While I was editing the next article in the Venom Removal Series, I was burdened to publish this article of the Rapture Series. Though this is not exactly about the Rapture event, it is concerning a different aspect of the Prophecy of Jesus in Matt 24 and Luke 21. This is about a portion of questions by the disciples, regarding the destruction of the Herodian Temple, which was frequented by Jesus and his disciples, those days. This also proves the desolation of Jerusalem as prophesied in Daniel 9:27 .
Principle of Dual Fulfilment
But before we come to that portion of the scripture, I would like you to be aware of the “Principle of Dual Fulfilment of Prophecy“. According to this principle, some prophecies in the Bible have both short-term and long-term fulfilment. Usually, the short term is a partial fulfilment and the Long Term is complete fulfilment.
Examples of Messianic dual fulfilment is often related to concepts of Messianic typology in the Old Testament. Some commentators see a secondary fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the Siege of Jerusalem (587 BC) with the events of the Siege of Jerusalem (70). Another area of perceived dual fulfilment is the overlapping fulfilment of short-term and long-term elements in the Olivet Prophecy. Events such as the siege of Jerusalem, Antiochus Epiphanes‘ sacrifice of a pig on the altar and the destruction of the Second Temple by Titus Flavius are seen as only partial fulfilment of Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
The Prophecies concerning the Desolation of Jerusalem
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:27
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 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. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke 21:20-22
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Matt 24:16-18
The above prophecies were in continuation to Jesus announcing that he is departing Jerusalem to make it desolate.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed, is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matt 23:36-39
How Did Desolation happen?
You might have heard from many preachers that in A.D 70 General Titus Vespasian, the Son of Emperor Vespasian came and conquered Jerusalem and in the process demolished the Jewish temple completely thus fulfiling the prophecy of Jesus regarding Jerusalem and the Temple. However, there are some very interesting aspects to the desolation which is not preached because of ignorance or the fear that they themselves are treading the same path. It would be quite impossible to detail all those events in a single article. Therefore I would like you to know some important aspects of the event and know how it came to pass. Even General Titus acknowledged that fact.
As a conquering Roman hero returning home, a certain Roman group intended to award Titus with a great victory wreath for his victories in the Jewish wars. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, saying that the victory did not come through his own efforts but that he had merely served as an instrument of God’s wrath. He said something similar to this:
“There is no merit in defeating a people who have been forsaken by their God.” [Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana]
When God uses some enemy nation to punish His chosen people – the Jews – he seems to always make sure that the punishing nation understands that they were only given the victory by God’s allowance – a victory which they did not otherwise have the strength to obtain. For though Israel may be small and may seem vulnerable, their protector scorns and laughs at even the mightiest powers of mere men. Which nation of little clay men shall ever prevail against the potter of all things?
The below events are taken from the writings of Josephus(The Jewish Historian in his book “The Jewish War” page 459-467) and the diaries of Tacitus(Roman Historian).
A Sword in the Sky
“So it was when a star resembling a sword, stood over the city[Jerusalem] and a comet which continued for a year.” [In 66 AD] – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
A Bright Light
“So again when, before the revolt and the commotion that led to war [i.e., before the war], at the time when the people were assembling for the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth of the month Xanthieus [Nisan], at the ninth hour of the night [3 a.m.] … … so brilliant a light shown round the [holy] altar and the sanctuary[of the temple] that it seemed to be broad daylight, and this continued for half an hour. By the inexperienced, this was regarded as a good omen, but by the sacred scribes it was at once interpreted in accordance with after[later] events.” – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
A Cow Gives Birth to a Lamb
“At that same feast [just after the 2nd sign, the great light over the altar] a cow that had been brought by someone for sacrifice gave birth [just before it was to be killed] to a lamb in the midst in the court of the Temple.” – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
The Eastern Gate Open by Itself
“The eastern gate of the inner court — it was of brass and very massive, and, when closed towards evening, could scarcely be moved by 20 men; fastened with iron-bound bars [on each side], it had bolts which were sunk to a great depth into a threshold consisting of a solid block of stone — this gate was observed at the sixth hour of the night [midnight] to have opened of its own accord. The watchmen of the temple ran and reported the matter to the captain, and he came up and with difficulty succeeded in shutting it.”
“This again to the uninitiated seemed the best of omens, as they supposed that God had opened to them the gate of blessings.” “But the learned understood that the security of the Temple was dissolving of its own accord and that the opening of the gate meant a present to the enemy, interpreting the portent [sign, the same word as in the gospel] in their own minds as indicative of coming desolation.” – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
Armies in the Sky
“Again, not many days after that festival on the twenty-first of Artemisium [the Jewish month of Iyyar which is in the late springtime], there appeared a miraculous phenomenon, passing belief. Indeed, what I am about to relate would, I imagine, have been deemed a fable, were it not for the narratives of eyewitnesses and for the subsequent calamities which deserved to be so signalized [so “sign-ized,” a great sign]. For before sunset …” “For before sunset throughout all parts of the country [of Judea] chariots were seen in the air and armed battalions hurtling through the clouds and encompassing the cities.” – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
“Prodigies 33 had indeed occurred, but to avert them either by victims 34 or by vows is held unlawful by a people which, though prone to superstition, is opposed to all propitiatory rites. Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried- “The gods are departing”- at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. 2 Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had, in reality, pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity.” [Tacitus Historiae V: The Roman Earthworks at Jerusalem]
“Moreover, at the feast which is called Pentecost the priests [all 24 of them] on entering the inner court of the Temple by night as their custom was in the discharge of their ministrations, reported that they were conscious, first of a commotion and a din [a great noise], and after that of a voice as of a host [an army], ‘We are departing hence [from here].” – The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius..
Is it interesting that on the day of Pentecost exactly 33 years from the time that the Gospel started in Jerusalem — to the very day — this announcement and sign occurred.
The Last Prophet Jesus/Joshua
“But a further portent was even more alarming. Four years before the war [in Tabernacles time in 62 C.E.] when the city was enjoying profound peace and prosperity, there came to the feast at which it was the custom of all Jews to erect tabernacles to God, one Joshua, [Another way of saying “Jesus” or “Y’Shua”] son of Ananias, a rude peasant, who, standing in the Temple, suddenly began to cry out, ‘A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds; a voice against Jerusalem and the sanctuary, a voice against the bridegroom and the bride, a voice against all the people.’
“Day and night he went about all the alleys with this cry on his lips. Some of the leading citizens, incensed at these ill-omened words, arrested the fellow and severely chastised him. But he without a word on his own behalf or for the private ear of those who smote him only continued his cries as before.
“Thereupon, the magistrates, supposing, as was indeed the case that the man was under some supernatural impulse, brought him before the Roman governor; there, although flayed to the bone with scourges, he neither sued for mercy nor shed a tear, but, merely introducing the most mournful of variations into his ejaculation [words from his mouth], responded to each stroke with ‘Woe to Jerusalem!’
“When Albinus, the [Roman] governor asked him who [he was] and whence he was [where he came from] and why he uttered these cries, he answered him never a word, but unceasingly reiterated his dirge over the city, until Albinus pronounced him a maniac and let him go.
“During the whole period up to the outbreak of the war, he neither approached nor was seen talking to any of the citizens, but daily, like a prayer…repeated his lament, ‘Woe to Jerusalem!’ He neither cursed any of those who beat him from day to day nor blessed those who offered him food: to all men that melancholy presage was his one reply. His cries were loudest at the festivals.
“So for seven years and five months he continued his wail, his voice never flagging nor his strength exhausted, until the siege, having seen his presage verified, he found his rest. For, while going his round and shouting in piercing tones from the wall, ‘Woe once more to the city and to the people and to the Temple,’ as he added the last word, ‘and woe to me also,’ a stone hurled from the ballista struck and killed him on the spot. So with those ominous words still on his lips, he passed away.”. The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius.
How fascinating! One final “Jesus” is sent to the people to pronounce daily, unending “woe” upon them right up until the armies are actually surrounding the city.
The Talmudic Records – The Miracle of the Lot
In the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 A.D), the Jewish people began writing two versions of Jewish thought, religious history and commentary. One was written in Palestine and became known as the Jerusalem Talmud. The other was written in Babylon and was known as the Babylonian Talmud.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
The lot for Azazel, the black stone, contrary to all the laws of chance, came up 40 times in a row from 30 to 70 AD! This was considered a dire event and signified something had fundamentally changed in this Yom Kippur ritual. This casting of lots is also accompanied by yet another miracle which is described next.
The Talmudic Records – The Miracle of the Red Strip
The second miracle concerns the crimson strip or cloth tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was also removed from the goat and tied to the Temple door. Each year the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the atonement of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the Lord. This annual event happened until 30 A.D when the cloth then remained crimson each year to the time of the Temple’s destruction. This undoubtedly caused much stir and consternation among the Jews. This traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing this nation’s sin upon the Azazel goat. The sin was then removed by this goat’s death. Sin was represented by the red colour of the cloth (the colour of blood). But the cloth remained crimson that is, Israel’s sins were not being pardoned and “made white.”
As God told Israel through Isaiah the prophet:
Concerning the crimson strip though not mentioned in the Scriptures and long before 30 A.D. during the 40 years Simon the Righteous was High Priest, a crimson thread which was associated with his person always turned white when he entered the Temple’s innermost Holy of Holies. The people noticed this. Also, they noted that “the lot of the LORD” (the white lot) came up for 40 straight years during Simon’s priesthood. They noticed that the “lot” picked by the priests after Simon would sometimes be black, and sometimes white and that the crimson thread would sometimes turn white, and sometimes not. The Jews came to believe that if the crimson thread turned white, that God approved of the Day of Atonement rituals and that Israel could be assured that God forgave their sins. But after 30 CE, the crimson thread never turned white again for 40 years, till the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of all Temple rituals!
What did the Jewish nation do in 30 A.D to merit such a change at Yom Kippur? By some accounts, on April 5, 30 A.D (i.e., on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Passover sacrifice) the Messiah, Yeshua, was cut off from Israel, himself put to death as a sacrifice for sin. To this event, there is a transference of the atonement now no longer achieved through the two goats(Remember that Barabbas was let free and Jesus was Sacrificed) as offered at Yom Kippur. Like an innocent Passover lamb, the Messiah was put to death even though no fault was found in Him! But unlike Temple sacrifices or the Yom Kippur events (as detailed above) where sin is only covered over for a time, the Messianic sacrifice comes with the promise of forgiveness of sins through the grace given by God to those who accept a personal relationship with Messiah. This is essentially a one-time event for each person’s lifetime and not a continual series of annual observances and animal sacrifices. The mechanism providing forgiveness of sin changed in 30 A.D.
The Talmudic Records – The Miracle of the Temple Doors
The next miracle, which the Jewish authorities acknowledged, was that the Temple doors swung open every night of their own accord. This too occurred for forty years, beginning in 30 A.D The leading Jewish authority of that time, Yohanan ben Zakkai, declared that this was a sign of impending doom, that the Temple itself would be destroyed.
The Jerusalem Talmud states:
Might the doors have opened to also signify that all may now enter the Temple, even to its innermost holy sections. The evidence supported by the miracles described above suggests the Lord’s presence had departed from the Temple. This was no longer just a place for High Priests alone, but the doors swung open for all to enter the Lord’s house of worship.
The Talmudic Records – The Miracle of the Temple Menorah
The fourth miracle was that the most important lamp of the seven candle-stick Menorah in the Temple went out, and would not shine. Every night for 40 years (over 12,500 nights in a row) the main lamp of the Temple lampstand (menorah) went out of its own accord no matter what attempts and precautions the priests took to safeguard against this event!
Earnest Martin states:
It should be clear to any reasonable mind that there is no natural way to explain all these four signs connected with the year 30 A.D. The only possible explanation has to be supernatural.
After 30 A.D, and the death of the Messiah, great trouble and awesome trials began to come upon the Jewish nation. Yeshua Himself foretold it. As he was led away to be crucified, Yeshua warned the women of Jerusalem:
The Escape of the Christians
When most of Judah was assembled in Jerusalem for one of their annual national feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles, a Roman General named Cestius surrounded the city. It looked like the Christians had missed their chance to heed Jesus’ warning to flee. And inside, some prayed for deliverance by God, and others counselled surrendering to the Romans.
But then, unexpectedly, certain news made it to Cestius to temporarily lift the siege(after 6 days) and relocate to another area for a while, and as he left, the Jews supposed that God had given them their sign, and they sallied out to overtake Cestius and attack him a good distance from Jerusalem. This they did with great success, killing a great many Romans and capturing even the storied ‘standard’ born by that legion.
This would later cause them to be very confident and courageous in the belief that they should not surrender to the Romans when their city was again encircled, so it ultimately worked to the destruction of the Jews that they had this early victory. But in the meantime, with the Romans withdrawn and their countrymen the Jewish soldiers mostly gone chasing out after them, the Christians fled out of the city. They did not join the battle, nor were they attacked as traitors for the simple reason that all the Jews were preoccupied. Also, few people were left in the countryside because of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, and because most country people had fled to the protection of the walled cities when the Romans came to make war. So the Christians fled east across the Jordan River to a city called Pella in an area then called Perea, and also the region of the Decapolis. Some old writers have said that not a single Christian failed to escape.
At the same time, many Jews outside of Jerusalem congregated within the city, thinking that the fortress of Jerusalem would be a covering for them from the Romans. They thought exactly opposite to how the Christians thought. THAT IS THE POWER OF DELUSION.
When you are deluded, you think that God’s warnings are approvals of your deeds. The Jewish Rabbis would not understand all these events which have been occurring since the death of Christ. Would you like to escape just like the Christians of Jerusalem or follow your White clad Rabbis who are clueless when it comes to prophecies and scriptural discernment? The Zion and Jerusalem of TPM will do the same thing with you as the Earthly Zion and Jerusalem did with the Jews. Wake up and smell the coffee
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2 Thess 2:11
*Talmudic references sourced from Telus