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  • Digging in the archives here...

    I hope I will be pardoned for not reading every page of this thread before I post something. I'd just like to address the original challenge by Darfius in the OP...about the four "angels" bound at the Euphrates, and the "third of men" who died in this particular "second woe" judgment (which was the same as the sixth angel's trumpet judgment).

    In the first place, let me say that I agree with Darfius' first comments about the "sons of God" who "left their first estate" to marry human women and thus produce an unclean, hybrid angel / human progeny in the days before Noah's flood. But, setting that whole discussion aside, the particular "angels" in Revelation 9:14-15 were NOT celestial creatures. The word for "angels" in Greek simply means "messenger" - whether human or divine messengers. It just depends on the scripture context as to which one is intended. And in this Revelation 9 context, these were HUMAN messengers that were first "bound at the Euphrates", and then "loosed" at a very specific hour, day, month, and year to slay the third part of men.

    The entire account of this sixth trumpet judgment (the second woe) is prophesied in great detail, starting in Revelation 9:13 and finishing up finally in Revelation 11:14. It is a fascinating story about a particular period that Josephus (without realizing the connection) already covered in his Wars accounts (Wars 4.4-5). Many specific numbers Josephus mentioned are an exact match with the Revelation sixth-trumpet prophecy, which had predicted the whole story beforehand. This story involved the Idumean troops which were tricked into invading Jerusalem a year or so after the Jewish war with the Romans had begun in AD 66.

    At that time, there were THREE factions then present in Jerusalem that were contending with one another for supremacy. Put a red flag beside these 3 numbers. #1, the moderate priesthood faction led by Ananas, son of Annas, a former high priest who wanted to retain stability to preserve a functioning temple system. #2, Eleazar and his radical Zealot followers, and #3, the conniving rebel leader John of Gischala, who played both of the other sides against each other in order to advance his own position. Hoping to get rid of his rival Ananas, John instigated the whole Idumean invasion when he caused a rumor to be sent to the Idumeans that Ananas was planning to surrender the city to the Romans. Believing this lie, the war-mongering Idumeans immediately got together an army of *20,000 horsemen* - "TWO myriads of myriads" as the Greek has it in Rev. 9:16 (NOT the mistaken 200 MILLION amount that is so frequently mistranslated, since one "myriad" is only ten thousand).

    These 20,000 Idumean horsemen were led by no less and no more than FOUR commanders (Josephus lists these four by name). These were the "four angels" or "four messengers" of Rev. 9:14-15. When these 20,000 Idumean horsemen and their four commanders arrived at Jerusalem's main gates, they found that Ananus the former high priest had barred the gates against admitting them. In other words, they were "bound" at the entrance of the city. Just how does the River Euphrates come into this picture? Because Jerusalem, "that great city" in Revelation, was symbolically called "Babylon the Great", and ancient Babylon's entrance had its barred gates submerged in the middle of the River Euphrates which flowed into the city, virtually dividing it in two on either side. To be "bound at the Euphrates" meant that symbolically, the four Idumean commanders were denied entrance at the main gates of "Babylon the Great" (Jerusalem).

    This restriction enraged the Idumeans, who were not appeased even when Joshua (another moderate, former high priest) pleaded with them from over the wall to return to reason, telling the Idumeans that they had been duped into believing a lie. That night a "prodigious storm" broke out at Jerusalem, with "the bellowings of an earthquake" Josephus said (which was the "great earthquake" at Jerusalem that Revelation 11:13 predicted). Under cover of the noise generated by the storm, the Zealot faction opposed to the moderate high priest Ananas' party managed to saw open the bars of Jerusalem's gates and "loosed" the four commanders and the Idumean army of 20,000 through those gates into the city, to attack Ananus and those under his command. This was very similar to the one-night takedown of ancient Babylon by Cyrus, whose army broke into ancient Babylon that night of Belshazzar's feast by going under the River Euphrates' barred gates. Cyrus had diverted the flow of the Euphratese into other channels, and thus lowered the water level enough so that his army could go underneath the submerged Euphrates gates, thus taking down the empire of the Chaldeans in a single night.

    By the next morning, Josephus wrote that between the earthquake and the Idumean and Zealot attack, there were 8,000 men that were dead, including the murder of both former high priests, Ananus and Joshua (the "two witnesses"). This 8,000 number seems to be on target with Rev. 11:13, which says "there were slain of men 7,000" in that same hour as the storm. This number of casualties in the sixth trumpet judgment is the equivalent of "the third part of men" who were slain by the two myriads of horsemen in Rev. 9:15 This was NOT a third part of men in the entire globe, because this prophecy was describing an event that would take place in Jerusalem alone - "where Christ was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).

    With the death of the two former high priests, that entire moderate THIRD faction of Ananas' men in the city was destroyed. Those two high priests who had labored so hard to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem against the rebellious Zealots had their dead bodies stripped naked and left unburied in the streets of Jerusalem by their enemies (as Rev. 11:9 predicted). Their enemies stood on the dead bodies of these two "by way of jest", Josephus said, and scolded their carcases for being the cause of the attack on the city. Revelation 11:10 said that those dwelling on the earth (tes ges - the land of Israel) would rejoice at the death of the two witnesses who had tormented them. This the Zealots did, once the moderate high priesthood party had been eliminated. After that, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were left defenseless against the unrestrained hands of the other two warring factions, who preyed on them equally from then on.

    A bit of a long story, but with a mixture of BOTH literal and symbolic included. And anyone who is fearfully anticipating this event in our future needs to relax. The angel's sixth trumpet judgment has been fulfilled to the letter looooong ago.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by 3 Resurrections View Post
      Digging in the archives here...

      I hope I will be pardoned for not reading every page of this thread before I post something. I'd just like to address the original challenge by Darfius in the OP...about the four "angels" bound at the Euphrates, and the "third of men" who died in this particular "second woe" judgment (which was the same as the sixth angel's trumpet judgment).

      In the first place, let me say that I agree with Darfius' first comments about the "sons of God" who "left their first estate" to marry human women and thus produce an unclean, hybrid angel / human progeny in the days before Noah's flood. But, setting that whole discussion aside, the particular "angels" in Revelation 9:14-15 were NOT celestial creatures. The word for "angels" in Greek simply means "messenger" - whether human or divine messengers. It just depends on the scripture context as to which one is intended. And in this Revelation 9 context, these were HUMAN messengers that were first "bound at the Euphrates", and then "loosed" at a very specific hour, day, month, and year to slay the third part of men
      Out of the 186 instances of "aggelos" in the Greek New Testament, all but five instances are translated as angel or angels, including every instance of the word in Revelation except perhaps if your special pleading here can be vindicated. And of the five instances where the word is translated messenger, two of them still clearly reference angelic beings. That you are suggesting that the word does not at the very least heavily infer a supernatural being is disingenuous at best. It also remains to be seen why an angel would be commanded to free human beings who were never bound and who it turns out "freed" themselves by sawing open city gates. As usual, the preterist interpretation is not only arbitrary and redundant, but makes even the words God Himself speaks nonsensical.

      The entire account of this sixth trumpet judgment (the second woe) is prophesied in great detail, starting in Revelation 9:13 and finishing up finally in Revelation 11:14. It is a fascinating story about a particular period that Josephus (without realizing the connection) already covered in his Wars accounts (Wars 4.4-5). Many specific numbers Josephus mentioned are an exact match with the Revelation sixth-trumpet prophecy, which had predicted the whole story beforehand. This story involved the Idumean troops which were tricked into invading Jerusalem a year or so after the Jewish war with the Romans had begun in AD 66.
      So when is John supposed to have authored Revelation by your account?

      At that time, there were THREE factions then present in Jerusalem that were contending with one another for supremacy. Put a red flag beside these 3 numbers. #1, the moderate priesthood faction led by Ananas, son of Annas, a former high priest who wanted to retain stability to preserve a functioning temple system. #2, Eleazar and his radical Zealot followers, and #3, the conniving rebel leader John of Gischala, who played both of the other sides against each other in order to advance his own position. Hoping to get rid of his rival Ananas, John instigated the whole Idumean invasion when he caused a rumor to be sent to the Idumeans that Ananas was planning to surrender the city to the Romans. Believing this lie, the war-mongering Idumeans immediately got together an army of *20,000 horsemen* - "TWO myriads of myriads" as the Greek has it in Rev. 9:16 (NOT the mistaken 200 MILLION amount that is so frequently mistranslated, since one "myriad" is only ten thousand).
      Aside from the extreme unlikelihood that you know better than the vast majority of scholarly translators, the literal Greek is 'two ten thousand ten thousand", which is an awkward way to say 20,000, the second ten thousand being redundant were that the case. But like much of Revelation, John is making an allusion to past Scripture to strengthen the effect of what he is saying:

      Scripture Verse: Daniel 7:10

      A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

      © Copyright Original Source



      These 20,000 Idumean horsemen were led by no less and no more than FOUR commanders (Josephus lists these four by name). These were the "four angels" or "four messengers" of Rev. 9:14-15. When these 20,000 Idumean horsemen and their four commanders arrived at Jerusalem's main gates, they found that Ananus the former high priest had barred the gates against admitting them. In other words, they were "bound" at the entrance of the city. Just how does the River Euphrates come into this picture? Because Jerusalem, "that great city" in Revelation, was symbolically called "Babylon the Great", and ancient Babylon's entrance had its barred gates submerged in the middle of the River Euphrates which flowed into the city, virtually dividing it in two on either side. To be "bound at the Euphrates" meant that symbolically, the four Idumean commanders were denied entrance at the main gates of "Babylon the Great" (Jerusalem).
      Again, why couldn't John merely say "the four leaders of the Idumeans at Jerusalem" if that were what he meant? This is not even a case of hiding his true intent from the Romans as I've heard preterists plead before, since you claim John is discussing an attack on Jews by Jews. Even your arbitrary symbolic interpretation is twice removed, since John doesn't say the aggelos are bound "at that great city", but rather at the Euphrates, which we must then believe to really refer to Babylon which really refers to Jerusalem, a claim which you don't even bother to provide evidence for.

      This restriction enraged the Idumeans, who were not appeased even when Joshua (another moderate, former high priest) pleaded with them from over the wall to return to reason, telling the Idumeans that they had been duped into believing a lie. That night a "prodigious storm" broke out at Jerusalem, with "the bellowings of an earthquake" Josephus said (which was the "great earthquake" at Jerusalem that Revelation 11:13 predicted). Under cover of the noise generated by the storm, the Zealot faction opposed to the moderate high priest Ananas' party managed to saw open the bars of Jerusalem's gates and "loosed" the four commanders and the Idumean army of 20,000 through those gates into the city, to attack Ananus and those under his command. This was very similar to the one-night takedown of ancient Babylon by Cyrus, whose army broke into ancient Babylon that night of Belshazzar's feast by going under the River Euphrates' barred gates. Cyrus had diverted the flow of the Euphratese into other channels, and thus lowered the water level enough so that his army could go underneath the submerged Euphrates gates, thus taking down the empire of the Chaldeans in a single night.
      Did this "great earthquake" destroy a tenth of the city and kill 7,000 people? And in what way did an angel loose the four angels/messengers if they sawed open the gate themselves? That is convoluted at best and hardly worthy to be called a "revelation of Jesus Christ".

      By the next morning, Josephus wrote that between the earthquake and the Idumean and Zealot attack, there were 8,000 men that were dead, including the murder of both former high priests, Ananus and Joshua (the "two witnesses"). This 8,000 number seems to be on target with Rev. 11:13, which says "there were slain of men 7,000" in that same hour as the storm. This number of casualties in the sixth trumpet judgment is the equivalent of "the third part of men" who were slain by the two myriads of horsemen in Rev. 9:15 This was NOT a third part of men in the entire globe, because this prophecy was describing an event that would take place in Jerusalem alone - "where Christ was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).
      The verse says the men died as a direct result of the earthquake, not "between the earthquake and the Idumean and Zealot attack." God doesn't speak in ballpark figures. Revelation 9 opens with an event clearly global in scope: an angel releasing other supernatural beings from the Abyss (how about that, an angel releasing bound supernatural agents right before the disputed passage where an angel releases bound supernatural agents). These supernatural agents are told not to harm "the grass of the earth...except for those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads."

      And in what possible way could two "moderate" Jewish priests be the two witnesses of Jesus Christ?

      With the death of the two former high priests, that entire moderate THIRD faction of Ananas' men in the city was destroyed. Those two high priests who had labored so hard to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem against the rebellious Zealots had their dead bodies stripped naked and left unburied in the streets of Jerusalem by their enemies (as Rev. 11:9 predicted). Their enemies stood on the dead bodies of these two "by way of jest", Josephus said, and scolded their carcases for being the cause of the attack on the city. Revelation 11:10 said that those dwelling on the earth (tes ges - the land of Israel) would rejoice at the death of the two witnesses who had tormented them. This the Zealots did, once the moderate high priesthood party had been eliminated. After that, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were left defenseless against the unrestrained hands of the other two warring factions, who preyed on them equally from then on.

      A bit of a long story, but with a mixture of BOTH literal and symbolic included. And anyone who is fearfully anticipating this event in our future needs to relax. The angel's sixth trumpet judgment has been fulfilled to the letter looooong ago.
      The truth emerges. This winding, unbelievable, unbiblical narrative is about soothing the fears of those who rightfully fear God's coming judgment on the world, not deciphering truth through the lens of Scripture.

      Comment


      • Evening Darfius,

        You have given an arbitrary count by your own estimation of just how many times the Greek "aggelos" refers to a celestial messenger, and how many times it speaks of a human messenger. There are more instances of human messengers (aggelos) in scripture than you suppose. This Revelation 9:14-15 reference to the 4 "aggelos" human messengers is one of them.

        The 20,000 number of horsemen (the two myriads of myriads) led by those 4 Idumean commanders / messengers is meant to hark back to Psalms 68:17. It's just as you said, Darfius, "John was making an allusion to past scripture to strengthen the effect of what he was saying." Psalms 68:17 reads, "The chariots of God are TWENTY THOUSAND, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place." Besides being a very specific number of horsemen that John heard in the vision, these two myriads were also meant to indicate that God's own battle strength of CELESTIAL 20,000 chariots was behind His use of these HUMAN 20,000 horsemen for a very specific purpose He had in mind. A purpose that had been determined and fixed for a very specific hour, day, month and year on the calendar. That purpose was to physically set aside the remnants of the formerly-approved Zadok high priesthood forever. Ananus and Joshua as former high priests were both Sadducees. Many have identified the "Sadducee" term as derived from the "Zadok" family name.

        The problem with Israel at that time was that they were refusing to acknowledge that God had set aside His formerly-approved Zadok family of the high priesthood (set up after the post-exilic return in Ezekiel 44:15-16) in favor of Christ's superior high priesthood based on the order of Melchizedek. To stubbornly cling to the former Zadok high priesthood was to make an idol of it after Jesus's anointing as our high priest had changed the law in this respect. God gave Israel a space to repent, but the majority did not. So, to make it very obvious that God had forever laid that former Zadok order of the high priesthood aside, He had to make a highly-visible physical demonstration to the Jews of those high priesthood members losing their lives. These two, Ananus and Joshua, were called "two witnesses", not because they were witnesses of Jesus's gospel, but because the high priesthood role was ever supposed to have served as God's witness to the people. They alone in the OT were to "stand before the Lord", to minister, and to keep His charge. And typically, there were supposed to be two high priests, with one "sagan" serving as a back-up, in case the other became ritually unclean in some way, and unable to fulfill his duties on the Day of Atonement. In addition, the number of TWO of them also aligned with God's requirement that "in the mouth of two witnesses let every word be established."

        You may think, Darfius, that this sixth trumpet judgment was to take place on a global scale, but that's not the setting where we see this taking place. It was in JERUSALEM, "where our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8) that provided the location for the death of these two witnesses, (Ananus and Joshua, the former high priests). Anytime that Revelation uses the term "the EARTH", (tes ges), typically in scripture this refers to "the LAND" - of Israel. When it intends to show a global event, typically scripture uses the word "oikoumene", meaning the entire habitable world. And there ARE references in Revelation that use this term also.

        Just not in Revelation 9. What you think are "supernatural agents" (the "locusts") in Revelation 9 aren't that at all. Those "crowns like gold" and "hair like women" is descriptive of the first-century helmets worn by Roman soldiers, trimmed with a narrow gold forehead band, and trailing horsehair from a "crista" mounted on top. Want a link to a pic? We have unearthed samples of these very same helmets found in rubbish pits in Colchester England from the AD 60 Roman war with Queen Boudicca. Roman soldiers wearing this very same style of helmet were tormenting the Judean citizens for five literal months (May - September of AD 66) under the evil encouragement of the Judean procurator, Gessius Florus. He was was trying to goad the Jews into rebellion by his tormenting actions against the people in Israel, and he totally succeeded. Gessius Florus was the "destroyer" (the meaning of the names Abaddon and Apollyon) who is described in Revelation 9:11 - the leader of those Roman soldiers termed "locusts" who were tormenting those living in Israel at the time. Josephus tells the whole story of Gessius Florus' evil motives and torments inflicted upon the people he was supposed to be governing in Wars 2.14-16.

        You asked when John was supposed to have authored Revelation. It is proved, not by MY account, but by scripture's own internal evidence, that it was written in a narrow window of time somewhere between late AD 59 and early AD 60, just before the predicted Laodicean earthquake that decimated that city. If you need a link to a comment I made on another site that lists about a dozen scriptures that narrow down this date, I can supply that if you wish.

        As to the deaths incurred "IN the earthquake" (not "BY the earthquake), this was 7,000 men "SLAIN", which connotes a BATTLE - not just a reference to the storm and earthquake phenomena going on at the "same hour". The "tenth part" of the city of Jerusalem falling displays only a PARTIAL destruction of its infrastructure that took place at that time - not yet the total destruction which occurred at the close of AD 70 when every stone would be leveled with the ground.

        The sixth angel which was told to "loose" the 4 messengers did so by God supernaturally providing the occasion of the unusual storm and earthquake that night. This gave enough covering noise that the Zealots were enabled to elude Ananus's guards and to saw the bars of the gates open to admit the Idumean army of 20,000 waiting outside Jerusalem.

        It is not my intention to supply historical proofs of these past fulfilled events merely to "soothe the fears" of a coming judgment. I very much believe that our present and very near future will bring a chaotic close to a 6th millennium age, leading to the last 7th millennium period of fallen man's history on this planet. I call this rapidly approaching transition "God's Y2K". But that's a discussion for another post.
        Last edited by 3 Resurrections; 03-13-2021, 08:08 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by 3 Resurrections View Post
          Evening Darfius,
          Hello, 3 Resurrections. I have an abrupt manner by nature, but I softened my usual approach in my last post because you were respectful yourself. Thank you. You're wrong, but it's refreshing to find a thoughtful, courteous preterist.

          You have given an arbitrary count by your own estimation of just how many times the Greek "aggelos" refers to a celestial messenger, and how many times it speaks of a human messenger. There are more instances of human messengers (aggelos) in scripture than you suppose. This Revelation 9:14-15 reference to the 4 "aggelos" human messengers is one of them.
          It's not arbitrary. I looked up the occurrences, read through them and the context of each instance translated angel makes it obvious it is a supernatural being. And again, there's a reason the scholars whose field of knowledge this is translated the word that way.

          The 20,000 number of horsemen (the two myriads of myriads) led by those 4 Idumean commanders / messengers is meant to hark back to Psalms 68:17. It's just as you said, Darfius, "John was making an allusion to past scripture to strengthen the effect of what he was saying." Psalms 68:17 reads, "The chariots of God are TWENTY THOUSAND, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place." Besides being a very specific number of horsemen that John heard in the vision, these two myriads were also meant to indicate that God's own battle strength of CELESTIAL 20,000 chariots was behind His use of these HUMAN 20,000 horsemen for a very specific purpose He had in mind. A purpose that had been determined and fixed for a very specific hour, day, month and year on the calendar. That purpose was to physically set aside the remnants of the formerly-approved Zadok high priesthood forever. Ananus and Joshua as former high priests were both Sadducees. Many have identified the "Sadducee" term as derived from the "Zadok" family name.
          You did not address why John would use the redundant phrase "myriads of myriads". Is he the idiot or is God? Or is the alternative of multiplication intended?

          And Psalm 68:17 in the Septuagint [Psalm 67:18 there] uses "chilias", which means thousands, not murias, though murias is used elsewhere. Here's a good juxtaposition of the two words I found while looking that up:

          Scripture Verse: Revelation 5

          Rev 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand [murias] times ten thousand, and thousands [chilias] of thousands;

          © Copyright Original Source



          That settles it. This is an even more direct allusion to the Daniel passage in Revelation itself where the same "murias murias" clearly means ten thousand times ten thousand.

          And the purpose of the four angels being released does not need to be speculated about. The verse itself states it was "to kill a third of mankind." How you get the "Zadok high priesthood" from that involves a very clear trail of absurd leaps in reasoning. Don't presume to speak for God.

          The problem with Israel at that time was that they were refusing to acknowledge that God had set aside His formerly-approved Zadok family of the high priesthood (set up after the post-exilic return in Ezekiel 44:15-16) in favor of Christ's superior high priesthood based on the order of Melchizedek. To stubbornly cling to the former Zadok high priesthood was to make an idol of it after Jesus's anointing as our high priest had changed the law in this respect. God gave Israel a space to repent, but the majority did not. So, to make it very obvious that God had forever laid that former Zadok order of the high priesthood aside, He had to make a highly-visible physical demonstration to the Jews of those high priesthood members losing their lives. These two, Ananus and Joshua, were called "two witnesses", not because they were witnesses of Jesus's gospel, but because the high priesthood role was ever supposed to have served as God's witness to the people. They alone in the OT were to "stand before the Lord", to minister, and to keep His charge. And typically, there were supposed to be two high priests, with one "sagan" serving as a back-up, in case the other became ritually unclean in some way, and unable to fulfill his duties on the Day of Atonement. In addition, the number of TWO of them also aligned with God's requirement that "in the mouth of two witnesses let every word be established."
          There is so much wrong with this paragraph:

          1. The post-exilic return involves all of the tribes as made most abundantly clear in Ezekiel 37 and Revelation 7, not the three tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi.
          2. The two witnesses are called "two witnesses of Me" in the Greek, with the "Me" obviously being Christ. They witness of Him.
          3. The two witnesses have the power to do many things these two Jewish priests did not do, including destroy their enemies by fire.
          4. The two witnesses are killed by the beast, not "Idumeans".

          You may think, Darfius, that this sixth trumpet judgment was to take place on a global scale, but that's not the setting where we see this taking place. It was in JERUSALEM, "where our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8) that provided the location for the death of these two witnesses, (Ananus and Joshua, the former high priests). Anytime that Revelation uses the term "the EARTH", (tes ges), typically in scripture this refers to "the LAND" - of Israel. When it intends to show a global event, typically scripture uses the word "oikoumene", meaning the entire habitable world. And there ARE references in Revelation that use this term also.
          You have not yet shown why Revelation 9 and Revelation 11 have anything to do with each other.

          Scripture Verse: Revelation 9

          20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

          © Copyright Original Source



          What is meant by "the rest of mankind" if this is not a global event? Have you not just finished explaining how the Jews were defending a Zadokite run Temple system? What is this talk of worshipping demons and idols?

          Just not in Revelation 9. What you think are "supernatural agents" (the "locusts") in Revelation 9 aren't that at all. Those "crowns like gold" and "hair like women" is descriptive of the first-century helmets worn by Roman soldiers, trimmed with a narrow gold forehead band, and trailing horsehair from a "crista" mounted on top. Want a link to a pic? We have unearthed samples of these very same helmets found in rubbish pits in Colchester England from the AD 60 Roman war with Queen Boudicca. Roman soldiers wearing this very same style of helmet were tormenting the Judean citizens for five literal months (May - September of AD 66) under the evil encouragement of the Judean procurator, Gessius Florus. He was was trying to goad the Jews into rebellion by his tormenting actions against the people in Israel, and he totally succeeded. Gessius Florus was the "destroyer" (the meaning of the names Abaddon and Apollyon) who is described in Revelation 9:11 - the leader of those Roman soldiers termed "locusts" who were tormenting those living in Israel at the time. Josephus tells the whole story of Gessius Florus' evil motives and torments inflicted upon the people he was supposed to be governing in Wars 2.14-16.
          Why is Florus depictied as coming up out of the Abyss? Can you explain what that really means for me and the vast majority of the rest of humanity in the 2,000 years since Revelation who did not have access to Josephus' "Wars of the Jews"?

          You asked when John was supposed to have authored Revelation. It is proved, not by MY account, but by scripture's own internal evidence, that it was written in a narrow window of time somewhere between late AD 59 and early AD 60, just before the predicted Laodicean earthquake that decimated that city. If you need a link to a comment I made on another site that lists about a dozen scriptures that narrow down this date, I can supply that if you wish.
          It makes no difference to the futurist approach whether John wrote Revelation pre or post 70 AD, I was just wondering who you supposed his intended audience to be and why he needed so many chapters in Revelation to describe a couple of events local to Jerusalem.

          The sixth angel which was told to "loose" the 4 messengers did so by God supernaturally providing the occasion of the unusual storm and earthquake that night. This gave enough covering noise that the Zealots were enabled to elude Ananus's guards and to saw the bars of the gates open to admit the Idumean army of 20,000 waiting outside Jerusalem.
          This is the loosest interpretation of loose that I have ever seen, pun intended.

          It is not my intention to supply historical proofs of these past fulfilled events merely to "soothe the fears" of a coming judgment. I very much believe that our present and very near future will bring a chaotic close to a 6th millennium age, leading to the last 7th millennium period of fallen man's history on this planet. I call this rapidly approaching transition "God's Y2K". But that's a discussion for another post.
          I am fine with supposing that God provided a partial "near" fulfillment of endtime prophecy using Jerusalem and the Jews as a forewarning of what would happen on a global scale in the end days. Near and far double fulfillments are all throughout Scripture, i.e., Immanuel, David having a "son" who would build God's temple (Solomon and Jesus), return from exile (some prophecies of which were written after the return from Babylon at the end of 70 years). But preterism is absurd, contradictory and dangerous. I am glad to hear you are aware of the coming chaos, however. I'd be interested in seeing that "discussion for another post".

          Comment


          • Evening again Darfius,

            You are a rare soul if you have the patience to sift through my multiplied paragraphs and offer a point-by-point critique. Sorry, it's a weakness of mine - not being able to condense thoughts into something more succinct.

            Let me cover the easiest point of your objections first: that Revelation chapter 9 and Revelation chapter 11 are not related. Simply put, Revelation 11:14 is the culmination of the sixth trumpet, which started all the way back in Revelation 9:13. The single verse Revelation 9:12 introduces the 'second woe" out of a group of the final "three woes" (which three are the same as the 5th trumpet, 6th trumpet, and 7th trumpet). It says, "One woe is past" (the 5th trumpet that had just sounded), "and behold, there come two woes more hereafter" (which would be the 6th trumpet and 7th trumpet coming up). "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice..." etc. So, after Revelation 9:12 we follow the events of this sixth trumpet (the "second woe") on past Revelation 9:13, and all the way until we are told about the 7th trumpet sounding (the "third woe" finally being sounded), which is in Revelation 11:14-15. It says, "The second woe is past; and behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded;..." etc..

            This means that any prophetic material covered between Revelation 9:13 and Revelation 11:14 involves the "loosing" of the 4 messengers and their army of 20,000, as well as the details surrounding the death of the two witnesses along with the 7,000 slain, and the earthquake, etc., that would all take place under the sixth trumpet (the "second woe"). Do you remember Jesus predicting a "BEGINNING of sorrows", even BEFORE the Great Tribulation would start? That shows us a definite escalation of events that would abruptly crank up at a certain point, which would then kick the Great Tribulation into high gear. This is why the angel in Revelation 8:13 at the end of the chapter abruptly pronounced with a loud voice, "WOE, WOE, WOE, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" This shows a clear transition from the former four trumpet judgments (which were milder by comparison as being the introductory "BEGINNING of sorrows" Jesus spoke of). Those four comparatively milder preceding trumpets were then followed by the "GREAT Tribulation", which encompassed the final three trumpets that were considerably more intense in the carnage they created.

            If you have studied first-century events, this is exactly what happened chronologically. The Zealot cause of insurrection against Rome was simmering on the back burner, even before Jesus' ministry started, just waiting for an opportunity to break out. As the "BEGINNING of sorrows", wars and rumors of wars then cranked up (for which we have records). Earthquakes in divers places with increased seismic activity in those decades were recorded for us also. Among other incidents, Vesuvius even erupted violently in AD 63, producing a tsunami that sank some 300 ships in the Roman Ostia harbor, ruining the entire year's grain supply for Rome (part of "the sea and the waves roaring" Jesus predicted). Seneca wrote a book "Concerning Earthquakes" at that time which mentioned this. Plagues, and famines, such as the world-wide famine in Claudius' day that Agabus predicted in Acts 11:28, were also recorded. Nation against nation, such as the nation of Samaria versus the Jews in AD 52, Rome versus the Parthians, and the AD 60 war with Queen Boudicca in Britain, etc., etc.. Christ told His disciples that ALL that complete list of sorrows from Luke 21:8 through 28, including all the Great Tribulation events just prior to His return, were ALL "ABOUT TO COME TO PASS" for the disciples in that generation (Luke 21:36). Bar none.

            Gessius Florus and the "locust" Roman troops under his command (prophesied in Revelation 9:3-11) provided the final five-months of intolerable torment for the Jewish citizens which finally goaded them into a full-scale revolt in the land of Israel. That breaking point came in the autumn of AD 66, when Eleazar, governor of the Temple, officially made the break with Roman governance by abandoning the agreed-upon daily sacrifice for Rome and the emperor, followed by the Zealot attack on the Roman garrison at the Fortress of Antonia and the Roman troops at Masada. Rev. 12:12 proves that Satan and his demons were already "loosed" on the earth for that short time back then. They were operating at full throttle behind the seething antagonism that arose between all these factions, whipping them all into a boiling froth that finally spilled over into the Jewish-Roman war. After all, Christ had already predicted that His generation would be oppressed by a 7-fold increase of demonic activity during its "last state". This would be infinitely worse than its "first state" when He and the disciples had been casting out demons in virtually every town He visited during His ministry (Matt. 12:43-45).

            To "come up out of the abyss" (abysson) is to be understood - NOT as a particular LOCATION per se, but as a CONDITION. Or to be specific, a NON-FUNCTIONAL CONDITION. It is this "abyss" condition that Christ Himself emerged from at His resurrection. In Romans 10:7, Christ descended to the "abyss" in death (for 3 days and 3 nights). Christ's dead body while in the sepulcher was definitely in a non-functioning condition. This "abyss" is depicted as being "bottomless" to illustrate its capacity to hold any number of entities in the same inoperative condition at the same time. We do not need the aid of Josephus to understand this concept - just Romans 10:7. Gessius Florus, as Nero's newly-appointed governor of Judea who began to torment the citizens of Judea, could be said to "come up out of the abyss" by launching his oppressive regime against the Jews. Before then, he did not have license or opportunity to do so. It was in May of AD 66 when the Jews asked the visiting Roman commander, Cestius Gallus (whom Nero had just directed to do a census at Jerusalem during the Passover), to remove Gessius Florus from office, because even then he was acting abominably towards them. Florus only laughed at them, and as soon as Cestius Gallus ended his visit to Jerusalem, Florus unleashed his full fury for those next five months on the Jews who had complained against him. His goal was to get the Jews so tormented that they would declare war on Rome, so that his own wicked enterprises would be overlooked by Rome, in comparison to the greater threat of the Jewish revolt.

            You asked "who were the 'rest of men which were not killed by these plagues', if this is not a global event?" They are called the "rest of men" because this is referring to the other remaining 2/3 of the men (in Jerusalem) who were the other two factions left in power after Ananus's entire moderate party (of 7,000) was murdered during the night of the earthquake. Ananus and Joshua as leaders of the moderate party supporting the priesthood represented 1/3 of the factions present in Jerusalem at that time (the 1/3 part of men in the city). Once Ananus and Joshua (the two witnesses) and their 1 of the 3 existing factions in Jerusalem were killed, that left the "rest of men" - the other 2 of the 3 factions - to hold unrestrained power over Jerusalem's inhabitants. Without the restraint of Ananus's moderate party, this freed them to become absolutely tyrannical. They proceeded to set up their own mockery of the high priesthood by casting lots to elect Phannias - who had no idea what he was doing. Outright murder of the wealthiest citizens and theft of their possessions followed. It was a set of demon-possessed gangs that held sway in Jerusalem from then on, and they did not repent of their vile activities, fulfilling Revelation 9:20-21.

            The worship of "idols" going on in Jerusalem in AD 70 was mentioned all the way back in Zechariah 13:2, in the prophecy foretelling the nation of Israel's "siege both against Judah and Jerusalem". "IN THAT DAY", God, said, He "will cut off the names of the IDOLS out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered..." To give homage to any priesthood system or any so-called "Messiah" wannabe except for Jesus Christ and His New Covenant high priesthood - this amounted to idolatry in Jerusalem. If the Jews were going to insist on still clinging to the old elements which were dead and decaying, God had to wrench that system out of their grasp by having its representative members die off. That is the symbolism behind the particular families mentioned that would be mourning in Jerusalem in Zechariah 13:11-14 - the mourning families of the house of David, and Nathan, and Levi, and Shimei. No more genealogical royal house, or Levitical priesthood, or family that used to transport all the curtains that made the walls of the physical Tabernacle of Witness. All of these formerly-ordained things had since become idols competing with Jesus Christ, and consequently were being set aside as obsolete.

            A few thoughts on the "two myriads of myriads" number which you may not have thought of. Lets' presume for the sake of argument that you are correct in this being 200 MILLION army members. Once loosed, this army's attack would succeed in killing that 1/3 of men. This was the total of 7,000 men slain in Jerusalem during the occasion of the earthquake that same hour when the two witnesses were also murdered. A total of 7,0002 persons altogether. Now, according to the common view of Revelation 9:16 that usually interprets this as an army of 200 MILLION, it seems quite strange that it would take 200 MILLION horsemen to manage the killing of 7,002 individuals. Do the math. If I figured it correctly, that means it would require 28,563 horsemen to kill just ONE PERSON in the city of Jerusalem. That's an improbably ratio, and doesn't say very much about the superior battle skills of the proposed number of 200 MILLION that was supposed to be so overpowering in Revelation 9:17-19. If this number is actually 20,000 instead, as I have proposed for the "two myriads of myriads", the ratio of combatants is reduced to an approximate 3 to 1 ratio - a bit more realistic.

            That army of 20,000 Idumean horsemen led by their 4 commanders was only fulfilling the intentions of the Scarlet Beast that was then operating in Jerusalem. John of Gischala and the other Zealot factions as part of that Scarlet Beast were the real cause of the Idumean attack in Jerusalem. THEY were part of the entity that had deliberately arranged to get rid of Ananus's moderate party members which had tormented them by holding them in check until the two witnesses and their moderate party were all murdered. The Idumeans were only the convenient tool that was used to accomplish the Scarlet Beast's designs.

            Waaaay too long a post comment!! Sorry about that, Darfius. I can get into the description of the two witnesses' powers in another comment later. And they DO match up with the role of a high priest; particularly what was going on during those years from AD 66-70.

            Comment


            • Hello, 3 Resurrections,

              I think it would be counterproductive to engage in an exchange of point by point rebuttals now that our main positions have been established. I will take issue with one thing you argued, however:

              A few thoughts on the "two myriads of myriads" number which you may not have thought of. Lets' presume for the sake of argument that you are correct in this being 200 MILLION army members. Once loosed, this army's attack would succeed in killing that 1/3 of men. This was the total of 7,000 men slain in Jerusalem during the occasion of the earthquake that same hour when the two witnesses were also murdered. A total of 7,0002 persons altogether. Now, according to the common view of Revelation 9:16 that usually interprets this as an army of 200 MILLION, it seems quite strange that it would take 200 MILLION horsemen to manage the killing of 7,002 individuals. Do the math. If I figured it correctly, that means it would require 28,563 horsemen to kill just ONE PERSON in the city of Jerusalem. That's an improbably ratio, and doesn't say very much about the superior battle skills of the proposed number of 200 MILLION that was supposed to be so overpowering in Revelation 9:17-19. If this number is actually 20,000 instead, as I have proposed for the "two myriads of myriads", the ratio of combatants is reduced to an approximate 3 to 1 ratio - a bit more realistic.
              This is textbook eisegesis. Rather than allow the text to inform your position, you are ignoring the plain meaning of the text to force your theory onto it. The number is 200 million because John is describing an endtime global event

              That being said, you did not address my contention that God always planned for a double fulfillment of His endtime prophecies. The destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews was indeed an apocalyptic event for them, so it is fitting to expect that the Lord tried to prepare them for it. But the Jews were not the sum total of God's people and Paul especially makes a point to stress that the same thing that befell the Jews could befall Christians ("Gentiles") if they made the same mistakes Jews did. The modern parallel to Jews thinking they were "saved" because of their descent from Abraham is the modern "Christian" notion that they are saved "by the blood of Jesus" with no obedience (faith) required on their parts. That is why the world is currently under the control of the wicked one and his servants rather than having been conquered for Christ and why God has always intended a global judgment to destroy the kingdoms of this world and replace them with His kingdom physically as well as spiritually.

              Comment


              • Hi again Darfius,

                Our current state of corrupt world affairs is not due to any current existence of "the Wicked One", whom God predicted in several prophecies that He would have "SLAIN" back in AD 70. Rather, the human "CHILDREN of the devil" (as Christ once termed the Pharisees back then), ever since Satan and his angels were all destroyed in the AD 70 Lake of Fire in Jerusalem, have since then been continuing to carry out the same "lusts of their Father" in imitation of Satan's former actions. Satan does not need to exist for the initial effects of his "murder" of mankind from the beginning to affect mankind's history all the way to its conclusion at the last, final judgment and 3rd resurrection event. My comments tend to be too lengthy as it is, which is why I did not already address your position of a certain kind of "double fulfillment". I'm not dodging you, Darfius - just trying to keep from wandering all over the map in our discussion and consequently wearying any of the readers.

                The subject of the "two myriads of myriads" is included in the revealed prophetic material about the near future in Revelation that was THEN "AT HAND" or "presently near" in John's days (as John's introduction in Rev. 1:3 and his conclusion in Rev. 22:10 clearly describe). It was the "end-time" of that particular AGE back then - not the "end-time" of ALL of human history on this planet that was the subject of those revealed prophecies. I Peter 4:7 once said that "the END of all things is AT HAND" or "presently near" during the time that Peter wrote those words (around AD 65). Since you and I are still here and history has continued since Peter wrote those words that applied to HIS generation, that denotes an "END" of some kind that was present back THEN that did NOT include the eventual end of human history.

                Not sure why you are categorizing my interpretation of the "two myriads of myriads" as being "textbook eisegesis". I'm using the actual context itself to determine just WHO that 1/3 of men killed actually was. And it CANNOT be a GLOBAL 1/3 of men slain by these "two myriads of myriads" because of the COMPLETE CONTEXT covered during this sixth trumpet judgment (from Revelation 9:12 through Revelation 11:14). This ENTIRE CONTEXT regarding the sixth trumpet judgment from Rev. 9:12 through Rev. 11: 14 determines that the "1/3 part of men" slain by them would amount to a total of 7,002 that were to be slain IN JERUSALEM, "where also our Lord was crucified". It was a LOCAL earthquake in the city of Jerusalem that was to take place, and a LOCAL slaying of 7,002 in the city, (including those two witnesses), by the hands of the "two myriads of myriads" and the four messengers that led them. It was going to be those that "dwelled on the earth" (tes ges - the land of Israel - NOT the entire habitable world - oikoumene) that would rejoice at the death of the two witnesses who had tormented them.

                While times since then have had and will continue to have regular periods of tribulation for the believers, there are certain elements of prophecy that simply CANNOT be repeated with a double fulfillment. One example is the un-repeatable eradication of the Satanic realm in AD 70, which has rid humanity of AT LEAST that one great "roaring lion" that the first-century believers had to deal with. That leaves the human "children of the devil" that are still contending with believers today, along with any remaining deception and wickedness lurking in our own hearts that we are to do battle with.

                If you would like me to address this kind of future fulfillment of prophecy, (which an ordinary Full-Preterist would vehemently deny), I will enter that as a separate topic on this forum, say, with perhaps the title "How many ages are there?"

                Comment


                • Hello again, 3 Resurrections, I hope you are well.

                  Please don't take offense to this, but it is delusional to suggest that the devil is not merely bound as most preterists claim but has already been cast into the lake of fire (doesn't that come at the end of the 1,000 years?) The 20th century alone saw more mass murder than the ancients could have conceived of and the Lord Jesus said that the time of the end would be more terrible than any time in history (precluding a first century fulfillment). Indeed, the seven year second world war was a type of the future tribulation and Hitler an obvious type of the Antichrist.

                  Speaking of context:

                  Scripture Verse: Revelation 11

                  11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

                  13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

                  © Copyright Original Source



                  Where in Josephus did he mention the resurrection of the two "moderate Jewish priests" before the eyes of those who killed them? Predictably, you will have to strain the meaning of the text beyond all semblance of what it actually says to explain that failed fulfillment away.

                  And in what way did the survivors "give glory to God?" Have you not argued that only acceptance of Christ constituted true worship and therefore glory to God? The Jews did not convert to Christians en masse in or around 70 AD. Cue more straining.

                  Let's also give some context to Peter's idea of "soon":

                  Scripture Verse: 2 Peter 3

                  3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

                  8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

                  10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

                  11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

                  © Copyright Original Source



                  Odd for Peter to say "in the last days" rather than "in these last days" if he meant his time period. Also odd for him to immediately explain how even thousands of years to God are "as a day" if he didn't mean to imply that the "coming" (with word links) of the Lord--which corresponded with judgment--would take thousands of years.

                  And the judgment he intends is also obviously global, since he makes a direct comparison with the global flood and clarifies that "heaven and earth" will be destroyed.

                  Scripture Verse: Hebrews 4

                  . 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

                  6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

                  “Today, if you hear his voice,
                  do not harden your hearts.”

                  8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

                  © Copyright Original Source



                  There have been 6,000 years (six "days") since Adam. The Millennium will be the final 1,000 years (seventh "day") and the Sabbath rest where God (Christ) will rest from His work.

                  Scripture Verse: John 5

                  16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

                  © Copyright Original Source



                  If you would like me to address this kind of future fulfillment of prophecy, (which an ordinary Full-Preterist would vehemently deny), I will enter that as a separate topic on this forum, say, with perhaps the title "How many ages are there?"
                  Yes, please.


                  Comment


                  • Evening Darfius,

                    Doing well, thank you. Just mowed the yard - always feels good to do that for the first time of the year. And I should be finishing up a custom drapery work order this evening, but it's always more enjoyable to exchange eschatology thoughts online with others instead.

                    No offense taken at objections. And you, of course, are quite correct that Satan was to be cast into the Lake of Fire AFTER the (to me, LITERAL) 1,000-years mentioned in Revelation 20. It's very, very easy to determine from Revelation just when the millennium ENDED. The Revelation 20 millennium was ALREADY OVER by the time John was writing Revelation. We know this by comparing Revelation 12:12 with Revelation 20:3 and 7. As you know, Satan was to be "loosed" after being bound for those thousand years, and would THEN have only a "little season" to operate before he was to be cast into that Lake of Fire. Revelation 12:12 announced a warning to John's readers that Satan had ALREADY BEEN LOOSED for that "SHORT TIME". This necessarily means that the millennium's ENDING must have already happened BEFORE John was putting pen to parchment, because the millennium's expiration was to precede that "LITTLE SEASON" or "SHORT TIME" of Satan's being loosed.

                    John's Rev. 12:12 warning to those first century readers: "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil *IS* COME DOWN UNTO YOU" (already had been loosed by being cast down to the earth out of heaven) "having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but A SHORT TIME". That's the same time period as the "LITTLE SEASON" Satan was to be loosed, which would begin exactly when the millennium had just expired. Just how long is a "little season" for Satan to be loosed? Well, we know that a "long season" is quantified in scripture as being the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, as Joshua testified in Joshua 24:7, "...and ye dwelt in the wilderness a LONG SEASON." So, it seems that a "LITTLE season" would necessarily need to last a shorter time span than a "LONG season" of 40 years, yes? That means that it would have been less than 40 years from the time John was writing Revelation when Satan would be thrown in the Lake of Fire. Most Preterists have this millennium misplaced on the calendar, as well as miscalculated in its duration. And it's not that difficult, really, to find the scriptures that place those LITERAL 1,000 years on the calendar. But maybe a subject for another post.

                    Darfius, you are among the majority of those who read Matthew 24:21's description of the "Great Tribulation" and think that it is comparing a LEVEL of tribulation without equal before or after. To you and most everybody else, you are anticipating horrors of a level of magnitude that they will be unprecedented and unequalled in all of human history. That's not quite the words Jesus used to describe this period. He said that "then shall be great tribulation, SUCH AS was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." This "SUCH AS" term is comparing an unprecedented and never-to-be-duplicated TYPE or NATURE of a tribulation experience - NOT necessarily its quantity or measure in the sheer amount of blood shed and level of the war's ferocity.

                    Jesus already told us in Matthew 12:43-45 what that NATURE and TYPE of the Great Tribulation was going to be, and it wasn't exactly a supreme, ultimate level of wars and famines, plagues etc. that He meant. He was talking about the complete, 7-fold SATANIC AND DEMONIC POSSESSION of THAT wicked, first-century generation in its LAST STATE, as compared to its FIRST STATE when He was among them casting out unclean spirits. No other nation on earth HAS ever or WILL ever again experience what it is like to have the ENTIRE demonic realm imprisoned in a single city for several years. Revelation 18:2 said that "EVERY unclean spirit" was going to be literally "imprisoned" in that city called "Babylon the Great" / "that great city" / "the city where our Lord was crucified" / aka Jerusalem. That city Jerusalem in its "last state" became the "habitation of devils" - literally. When Jerusalem's leaders had imprisoned within its walls men who were possessed with every devil or unclean spirit that had ever come into being, at the same time, that also imprisoned within Jerusalem all the unclean spirits themselves who were possessing those people.

                    Thankfully, Christ predicted that any type of great tribulation "SUCH AS" the type that this one was going to be, (which was to be "IMMEDIATELY" followed by His return), would not ever occur again over the span of history FOLLOWING that Great Tribulation and His return; "...no, nor ever SHALL BE". None would ever be like that tribulation, since the entire Satanic realm would be destroyed and would no longer be around to create this same type of mayhem ever again. This statement saying "No, nor ever SHALL BE" in the future clearly shows us that ordinary periods of tribulation for the saints would occur in the following ages of history AFTER Christ's return. That tells me that Christ planned, not only a second coming return, but a third return also.

                    You asked about the Revelation 11 account of the two witnesses being resurrected, and their enemies seeing them. It makes no difference if Josephus knew of this and recorded it or not. Scripture says that the "REMNANT" seeing all this sixth trumpet's events happening "gave glory to God". Certainly a righteous response, as you have noted, Darfius. But it was not a response that would come from the unrepentant Jews in the city at that time, since Revelation 9:21 said that they did NOT repent, even after those 1/3 of men were slain (the 7,002 who died under the Idumean attack in Jerusalem). This "REMNANT" is very specific. It is the same "REMNANT" of the woman's seed that Satan in "great wrath" had been making war against (Rev. 12:17), ever since the day Stephen was martyred. I believe this "REMNANT" was the Matthew 27 "First-fruits" resurrected saints that remained on earth and were being used as "laborers in the harvest" to build up the early church in those days. They were Revelation 12's 144,000 "First-fruits" that were raised along with "Christ the First-fruits" in the "First resurrection".

                    This "REMNANT" Satan was making war against was described as "keeping the commandments of God and having the testimony of Jesus Christ." Some of this righteous "REMNANT" were the same as the "camp of the saints" in Rev. 20:9 who were actually going to be INSIDE Jerusalem as it was being surrounded by Gog coming against Jerusalem in AD 69 in the person of the Zealot leader Simon Bar Giora and his huge army. These Matthew 27 saints who had been raised to life again in the "First resurrection" along with Christ could not be hurt by the "second death" (Rev. 20:6) of Jerusalem being brought to total destruction for the second time since its first death under the Babylonians.

                    A resurrected saint is impervious to harm, whether it be of a physical or a demonic nature. I believe that righteous "REMNANT" of the Matthew 27 resurrected saints were some of the "holy messengers" (or "angels" of Rev. 14:10) who were actually "IN THE PRESENCE" of those being tormented in Jerusalem's Lake of Fire conditions as it was being brought to destruction. Since they were actually in the very presence of those being tormented, they were the righteous "REMNANT" who alone gave glory to God when they saw those events of Revelation 9 through11 take place. God was exercising mercy to the city's inhabitants by using these evangelistic "messengers" as a chance for Jerusalem's inhabitants to repent, all the way up to the very last moment before He bodily returned on the Mount of Olives in AD 70 - and brought those "living and remaining" Matthew 27 resurrected saints with Him back to heaven along with all the rest of the newly-resurrected saints.

                    Though you may dismiss most or even all of the above, Darfius, you and I are at least in agreement that almost 6,000 years of history has elapsed since Adam. The transition to the next 7th millennium of human history will come soon in AD 2033, ("God's Y2K" as I call it) because the 4th (Rev.20) millennium already ended in AD 33 at Christ' ascension after the "First resurrection". It's very simple. The Rev. 20 millennium ENDED when Christ ASCENDED and the Devil DESCENDED. I'll have to put that in my signature line someday...
                    Last edited by 3 Resurrections; 03-19-2021, 10:02 PM.

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