiliaries with them; after whom followed those that were to prepare the roads and measure out the camp; then came the commander’s baggage, and after that the other soldiers, who were completely armed to support them; then came Titus himself, having with him another select body; and then came the pikemen; after whom came the horse belonging to that legion. All these came before the engines; and after these engines came the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the ensigns, with THE EAGLE; and before those ensigns came the trumpeters belonging to them; next these came the main body of the army in their ranks, every rank being six deep; the servants belonging to every legion came after these; and before these last their baggage; the mercenaries came last, and those that guarded them brought up the rear.

 Matthew 24: 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 Josephus WARS Book 6 Chap. 6 – para 2&3;

Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on 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. 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 his deliverance.

3. 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.Thus there was a star  resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews’ rebellion, 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,] 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 lasted for half an hour. 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. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. 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. 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. 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. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] 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, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] 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, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.”

 Matthew 24:31 And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 Josephus WARS Book 6 – Chap 5 – para 3

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, [I Thess. 5:13 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.]came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to 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. 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 any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did 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!” 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, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. 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!” Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. 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 presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; 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, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.

Matthew 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.  34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.  35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.  36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 William E Males:  Rome came, judgement came, like a flood.

Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Cross references

Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Job 39:27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? 28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.  29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.  30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

Mt 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

Verse 37.  Where, Lord?] In what place shall all these dreadful evils fall? The answer our Lord gives in a figure, the application of which they are to make themselves. Where the dead carcass is, there will be the birds of prey-where the sin is, there will the punishment be. See ACC for Mt 24:28. Thither will the eagles (or vultures) be gathered together. The jackal or chakal is a devourer of dead bodies; and the vulture is not less so: it is very remarkable how suddenly these birds appear after the death of an animal in the open field, though a single one may not have been seen on the spot for a long period before.

 Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.  45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.  48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;  49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;  50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,  51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.