Saturday, June 30, 2012
The Return (the "Second Coming") of Jesus in His Kingdom, New Jerusalem, in Judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel
In May of AD70 Roman General Titus began his final assault on Jerusalem and her temple.
By August of AD70 Jerusalem was totally captured.
Her temple was burned and then was dismantled stone by stone down to its very foundation.
"Israel" was literally wiped off the map and the land was then known as Palestine.
For 1,878 years that land was known as Palestine.
Until 1948, when the United Nations reinstated it as Israel.
The original Israel was founded by God. He was their King. The nation of Israel was a theocracy. Until they decided they wanted an earthly king like the other nations around them.
By the time our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born all that was left of the original Israel was Judea. And it was contained within Palestine.
After the events of AD70, Judea, the last remaining allotment of the original twelve tribes of Israel, was off the map.
Christ's Return (His "Second Coming") WAS in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus and His Apostles Prophecied that His Return (His "Second Coming") in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel was going to happen during THAT generation's lifetime.
There are many verses that state that Christ's return in His Kingdom, New Jerusalem, (His "Second Coming") in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel was going to happen during that generation's lifetime.
Matthew 16:28 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.
Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Jesus' Apostles equated the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem with His return (His "Second Coming") in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
THEY of THAT generation were anticipating God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God- NEW JERUSALEM to come during THEIR lifetimes.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God- NEW JERUSALEM is a spiritual Kingdom and is NOT in the physical realm.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The Israel of the Middle East IS NOT the true Israel- the "Israel of God".
Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
The true Israel is the Christian Church which is comprised of those who have faith and belief in Jesus.
The main proof that I rely on to state that Jesus' return (His "Second Coming") in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the establishment of His Kingdom, New Jerusalem, was fulfilled in AD70 are His own words and the words of his Apostles. (And NOT the words of anyone's outside of Scripture.)
In Matthew 24:3 Jesus' Apostles ask Him what will be His sign indicating His return (His "Second Coming") in judgment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
In Matthew 24:30 He states "then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven..." He said His sign would appear in heaven AFTER all the events from Matthew 24:4 through Matthew 24:29 have taken place.
I personally believe His sign, "the sign of the Son of Man", was "His Star":
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
I believe it was this same star that guided the Magi to Bethlehem that REAPPEARED approximately 70 years later and hovered over Jerusalem indicating its impending doom.
To back this claim I refer to the writings of the historian Flavius Josephus who mentions in his The Jewish Wars of a star hovering over Jerusalem (amongst other phenomena) for a year before it was besieged by Roman General Titus. The historian Tacitus also recorded some noteworthy observations.
Josephus (A.D. 75) - Jewish Historian
"Besides these [signs], a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence" (Jewish Wars, VI-V-3).
“A supernatural apparition was seen, too amazing to be believed. What I am now to relate would, I imagine, be dismissed as imaginary, had this not been vouched for by eyewitnesses, then followed by subsequent disasters that deserved to be thus signalized. For before sunset chariots were seen in the air over the whole country, and armed battalions speeding through the clouds and encircling the cities.” (rendered in Chilton)
Tacitus (A.D. 115) - Roman historian
"13. Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world." (Histories, Book 5, v. 13).
War 6.5.3 288-309
Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them.
Star and Comet
Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.
Light Around the Altar
Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan, April, about a week before Passover] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it.
Cow Gives Birth to Lamb
At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.
The Eastern Gate
Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again.
This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them.
Miraculous Phenomenon of Chariots in the Air
Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Iyar, May or June] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.
Sound of a Great Multitude
Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."
Jesus son of Ananias: A Voice from the East
But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple [Sukkot, autumn, 62 CE], began on a sudden to cry aloud,
"A voice from the east,
a voice from the west,
a voice from the four winds,
a voice against Jerusalem and the Holy House,
a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides,
and a voice against this whole people!"
This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city.
However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before.
Hereupon the magistrates, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was,
"Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"
And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him.
Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow,
"Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"
Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come.
This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force,
"Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the Holy House!"
And just as he added at the last,
"Woe, woe to myself also!"
there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.
Athanasius of Alexandria (born ~293 CE, Alexandria -- died May 2 373 CE, Alexandria)
Saint Athanasius, theologian, ecclesiastical statesman, and Egyptian national leader, was the chief defender of Christian orthodoxy in the 4th-century battle against Arianism, the heresy that the Son of God was a creature of like, but not of the same, substance as God the Father. Athanasius attended the Council of Nicaea (325) and shortly thereafter became bishop of Alexandria (328). For the rest of his life he was engaged in theological and political struggles with the Emperor and with Arian churchmen, being banished from Alexandria several times. He wrote many important works, including his major theological treatises, The Life of St. Antony and Four Orations against the Arians, and a number of letters on theological, pastoral, and administrative topics. A Catholic Encyclopedia article is online at St. Athanasius.
These are quotes from Athanasius regarding the Jews' interpretation of the New Testament manuscripts and their influence in the development of the creeds of the Church in Rome:
“For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up his abode in one body among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is checked, and the corruption of death which before was prevailing against them is done away. For the race of men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to meet the end of death.” (Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 9 Verse 4; cf. 1 Cor. 15:21-26)
In reference to the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and their interpretation of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9, Athanasius has this to say:
“Perhaps with regard to the other (prophecies) they may be able even to find excuses and to put off what is written to a future time. But what can they say to this, or can they face it at all? Where not only is the Christ referred to, but He that is to be anointed is declared to be not man simply, but Holy of Holies; and Jerusalem is to stand till His coming, and thenceforth, prophet and vision cease in Israel.” (Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 39 Verse 3; cf. Dan. 9:24ff)
“For when He that was signified was come, what need was there any longer of any to signify Him? When the truth was there, what need any more of the shadow? For this was the reason of their prophesying at all – namely, till the true Righteousness should come, and He that was to ransom the sins of all. And this was why Jerusalem stood till then – namely, that there they might be exercised in the types as a preparation for the reality. ...the Saviour also Himself cried aloud and said: ‘The law and the prophets prophesied until John.’ If then there is now among the Jews king or prophet or vision, they do well to deny the Christ that is come. But if there is neither king nor vision, but from that time forth all prophecy is sealed and the city and temple taken, why are they so irreligious and so perverse as to see what has happened, and yet to deny Christ, Who has brought it all to pass? ...What then has not come to pass, that the Christ must do? What is left unfulfilled, that the Jews should now disbelieve with impunity?” (Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 40 Verses 1-8)
“Now, however, that the devil, that tyrant against the whole world, is slain, we do not approach a temporal feast, my beloved, but an eternal and heavenly. Not in shadows do we shew it forth, but we come to it in truth. For [the Jews] being filled with the flesh of a dumb lamb, accomplished the feast, and having anointed their door-posts with the blood, implored aid against the destroyer. But now we, eating of the Word of the Father, and having the lintels of our hearts sealed with the blood of the New Testament, acknowledge the grace given us from the Saviour, who said, ‘Behold, I have given unto you to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.’ For no more does death reign; but instead of death henceforth is life, since our Lord said, ‘I am the life;’ so that everything is filled with joy and gladness; as it is written, ‘The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.’ ...And God is no longer known only in Judea, but in all the earth, ‘their voice hath gone forth, and the knowledge of Him hath filled all the earth.’ ...in accordance with the injunction of the Apostles, let us go beyond the types, and sing the new song of praise. ...For no longer were these things to be done which belonged to Jerusalem which is beneath; neither there alone was the feast to be celebrated, but wherever God willed it to be. ...when the things pertaining to that time were fulfilled, and those which belonged to shadows had passed away, and the preaching of the Gospel was about to extend everywhere; when indeed the disciples were spreading the feast in all places, they asked the Saviour, ‘Where wilt Thou that we shall make ready?’ The Saviour also, since He was changing the typical for the spiritual, promised them that they should no longer eat the flesh of a lamb, but His own, saying, ‘Take, eat and drink; this is My body, and My blood.’ When we are thus nourished by these things, we also, my beloved, shall truly keep the feast of the
passover.” (Athanasius’ The Festal Letters, Letter IV. No. 3-4)
“For He raised up the falling, healed the sick, satisfied those who were hungry, and filled the poor, and, what is more wonderful, raised us all from the dead; having abolished death, He has brought us from affliction and sighing to the rest and gladness of this feast, a joy which reacheth even to heaven. ...how must all its hosts joy and exult, as they ... look on sinners while they repent ... and finally on the enemy who lies weakened, lifeless, bound hand and foot, so that we may mock at him; ‘Where is thy victory, O Death? where is thy sting, O Grave?’ Let us then sing unto the Lord a song of victory. ...the Lord gives to them at the right hand, saying, ‘Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.’ ...Wherefore let us not celebrate the feast after an earthly manner, but as keeping festival in heaven with the angels.” (Athanasius’ The Festal Letters, Letter VI. No. 9-12)
Preterism is true Christianity