This study is offered in order to counter the hugely distorted and twisted interpretations offered today of the book of Revelation, which are being promoted to deceive as many as possible for a political agenda sown by the Zionist cabal, and their agents, either wittingly or unwittingly, for an “end of the world” scenario. The cabal’s futuristic view of Revelation has an ulterior and evil purpose, which will be outlined in Part VI.
Each of the posts offered in Parts I – IV have discussed the internal evidences from the scriptures that “these last days” were the last days of the Old Covenant, and that they occurred in the first century A.D; that the second appearance of Christ could only happen in the first century A.D. for those who had seen his first appearance; and that a “day of the Lord”, and a “coming of the Lord” were always days of judgment against ungodly men pronounced in figurative judgment language repeatedly found in the Old Testament prophets; and, which same figurative judgment language was also used in the New Testament.
Therefore, as the same figurative judgment language is recognizable from the Old Testament to the New Testament, and as the figurative judgment language was always pronounced upon the unrighteous in warning of their destruction, then prophecies of the New Testament concerned a day of judgment in the same manner against ungodly men to warn of their destruction. The prophecies of the New Testament for “these last days” were concerning the last days of the old covenant with Israel, and the destruction of Jerusalem.
Due to the overwhelming abundance of these erroneous views that are swaying a great number of people, it is important to emphasize the internal evidences of the scriptures. So, let’s take a little more time to build the evidences. (As before, unless noted otherwise, the scriptures are from the King James Version, and all bold emphasis is mine.)
When we read history we know that we must identify the people, and the time frame, for the history to be correctly understood. The same is true when reading the events recorded in the New Testament concerning the people that lived during Christ’s earthly ministry and the establishment of His church and kingdom.
We must identify who is being spoken to, and know something about their condition, their surroundings, and their actions. Otherwise, the event may be misunderstood, or be taken out of time and place.
Time texts shown in the New Testament must be properly identified. We must separate the specific from the general, so that we do not apply the specific instruction to ourselves.
As shown in Part II, in Mat.10:23, Jesus was giving specific instructions to his disciples for their missionary journeys throughout Israel, and tells them, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.“ This places the second appearance of Christ in the first century before the disciples finish their missionary journeys throughout Israel.
And again, Matt 16:28, Jesus speaking to his disciples, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” He was speaking to the disciples standing in his presence during his earthly ministry in the first century A.D. Some of the disciples would still be alive when Jesus returned in judgment.
I Peter 1:20, written to the “strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” and speaking of Christ,
“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”
When was Christ made manifest? When did He appear on earth? We know he appeared in the first century A.D. Therefore, the “last times” referred to in I Peter and elsewhere in the New Testament occurred during the first century A.D. (A = B, and B = C, therefore A must = C.)
I Peter 4:7, still writing to the strangers above, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”
I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
I John 2:18, written to the saints of the churches approx. A.D. 65, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
The prefix “anti” means against. An antichrist is anyone who is against Christ, or denies Christ. There have been many antichrists, even during Jesus’ earthly ministry of his first appearance, and especially during the final days of the old covenant before the judgment against Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
There is a wonderful site that provides well researched data about the dating of the books of the New Testament. You can find it here: http://www.datingthenewtestament.com/John.htm.
This site recognizes the inconsistencies held and taught by the church “fathers” for the letters of John and for Revelation. This is important because moving the book of Revelation out of time and place distorts much doctrine.
After many years of research, prompted by these distortions, I am well convinced that Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, around AD 66-68, and that one of its purposes, besides the obvious coming in judgment of the adulterous harlot, Jerusalem, was a coded warning to the Christians of the first century about the coming persecution under Nero; encouragement to endure unto death; and, signs to watch for so they would know when to get out of Jerusalem.
The study of Revelation itself requires a joint study with the Old Testament, and knowledge of the secular history of both the Roman Empire and Israel, which is a greater project than this study. But, we cannot attempt any such study of Revelation successfully without first knowing the time it was written, and the people to and for whom it was written.
Facts to consider:
1. Robert Young, Young’s Analytical concordance, concerning the book of Revelation:
“It was written in Patmos about A.D. 68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syria version of the book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus in A.D. 175, who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou – i.e., Domitius (Nero). Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the early date.”
2. The persecution that occurred under Nero was terrible in both intensity and kind. The Christians were jailed, stoned, scourged, beheaded, served to the lions in the Colosseum for the entertainment of the Romans, and dipped in oil, hung upside, and lit as lamps for Nero’s garden parties. In contrast, few Christians were persecuted under Domitian, and such little persecution cannot be considered a true justification for the warning or encouragement as was needed under that of Nero.
3. The city of Jerusalem and the temple are shown as still standing in Rev 11:1. If the destruction of Jerusalem had already occurred at the writing of the book of Revelation, its impact upon the lives of the Jews could hardly have been ignored in the scripture!
4. Peter and Paul – the two witnesses – are referred to in Rev. 11:3-14 as still living.
5. The sixth emperor, Nero, was still on the throne when John wrote Rev.17:10.
6. The number 666 spells Caesar Nero. (Refer to: http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/what-is-the-meaning-of-666/ ) This is recognized by many scholars.
7. The reference to the “synagogue of Satan” in Rev 2:9, and Rev. 3:9 meant that the practicing Jews who rejected Christ were still troubling the churches, which would not occur as frequently after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
The fact that Jesus labels them a “synagogue of Satan” indicates these Jews are anathema, practicing a form of worship no longer authorized by God, and therefore were idolaters, as any worship outside of the proscribed covenant of God is idol worship. The old covenant having been removed from God’s grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was abolished, set aside. So everyone continuing in that practice was outside of God’s grace. One cannot support Judaism and still be considered a Christian!
8. Rev. 1:1, “…to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…”
The opening verse of the book states the purpose and timing. The early date is well supported, as Revelation states these things were going to come about shortly. Indeed the persecution under Nero began late in A.D. 64 and lasted 3 ½ years till mid A.D. 68. The wars against Judea began about A.D. 66, and the campaigns were waged right up to the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple 3 ½ years later in A.D. 70. Much of Revelation came to pass within the 3 ½ years as prophesied by Daniel 12:7, “…for a time, times, and an half…”
9. Rev. 1:3, “the time is at hand…” and Rev. 22:10 repeats “…for the time is at hand.”
These words have the same meaning as when they were used elsewhere in the Bible. They mean soon. In Matt. 26:18, within days of His crucifixion, Jesus said, “My time is at hand.” In 2 Tim. 4:6, shortly before his execution, Paul states, “and the time of my departure is at hand.” These words have the same meaning that they had in Deut. 32:35, when God warns His people Israel of a coming judgment, “for the day of their calamity is at hand…” In every instance, these words meant time was short. The time was close. It would happen in their near future. The thought cannot support a 2,000 year delay.
The dream of Daniel 7 was the prelude. Revelation is the signified (coded and signed) warning to His people that judgment was at their door, and to know the signs so they could leave Jerusalem before the Roman siege. Josephus records that the Christians left Jerusalem.
There are many more internal evidences. There are many early church “fathers” well versed in the scriptures who recognized that Revelation was written before A.D. 70 and was about the judgment against Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem. Adam Clarke’s commentary on Daniel 9, Matthew 24, Luke 21 and all of Revelation are most helpful. Foy E. Wallace’s book on Revelation discusses its symbolism in great detail. Frederick William Farrar’s books The Early Days of Christianity and The History of Interpretation should be included. I also highly recommend the books, Before Jerusalem Fell, by Kenneth L. Gentry, and Last Days Madness, by Gary DeMar. Both are well researched and documented. A good beginning study of Revelation is Revelation Explained by Kurt Simmons, available at http://preteristcentral.com/.
The book of Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, was coded and signified to the early Christians of the first century so that the antichrist Nero, who was on the thrown at the time of its writing, would not likely understand it, and included the three battle fronts of the destruction of Jerusalem, and God’s judgment upon Israel and the surrounding nations in treaty with her, as well as Rome. Lifting the judgment out of the first century A.D. adds to the scripture and is destruction for those who advocate the late date.
Today, we live in the days of His church and His spiritual kingdom. Christ reigns today at the right hand of the Father, and continues to come in judgment against wicked and unrighteous men. He continues to judge the nations from Heaven just as He has always done.
We, who put on Christ through baptism, have symbolically taken part in His death, burial, and resurrection, are covered by His blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, and already have eternal life. If you have done so, you are in the body of His church, and are already in His kingdom.
Part VI will discuss the geneses of the futuristic view of Revelation, and some of the consequences we have been forced to live with for the last 165 years, or so. I hope you will take the time to carefully review Parts I – V, as Part VI relies upon them.