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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jerusalem’s Destruction & the Roman Siege Past & Future

By Maria Merola אריאל
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, September 2002
http://www.DoublePortionInheritance.com

Ever since I was a teenager, I have had an insatiable appetite for understanding biblical prophecy. In particular, the book of Revelation always fascinated me.

As I grew up into adulthood and began to study the scriptures more voraciously, I became more and more aware of the fact that I had to understand the past in order to understand the prophecies about the future.

As I studied the book of Daniel and Isaiah, one thing became crystal clear in my quest for understanding these mysteries. That “one thing” was that the events surrounding the reestablishment of the holy city, Jerusalem and the Temple would signal the final conflict between the true Messiah and the Anti-Messiah.

Our Messiah taught us that his return would be marked by these events that would be akin to the blossoming of a fig tree:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 24:32-33 “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near….So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”

Why did Yahuwshuwa use the fig tree as a metaphor for the blossoming of the nation of Yisra’el?

It all began when YaHuWaH likened Yisra’el to the first ripe fig tree, but then they went after idols and abominations. This is what caused their figs to dry up on the vine:

Howshea (Hosea) 9:10 I found Yisra’el like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

Chabaqquwq (Habakkuk) 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in YHWH, I will joy in the Elohiym of my salvation.

The coming of the Messiah would be marked by his conception on Chanukkah, aka The Feast of Dedication, which is on the 24th day of the 9th month on the Hebrew Calendar. This prophecy began it’s fulfillment when the angel Gabriel announced to his mother that she would bring forth a son and he would be called Immanuel which means “Elohiym is with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Chaggay (Haggai) 2:18-19 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of YHWH’s Temple was laid, consider it. Is the seed yet in the barn? Yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, has not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

The foundation of YaHuWaH’s Temple was laid on Chanukkah (the 24th day of the 9th month of Chislev), when Miriam conceived the Messiah in her womb by the Ruwach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Nine months later, she gave birth to him on Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets). Later on in history, when the new heaven and the new earth come down, the Messiah (the lamb) and YaHuWaH himself will be the Temple (Revelation 21:22).

Therefore the Temple is a prophetic picture of the Messiah. All of prophecy concerning the coming of Messiah, will always revolve around the events of the Temple in Jerusalem.

For the past 2,000 years, there has been a lot of confusion about end-time events leading up to the return of our Messiah, Yahuwshuwa to earth to set up his Millennial Kingdom. Much of this confusion stems from a conspiracy by the Illuminati aka The Jesuits in the Vatican, whose agenda is to seat a false Messiah in the third future Jewish Temple. 

Why Are So Many People Confused About Prophecy?

It is because the Jesuits in the Vatican have invented a “two-pronged” theory since the 1500’s in order to “counter” the Protestant Reformation. Two Jesuit Priests named Alcazar & Ribera, formed a “two-pronged” ideology that would cause great confusion in Bible Colleges & Seminaries. Preachers are then given the choice between one or the other. What are they? These two views are called “Praeterism & Futurism” and neither one of them is correct.

The Papal reaction was a “Counter Reformation.” In an attempt to divert the undermining influence of the Protestant Reformation, a two-pronged counter attack was made: 

1.) Praeterism: The fulfillment of Revelation is in the past only with the fall of Pagan Rome before the Popes ever ruled Rome. This viewpoint was founded by Alcazar, a Spanish Jesuit in 1614.

2.) Futurism: The fulfillment of Revelation is only in the future with only one individual “man of sin” not from the Papacy. Around 1590, Francisco Ribera a Jesuit Catholic Priest published a 500-page book on Revelation, and he taught the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” theory with the Tribulation period and the Antichrist in the distant future only. Robert Bellarmine, one of the most renowned Jesuit cardinals, taught that the Antichrist would be an individual Jew, (not from the Papacy).

While both interpretations have aspects that are indeed correct, they both presume that prophecy ends at a certain point within linear time. But prophecy is “on-going,” because YaHuWaH is “the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.” 

This means that his prophecies have multiple fulfillment. Some interpret the “Ten Horns” of Revelation 13 to be about “Ten Caesars” in the past and Nero Caesar as the final “Antichrist” with no future fulfillment for an “Antichrist” leader. This interpretation is called “Praeterism” and it is only PARTIALLY correct.

While the Ten Caesars leading up to Nero is a partial fulfillment of Revelation 13, that is not the end of the story. Nimrod’s Ten Provinces, Daniel’s Ten Toes, and Revelation 13’s Ten Horns are partially fulfilled in the 10 Caesars. 

But they are revived again in the last days as “Ten Nations” globally who will “rule one hour with the beast.” The Dispensationalists, on the other hand, interpret the prophecies about the Beast as having only a “future” fulfillment (supposedly after a Pre-Trib Rapture), while the Praeterists interpret the prophecies about the Beast as having ONLY a past fulfillment, as if there is nothing more to be fulfilled after Nero Caesar in the Book of Revelation. 

At the time when our Messiah Yahuwshuwa walked the earth, Rome was occupying Jerusalem, and Caesar was in power. Even our Messiah recognized that a “coin” with a “man’s image” on it showed who was the ruler of the nation. Yahuwshuwa Mashiyach said in Mark 12:15-17 “……bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Yahuwshuwa answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to Elohiym the things that are Elohiym’s.”

In January of 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced the “Euro Coin” with his “image” on the coin! Most of the Nations of Europe at that time had bound themselves together in a single economy under the “Euro.” Pope John Paul II greeted Ambassadors who came to the Vatican from every major country including the United States at the Vatican in January of 2002 to discuss the next phase: unification on the political and military level of the European Union. ----- Battle Cry, January 2002, Chick Publications. 

History is “cyclical” and it does in fact repeat itself. Today nothing has changed. The popes are the same as the “Caesars” in the fact that the Vatican is a “church & state.” Political and religious power combined is what the Caesars used to gain control of the people of their day. Their “god” was “Saturn” for which the feast of “Saturnalia” was celebrated on December 25th. Here are some more clues to show how the Pope is just another type of Caesar in religious clothing. 

The word for “pope” is “pappas” meaning “father.” YaHuWaH is the true “Holy Father,” while Catholics call the Pope “Holy Father.” Therefore, the title “Pope” and “Caesar” are essentially the same. The root word “aesar” found in “Caesar” means “the name of God.” All of the Caesar’s claimed to be “god” just as a pope claims to be “god on earth.”

The derivative verb for “Caesar” is “Caedere” which means: “to conquer, to murder, to sodomize, to rape.”

It becomes even more evident by the similarities of the definitions, along with the characteristics that are associated with both the popes and the Caesars that “pope” is just another title for “Caesar.” The definition of “Caesar” as being a “conqueror” is born out in the fact that Constantine, who was the first Roman Emperor to give himself the title of a pope: “Summus Pontifex Maximus” which literally means “the ultimate bridge between man and God.” In other words, every Caesar & every pope claims to be the mediator between man and our Creator! They all claim to be the Messiah! 

In the 3rd Century, Constantine claimed that he had converted to Christianity as he heard the words “in this sign conquer” while he had a vision of an Egyptian Ankh in the sky. In Revelation 6:2, the Anti-Messiah rides a white horse, and he has a “bow” with no arrows and “he goes forth conquering.” All of this is confirmation to the true nature of the role of a “pope.”

The title “Caesar” is a title which means “one who conquers.” But it also can mean “one who murders, rapes and sodomizes.”

The multitude of Catholic Priests who have been indicted for having sodomized children and raping nuns has been protected by the Vatican for the past 1500 years, as they paid out multi-billions of dollars to keep the stories out of the media.

So you see, both extreme views of Praeterism & Futurism are clever diversions that are part of the Illuminati strategy of the “Hegelian Dialectic” also called “Solve et Coagula” (solution and coagulation). It means that they present “two seemingly opposing views” to the masses, knowing that they will “pick one” and then they are credited with becoming the “unifying force” behind the  “dialectic.” But all along, they were the ones who created the “dichotomy” so that they can dominate the world!

But both streams of interpretation Praeterism & Futurism ignores the fact that YaHuWaH our Cretaor is “infinite” and it presumes that his word is “finite.” Our Creator’s prophecies are not bound by linear time. They have multiple fulfillments in the past, present and future, because he is “the one was, and who is, and who is to come.”

His prophecies can never “stand still” in one era of time! See my other articles entitled: 

“Nimrod, the Papacy & Pangaea.” 

“Fourteen Identifiers of the Beast.”

Prophecy repeats itself, as we will soon learn that the “Olivette Dicourse” between our Messiah Yahuwshuwa and his “talmudiym” (disciples) in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark & Luke have both a past and future fulfillment. We cannot apply the prophecies of Matthew 24 to only the Roman Siege; for while there has been a partial fulfillment of the events foretold there, the exact same scenario will play itself out again in the future. How do we know this? Well, in the remainder of Matthew 24:29-31, it says that the “Son of Man shall gather his elect from the four winds and he shall come with a great sound of a trumpet.” We know that this has not happened yet, for the elect of Yisra’el are still largely in exile. Those who hold to the “Praeterist” view read Matthew 24 as if all of this has happened and that Yahuwshuwa has already returned, but what they don’t see is that the same scenario will happen all over again. 

The Dual Nature of Messianic Prophecy Always Produces a Gap in History

*Examples of Historic Gaps in Biblical Prophecy:

1.) The 2000 year gap of Joel confirmed by Keefa (Peter) on the day of Pentecost (Shabuowth).

2.) The early and latter rain of the Holy Spirit.

3.) The gap between the Feasts of Pentecost & and Trumpets.

4.) The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom begins and ends with what is called “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

5.) The Priests and the Ark preceded the people with a gap into the Promised Land.

Often times in prophecy, there is the immediate natural fulfillment, and later it’s parallel fulfillment concerning the spiritual. The dual nature of Messianic prophecy has caused the nation of Yisra’el to be blinded by the first appearance of Messiah who came as a “suffering servant.”

Few have seemingly pondered the question, “why did the Prophet Joel prophesy in four verses the beginning and end of the times of the Gentiles of which many call ‘the Church age?’”

Upon announcing the fulfillment of the 1st two verses of Joel’s prophecy on Pentecost (Shabuoth), Kefa (Peter) begins the first two verses as an explanation for the outpouring of the Spirit of Elohiym. The next two verses concluded with atmospheric judgments found in Revelation 6:12-17. When Yahuwshuwa fulfilled the Feast of Shabuoth (Pentecost) by baptizing his disciples in fire, it marked the beginning of the “last days.”

At the end of this 2,000 year gap, at the last trump, and immediately after the atmospheric signs mentioned in Acts 2:18-19, Yahuwshuwa gathers his elect (Matthew 24:28-31).

This 2,000 year gap between the prophetic fulfillment of the “Feast of Weeks” (Pentecost) & the “Feast of Trumpets” is when Messiah gathers his elect, and it marks the beginning of the end of this last “age” prior to the second coming of Messiah. On the Feast of Trumpets when the elect are gathered will mark the end of Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27).

Messiah was cut off after 486.5 years out of the 490 years of Daniel’s 70 Week prophecy. The prophecy begins with King Cyrus’s initial decree in 457 B.C. If you subtract 457 from 490, (for the length of the prophecy) and you don’t count the year “zero,” you end up at 27 A.D. when Messiah began his 3.5 year ministry at his baptism.

His baptism was his “legal moment of death,” because in Romans 6:4, Shauwl (Paul) explained that immersion (baptism) is a picture of death. Yahuwchanon (John) was the Levitical High Priest who symbolically “killed the first goat” for Yom Kippur.

The Holy Spirit then led Yahuwshuwa into the wilderness for 40 days fulfilling the pattern of the 2nd twin goat, (the scapegoat). Messiah “took the sins away” by going into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He overcame all temptation for sin in this act. He then emerged from the wilderness to read Isaiah 61 in the temple on Yom Kippur when he declared “the acceptable year of YaHuWaH.” His final statement was “today this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” But then something interesting happened. Yahuwshuwa did not finish the verse!

He read only half of this verse, and then he closed the scroll and said that he was fulfilling that verse at that time:

Yahuwyahuw (Isaiah) 61:

1 The Spirit of YHWH Elohiym is upon me; because YHWH has anointed me to preach good tidings (Besowrah) unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of YHWH, and the day of vengeance of our Elohiym; to comfort all that mourn;

You will notice that he read up to the part that says “to proclaim the acceptable year of YHWH” and then he stops! But why?

The next part of this verse “and the day of vengeance of our Elohiym, to comfort all that mourn” will take place at his second coming on Yom Kippur after his seven-day marriage with his bride (typified in Leah). At the end of that week, he will also marry Rachel (the House of Judah). We see the same pattern in the account in Genesis when Jacob was first married to Leah but on that night he was told by Laban that he would be given Rachel after he “fulfilled the week” with Leah. This week is none other than the last week between the Feast of Trumpets & the Day of Atonement. During the ten days between these two feasts called “The Ten Days of Awe,” our Messiah will fulfill the pattern of Jacob marrying two brides (Leah & Rachel). Leah is symbolic of born-again Jews & Gentiles and Rachel represents the non-converted Jews who are sealed in the foreheads (Revelation 7, Ezekiel 9) but they do not accept him until he returns in Zechariah 12:10.

In 2nd Thessalonians 2, Paul said that the “man of sin” will sit in the Temple of YaHuWaH declaring himself to be Elohiym. This is how we know that there will be a 3rd physical Temple and a literal Roman Antichrist who will erect another “Abomination of Desolation” also called “the Image of the Beast” (Revelation 13:14-15). There will also be another “Roman Siege” where the “Beast shall hate the whore and shall burn here with fire” (Revelation 17:16). But who is “the whore?” To find the answer this question, we must go the Bible where YaHuWaH first called his bride, Yisra’el a “harlot.” 

You see, after our Messiah died and resurrected, he made new converts through his talmudiym (disciples) and he entered into covenant with those who had been “former Gentiles,” (Ephesians 2:11), and they became known as “the bride of Messiah” (Ephesians 5:23). But something happened to this “bride” when she repeated the sins of her “mother,” Jerusalem. You see, Jerusalem is called “the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26), as she has born many children (Isaiah 66:7-13). After the Roman Siege, the followers of Messiah were sent into the nations to preach the message of Messiah’s future reign and second coming. But the wicked “tares” were sown among the wheat, and thus became the Roman Catholic Church called “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots & Abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5). But there are still those who are the “wheat” within the Roman Catholic Church, and I am one of them who came out of her back in 1981.

The Apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) described “two covenants” in the 4th chapter of Galatians. One covenant is typified in Hagar who represents bondage, because Yisra’el entered into a false covenant with the molten calf on Mount Sinai (after they were married to YaHuWaH). The name “Sinai” literally means “Babylonian moon-god.” But he also speaks of another covenant which is typified in Sarah, and she represents freedom, and Jerusalem. When Sarah gave birth to the promised son, she became the “mother of us all” just like Jerusalem. Likewise, after Jerusalem died in the Roman Siege in 70 A.D., she gave birth to a corporate “man-child” called “the one new man” (Ephesians 2:15). This “one new man” is described as “Jewish & Gentile” followers of Messiah.

But how can Rome be the mother if Jerusalem is the mother of us all? Well, it is because in the last days, the Vatican will move headquarters to Jerusalem “where our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). YaHuWaH called his bride, Yisra’el “a harlot” in Jeremiah 3:1-8, Ezekiel 16:41; 23:5-44; Hoshea 2:5, 3:3, 4:14-15. But there will be another Roman Siege from the United Nations that will be even worse than the first Roman Siege in 70 A.D. This is why Yahuwshuwa said these words in the Olivet Discourse: “HE THAT ENDURES TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED!!!”

Four Layers of Understanding Prophecy

When interpreting prophecy, we must see that there are usually four “layers” of understanding.

In Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 & Luke 10:27, we are commanded to love YaHuWaH with all of our “heart, mind, soul, and strength.” This represents four aspects of our being: heart (spiritual), mind (intellectual), soul (emotional), strength (physical).

In Hebraic thought, these 4 layers of understanding apply to all 4 aspects our being.

Towrah is divided into four levels of teaching. They are: P’shat, Drash, Remez & Sod. Brief explanations are below:

1.) P’shat Level: The P’shat level is the plain sense of the text. What does it actually say? Every word, phrase, and thought has a meaning, there is no word that is redundant or idle. Even if it appears to be, it is not. It is filled with meaning for us to learn (Physical or literal application).

2.) Drash Level: The Drash level is where truth and principle are presented. Truth can only be truth if it is confirmed. Confirmation as we know must come in the form of evidence and evidence must be at least two or three witnesses. This interpretation is the intellectual, or the rational, which applies to our mind.

3.) Remez Level: The Remez level is the underlying theme or story that is told while speaking of other things. It is how prophecy is laid into the story of history. This level shows the plan for Yahuwshuwa’s redemption and restoration. This interpretation applies to the emotional or parables which means that it is something we can relate to.

4.) Sod Level: The Sod level is the mysterious and coded level. This involves the understanding of numbers along with the meaning associated with certain numerical values. For example, the number 1 represents “echad” or oneness, “two” represents struggle, division or witness, etc. This level also involves the meanings of names. This is the spiritual application or metaphor, the allegory.

Matthew’s Account of the Olivet Discourse Versus Luke’s Account

It is interesting to compare Luke’s account of the Roman Siege in 70 A.D. to Matthew’s account of the same event, yet it is buttressed with a future event of what we know today as “The Great Tribulation” leading up to the end of all things before the return of Messiah to set up his Millennial Kingdom.

Now, let us look at the variations in Luke’s report, versus Matthew’s report and tracing these variations to the different objects before the mind of the writers. The prophecy itself had, like many others, a “twofold application,” referring immediately to the approaching destruction of the city and temple; and remotely, but no less directly, to the events preceding the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.

Luke’s Gospel speaks more directly to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem

Matthew’s Gospel speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem as well in the first verse, but then Yahuwshuwa resembles this event in Luke’s gospel to a repeat of these events in the end times just before his return to establish his earthly kingdom during the 1,000 year reign.

Matthew then speaks only of the later event; Luke is especially occupied with the earlier event; while, therefore, the resemblance between the two is very close, the differences are also very striking. Thus Matthew speaks of the faithful being hated of the Gentiles, of false prophets arising and deceiving many, of the love of many waxing cold, of the salvation of those who endure to the end, and of “the gospel of the kingdom” being first preached to all the nations. This agrees with what Scripture elsewhere teaches about the last days before Messiah’s appearing, but is inapplicable to the believers before the siege of Jerusalem. Luke therefore omits these parts of the prophecy, but says that “the time draweth near,” speaks of a persecution arising largely from the Jews, and records a special promise of wisdom in addressing the tribunals, while he fixes the date of the persecution before the wars previously foretold; in all which he differs from Matthew, but exactly coincides with what occurred before Jerusalem was taken by the Romans.

It is in the next part of the discourse, however (Matthew 24: 15-28; Luke 21: 20-24), that the most marked differences appear. The prophecy, as recorded in Luke, simply foretells what occurred about forty years later:

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (vv. 20-24.)

Nothing can be simpler. The prediction is exact, and the directions given are precisely those followed by the believers residing in the city when Titus’s army approached Jerusalem. No exhortation is given to special haste, and in fact no occasion for special haste existed. There were 3 ½ years of persecutions leading up the Roman Siege in 70 A.D. and so therefore, the believers in Messiah had plenty of time to escape.

Every reader knows that the believers, forewarned by this prophecy, left the city; that the city was destroyed, and its inhabitants either killed or carried into slavery. Jerusalem then became a prey to the Gentiles, who have ruled over it and kept it in subjection ever since. This closes the earlier portion of Luke’s prophecy.

Matthew, however, speaks not a word about Jerusalem being “compassed with armies,” but about “the abomination of desolation” standing “in the holy place.”

Matthew 24:15-19 “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.) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”(verses 15-19.)

Some have thought that “the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place” referred to the Roman standards brought into the temple. But this only took place at the end of the siege, when all chance of flight had long been cut off. For the true meaning of the phrase we must turn to the prophecies of Daniel, to which reference is here made. Daniel receives a message from the angel concerning the time when “thy people shall be delivered.” (Daniel 12:1) Among the marks of this salvation approaching is that “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (verses 11 & 12.)

Did any special blessing come to the Jews or to the Church 1336 days after the fall of Jerusalem? Or, if the days be taken as years, was there, after that number of years, say at the date A.D. 1405, any event which is pointed to in this prophecy? If not, then the setting up of the abomination of desolation is clearly not the destruction of Jerusalem.

What, then, does it signify? Daniel, in another prophecy, names a period of seventy weeks, which is to end in the restoration of Jerusalem and the people of Israel. These weeks are universally understood, and obviously meant to be understood, as periods of seven years. After sixty-nine of these, Messiah is cut off without receiving the kingdom. This brings us to the death of Messiah, leaving one week yet unfulfilled. The series is then interrupted for an indefinite period, during which “the city and sanctuary” are destroyed by a Gentile power, and war and desolation are appointed “unto the end.”

This exactly answers to the treading down of Jerusalem “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” as foretold by Luke. But after this interval we read the history of the remaining week; that is, the last period of seven years, as yet unfulfilled before the restoration of the people and city; “and in the midst of the week,” we are told, some person or power “shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” (Daniel 9: 24-27.)

Now, that this is the same thing as the setting up of the abomination of desolation is clear, for in the passage already quoted that event is contemporaneous with the making of “the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” The time, if not the nature, of the event is therefore obvious. It is in the middle of the last week, or about three-and-a-half years, before the deliverance of the Jews and the restoration of Jerusalem by the setting up of the Messiah's kingdom.

Details, giving us a fuller insight into the character of this period, are supplied in the book of Revelation, where we read that “the holy city” will be trodden down of the Gentiles “forty and two months” (Revelation 11:2); the half of the seven years spoken of by Daniel; that the faithful remnant of Yah’s earthly people are persecuted by a ruler who “continues forty and two months.” that this ruler receives idolatrous worship, and an image or abomination is set up to which all are required to bow down (vv. 14, 15); that the faithful then flee into the wilderness, where they are sheltered by Elohiym for the same period of three and a half years. (Revelation 12:6, 14.) This exactly corresponds with what we read in Daniel, and with the events connected with this setting up of the abomination of desolation as foretold in Matthew. There is, however, nothing in these prophecies connecting itself with the siege of Jerusalem as foretold in Luke.

Indeed the only resemblance in this part of the prophecy, as recorded by Matthew and Luke, is that in both cases the faithful are warned to flee. But even here the differences are remarkable. No doubt, even in the less hasty flight spoken of by Luke, before the Roman army reached Jerusalem, women in the condition named in the prophecy would find escape difficult or impossible. The lament over their fate is, therefore, common to both; but here the resemblance ends. In Luke the flight is not to the mountains, nor marked by extreme haste. In fact the Christians retired with no special rapidity to the city of Pella. But when the abomination of desolation is set up, not an instant must be lost, the flight must be with all speed, and even the most trifling delay will be fatal. The place of refuge, too, is not a sheltering city, but “the mountains,” for the rage of the idolatrous power will pursue them, and it is only as specially shielded by YaHuWaH Elohiym that they can escape its fury. Both the rapidity of the flight and the sojourn in the desert are typified in the Revelation, where “to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness” (Revelation 12:14).

Of all this there is no trace in the prophecy as recorded in Luke. But if we turn to Luke 17:30-31, where Yahuwshuwa is speaking of “the day when the Son of man is revealed,” we find the exhortation:

“In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.”

Here, the language of the two evangelists is almost identical; but in this case Luke is not speaking of the siege of Jerusalem, but of the revelation of the Son of man. This makes it clear, therefore, that Matthew is speaking of the same time.

Matthew’s prophecy goes on: “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day; for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” (vv. 20-22.)

To this there is nothing answering in Luke’s record. Nor could there be. We can understand the scruples of righteous Jews, under the law, such as those who will be awaiting the Messiah's return, about making their flight on the Sabbath. But what hindrance would the Jewish Sabbath have been to the flight of the Christians before the siege of Jerusalem? Again, terrible as were the sufferings connected with the siege of Jerusalem, this was not the most awful crisis in the history of the people. Daniel expressly says that “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered” (Daniel 12:1).

Yahuwshuwa was obviously alluding to this time; for not only does He quote Daniel’s very words, but it is clear that there cannot be two periods of unparalleled suffering. But the time spoken of by Daniel immediately precedes the deliverance of the people. Yahuwshuwa, therefore, is here speaking, not of the siege of Jerusalem, but of His own return for the salvation of Israel. How, moreover, could it be said that the sufferings connected with the fall of Jerusalem threatened the destruction of all flesh, or were shortened for the elect's sake? It is manifestly, therefore, of another period and other sufferings that our Messiah is here speaking.

The rest of that part of Matthew's prophecy now before us warns against the deceptions of false Messiahs: 

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Messiah, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. 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. 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. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (vv. 23-28.).

All this is omitted in Luke. Nothing of the kind occurred before the siege of Jerusalem, and it formed no part, therefore, of the prophecy as reported by him. On the other hand it is, as we learn from other Scriptures, exactly the state of things which will prevail before Messiah’s appearing in power and glory for the establishment of His world-kingdom.

The remainder of the prophecy, as handed down by the two evangelists, refers to this great event. In Luke, however, this portion of the discourse begins abruptly, without note of time; for, in fact, he passes by a rapid transition from the siege of Jerusalem to the coming of Messiah. But in Matthew the continuity of this last event with what has gone before is unmistakably marked, for his report goes on without break:

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: 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” (vv. 29, 30).

Thus again, it is clear that while Luke, in his report, has been speaking of the siege of Jerusalem, Matthew has had before him a totally different subject; namely, the events immediately preceding the revelation and kingdom of Yahuwshuwa Messiah. 

*Footnotes: Parts of this article were taken from “The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Abomination of Desolation” by T. B. Baines, Christian Friend, vol. 7, 1880, p. 177.

1 comment:

  1. Could you please give us a quote (with source) showing that Ribera taught pretrib? Meanwhile your readers might enjoy Googling "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." And "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts" is good also.

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