The Little Horn Changed Times and Law (Daniel 7:25)


This post continues the series, “The Beast of Revelation Was Zealot-Led Israel.” The introduction and outline to this series can be seen here.

The previous post, “Daniel 7: The Fourth Beast, 10 Horns, Three Horns, and a Little Horn,” began to examine Daniel 7, as well as “the little horn” and the various roles that he was to play. As a review, Daniel 7:8, 21-22, 24-27 states that the little horn would:

[A] come up among the 10 horns
[B] subdue and pluck out three of the first horns
[C] have a mouth speaking pompous words
[D] make war against the saints
[E] be different than the other 10 horns
[F] “intend to change times and law”
[G] and prevail against the saints for 3.5 years until the coming of the Ancient of Days and the possession of the kingdom by the saints.

The previous post looked at several roles of the little horn (A, B, C, and E), and the majority of this post will look at how he intended to change times and law (F).

The Body of the Fourth Beast Destroyed and Burned (Daniel 7:11)

In Daniel 7:9-10, Daniel saw a throne scene in which “thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated,” and a court was also seated and books were opened. Verse 11 then comes back to the little horn and the fourth beast, saying,

I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.”

In this series I am making the case that the fourth beast/kingdom of Daniel and “the beast” of the book of Revelation was Zealot-led Israel. The language used here in this verse certainly fits, considering that Israel was destroyed in the Jewish-Roman War of 66-73, and considering that Jerusalem and the temple were burned with fire (fulfilling Matthew 22:7; II Peter 3:7, 10, 12; Revelation 17:16; 18:8-9, 18; 19:20).

This does not fit Rome, which many say was the fourth beast of Daniel and “the beast” of the book of Revelation. Rome was not slain, destroyed, or burned during the Jewish-Roman War, when the kingdom of God was set up (Daniel 2:35, 44; Matthew 16:27-28, 21:43; Revelation 11:15). In fact, the Roman Empire achieved even greater heights during the second century AD.

The Lives of the Other Beasts Were Prolonged (Daniel 7:12)

In Daniel 7:12, Daniel noted a sharp contrast between the downfall of the fourth beast and the downfall of the previous three beasts:

As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.”

Whereas the fourth beast was slain, destroyed, and burned (Daniel 7:11), the other three beasts lost their dominion but lived on “for a season and a time.” When Babylon was conquered by Medo-Persia in 539 BC, Babylon lost its dominion, but remained as a colony of Medo-Persia. When Persia was conquered by Greece in 330 BC, Persia lost its dominion, but remained as a province of the Seleucid Empire ruled by one of Alexander the Great’s four generals. Greece likewise lived on after the Maccabee victories of 164-142 BC. The principal cities of Babylon, Persia, and Greece were not burned and leveled, their religious systems didn’t collapse, etc.

When Israel and Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, however, there was great physical and religious devastation. Israel, the fourth beast, was slain, destroyed, burned. Although Israel briefly rose up again about 65 years later in the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 AD), its sacrificial system was buried and laid to rest. Its priesthood was gone. According to Josephus, Israel was not merely “taken” as it had been five times previously, but this was its second “desolation” (see Revelation 18:19):

“And thus was Jerusalem taken, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, on the eighth day of the month Gorpeius [Elul]. It had been taken five times before, though this was the second time of its desolation; for Shishak, the king of Egypt, and after him Antiochus, and after him Pompey, and after them Sosius and Herod, took the city, but still preserved it; but before all these, the king of Babylon conquered it, and made it desolate, one thousand four hundred and sixty-eight years and six months after it was built” (Wars 6.10.1).

Jerusalem, aside from its towers and a wall, was also leveled to the ground, just as Jesus predicted:

For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build and embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:43-44).

“Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency…and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side… but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind” (Wars 7.1.1).

The Romans had also cut down everything in an 11.25 mile radius around the city, so that to visitors Judea and the former suburbs of the city appeared as a desert wasteland:

“And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in one and twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down: nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the war had laid all the signs of beauty quite waste: nor if any one that had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding” (Wars 6.1.1).

The contrast in Daniel 7:11-12 makes a lot of sense when Israel is viewed as the fourth beast, but would make no sense if Rome was the fourth beast. Let’s try it, though, just for argument’s sake:

“…I watched till the Roman Empire was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time” (Daniel 7:11-12; Rome as the fourth beast).

It doesn’t work. When the kingdom of God was set up and given into the hands of the saints in the first century (Daniel 2:35, 44; Daniel 7:18, 22, 27; Matthew 16:27-28, 21:43; Revelation 11:15), Rome did not have its dominion taken away at that time. Rome was not burned, slain, or destroyed. The Roman Empire came out of the Jewish-Roman War stronger than it was before the war. That time of kingdom transition was great devastation for Israel, not Rome.

The Kingdom Given to the Saints (Daniel 7:17-18, 21-22, 26-27)

The transition from the fourth kingdom to the everlasting kingdom of the saints was already seen in Daniel 2:35, 44. This transition is repeated three times in Daniel 7:

Those great beasts, which are four, are four kingdoms which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Daniel 7:17-18).

I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 7:21-22).

But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:26-27).

In all of this, it’s clear that the downfall of the fourth beast and the 11th horn coincides with the saints inheriting the kingdom of God. As I noted in the introduction to this series, we also see this transition in Matthew 21:42-44.

Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone…?” Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder’” (Matthew 21:42-44).

Israel and Jerusalem suffered defeat and destruction during the Jewish-Roman War (66-73 AD). They were ground to powder by the falling stone of Daniel 2:34-35, 45. Yet out of that tragedy has come the awesome, redemptive, and enduring news that this stone is a great mountain, the kingdom of God. It’s a kingdom that has no end (Luke 1:33).

The 11th Horn Would Change Times and Law (Daniel 7:25)

Coming back to the little horn, we see a statement in Daniel 7:25 that the 11th horn would “intend to change times and law.” I welcome any ideas from readers on this point, but I would like to propose that two key actions taken during the Jewish-Roman War seem to fit this description. Neither action had ever taken place since the days of Moses and Aaron:

[1] the decision to no longer receive gifts or sacrifices for foreigners
[2] choosing an unqualified and fake high priest who was not of Aaron’s bloodline.

The following description by Josephus is quite revealing about what transpired during the Jewish-Roman War due to “the fourth philosophy” of the Zealots. Josephus said that their philosophy spread like an infection as the Jewish revolt blew up into a flame in 66 AD (Wars 2.13.6, Wars 2.14.6). It resulted in the type of great changes described in Daniel 7:25.

“[T]he sedition at last increased so high, that the very temple of God was burnt down by their enemies’ fire. Such were the consequences of this, that the customs of our fathers were altered, and such a change was made, as added a mighty weight toward bringing all to destruction, which these men occasioned by their thus conspiring together” (Antiquities 18.1.1).

Eleazar ben Simon had a big hand in altering the customs of the Jews, but the first big move was made in Jerusalem by a different Eleazar just a few months before he was reassigned to Idumea and his role as leader of the Zealots shifted to Eleazar ben Simon (we will discuss this shift below). It was Eleazar ben Ananias who made the first big move in August 66 AD when he put a stop to all the sacrifices and offerings of the Gentiles, something which had never been done since the days of Moses and Aaron:

“At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the Divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account; and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple.

Hereupon the men of power got together, and conferred with the high priests, as did also the principal of the Pharisees; and thinking all was at stake, and that their calamities were becoming incurable, took counsel what was to be done. Accordingly, they determined to try what they could do with the seditious by words, and assembled the people before the brazen gate, which was that gate of the inner temple [court of the priests] which looked toward the sun-rising. And, in the first place, they showed the great indignation they had at this attempt for a revolt, and for their bringing so great a war upon their country; after which they confuted their pretense as unjustifiable, and told them that their forefathers had adorned their temple in great part with donations bestowed on them by foreigners, and had always received what had been presented to them from foreign nations; and that they had been so far from rejecting any person’s sacrifice (which would be the highest instance of impiety,) that they had themselves placed those donation about the temple which were still visible, and had remained there so long a time; that they did now irritate the Romans to take arms against them, and invited them to make war upon them, and brought up novel rules of a strange Divine worship, and determined to run the hazard of having their city condemned for impiety, while they would not allow any foreigner, but Jews only, either to sacrifice or to worship therein. And if such a law should be introduced in the case of a single private person only, he would have indignation at it, as an instance of inhumanity determined against him; while they have no regard to the Romans or to Caesar, and forbid even their oblations to be received also; that however they cannot but fear, lest, by thus rejecting their sacrifices, they shall not be allowed to offer their own; and that this city will lose its principality, unless they grow wiser quickly, and restore the sacrifices as formerly, and indeed amend the injury [they have offered foreigners] before the report of it comes to the ears of those that have been injured.

And as they said these things, they produced those priests that were skillful in the customs of their country, who made the report that all their forefathers had received the sacrifices from foreign nations. But still not one of the innovators would hearken to what was said; nay, those that ministered about the temple would not attend their Divine service, but were preparing matters for beginning the war…” (Wars 2.17.2-4)

To be clear, Eleazar ben Ananias was not the same person as Eleazar ben Simon, who was one of the three main Zealot leaders during the first half of the Jewish-Roman War, along with John Levi of Gischala and Simon Bar Giora. Various sources seem to confuse these two Eleazars, and as a result they have attributed certain roles and actions to the wrong person.

For example, the Encyclopedia Judaica says that Eleazar ben Ananias was Captain of the Temple “and continued to hold that position until the destruction of the Temple.” This is not true, however, according to Josephus. Around December of 66 AD, Eleazar ben Ananias was named as one of the 10 generals for war against Rome, and he was assigned to Idumea, a region south of Judea (Wars 2.20.4). At this same time, Eleazar ben Simon, the war hero credited with defeating Cestius Gallus, was quickly gaining power in Jerusalem and the people “submitted themselves to his authority in all public affairs” (Wars 2.20.3). Eleazar ben Simon gained and kept control of the inner court of the temple until he was killed at the beginning of the Roman siege in April 70 AD (Wars 5.3.1).

Likewise, on page 219 of Final Decade Before the End (a great resource), Ed Stevens cites Hegesippus (110-180 AD) and Yosippon (10th century AD), who say that after “blocking Roman access to the temple,” Eleazar ben Ananias “then seized control of the temple and used it as his fortress…from that point forward” (Heg. 2:10, 5:1; Yos. 61). Hegesippus even claimed that this same Eleazar “was on Masada after the temple was burned” (Heg. 5:53). Here he apparently confuses Eleazar ben Ananias with a third Eleazar – Eleazar ben Jairus, who fled to Masada in September 66 AD (Wars 2.17.9) and later committed suicide there with around 700 others in 73 AD (Wars 7.8.1).

The confusion over Eleazar ben Ananias and Eleazar ben Simon is the seventh problem covered by Tal Ilan and Jonathan J. Price in their article, “Seven Onomastic Problems in Josephus’ “Bellum Judaicum” [Wars of the Jews]. They write about the strange disappearance of “Eleazar ben Ananias,” who played such a large role at the beginning of the Jewish Revolt, but is never mentioned again by Josephus. They also write about the sudden appearance of Eleazar ben Simon at this same point in Wars of the Jews.

Indeed, both Eleazars are mentioned in Wars 2.20.3-4, one for the last time and the other for the first time. I would like to suggest that the baton of Zealot leadership in Jerusalem was handed off at this time (around December 66 AD) from Eleazar ben Ananias to Eleazar ben Simon.

Eleazar ben Ananias Eleazar ben Simon
August 66 AD In Jerusalem

“…but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple” (Wars 2.17.2)

Location not Certain

(Not yet mentioned by Josephus)

December 66 AD Left Jerusalem

Appointed as a general for Idumea (Wars 2.20.4)

Stayed in Jerusalem

“…the people were circumvented, and submitted themselves to his authority in all public affairs” (Wars 2.20.3)

February 68 AD Presumably in Idumea

(No longer mentioned by Josephus)

In Jerusalem

“leaders of the Zealots… These leaders were Eleazar, the son of Simon, who seemed the most plausible man of them all, both in considering what was fit to be done, and in the execution of what he had determined upon…” (Wars 4.4.1)


Although Eleazar ben Ananias initiated the cessation of sacrifices for Gentiles, Eleazar ben Simon was the one who enforced this new rule as he made his headquarters in the temple for the next 3.5 years until his death in April 70 AD. The following, for the sake of clarity, is an overview of the lives of Eleazar ben Ananius and Eleazar ben Simon (all of the primary Zealot leaders will be discussed when we come to Revelation 13):

Eleazar ben Ananius

Eleazar ben Ananius was the governor of the temple, (Antiquities 20.9.3, Wars 2.17.2), the second highest position in the temple other than high priest. It’s suggested that he obtained this position in 62 AD. This position was known as “segan” (Aramaic) or “sagan” (Hebrew). According to Rabbi Hanina Segan ha-Kohanim (40-80 AD), “In case the high-priest became unfit for service, the ‘Segan’ [Deputy] should enter at once to do the service” (Talmud, Tractate Sota 42a).

Eleazar’s father, Ananius ben Nedebaios, was the high priest from roughly 46-52 AD. He’s the one who commanded Paul to be struck on the mouth during his appearance before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:2), prompting Paul to prophesy that Ananias would also be struck (verse 3). Ananius also gave evidence against Paul to the governor Felix at Caesarea (Acts 24:1). The Pulpit Commentary says that he “was a violent, haughty, gluttonous, and rapacious man, and yet looked up to by the Jews.” When Eleazar was the commander of the temple, he was anti-Roman, but his father, Ananias was pro-Roman (one of the complaints of the Zealots was that the Herodian dynasty appointed high priests who were sympathetic to Rome).

In Final Decade before the End (p. 219), Ed Stevens says that Eleazar ben Ananias led a challenge against Roman troops in May 66 AD. “When the Roman Procurator Gessius Florus brought his soldiers to Jerusalem to confiscate all the gold from the Temple (May AD 66),” Yosippon recorded the following:

[Eleazar b. Ananius]… being a youth and very stout of heart, saw the evil that Florus did among the people. He sounded the shofar, and a band of youths and bandits, men of war, gathered around him, and he initiated a battle, challenging Florus and the Roman troops [Sepher Yosippon, ch. 59].

In The Wars of the Jews by Josephus, Eleazar ben Ananias was first mentioned in Wars 2.17.2, as we have already seen, in connection with the events of August 66 AD, which Josephus said were the true beginning of the Jewish-Roman War. He was mentioned again in Wars 2.17.5 as being among “the seditious” (the Zealots) who “had the lower city [of Jerusalem] and the temple in their power,” while “the men of power, with the high priests, as also all the part of the multitude that were desirous of peace, took courage, and seized upon the upper city [Mount Sion].”

Soon after this, Eleazar’s father Ananius was killed by “Manahem, the son of Judas, that was called the Galilean” (Wars 2.17.8-9). Manahem had gone to Masada, broken open king Herod’s armory, stolen arms for his own people and “other robbers,” and “returned in the state of a king to Jerusalem.” Josephus says that Manahem “became the leader of the sedition” (the Zealot movement), but this only lasted for about a month. After Manahem killed Ananias, “Eleazar and his party” avenged his father’s death and killed Manahem.

The last time that Eleazar ben Ananias was mentioned by Josephus was in Wars 2.20.4. There it was said that he was appointed as one of the 10 generals of war. He was one of three commanders assigned to Idumea, south of Judea. This was around December 66 AD, soon after the surprising Jewish victory over Cestius Gallus in November 66 AD. Presumably Eleazar ben Ananias left Jerusalem at this point and took up residence in Idumea. Josephus never mentioned him again.

Eleazar ben Simon

Eleazar ben Simon was first introduced by Josephus in Wars 2.20.3 (just before Josephus mentioned Eleazar ben Ananias for the last time). Eleazar ben Simon was the nephew of Simon Bar Giora, one of the three main Zealot leaders. In Wars 6.4.1, Josephus referred to him as “the brother’s son of Simon the tyrant.”

In Wars 4.4.1 Josephus said that Eleazar ben Simon was the main leader of the Zealots at this point. This was in early 68 AD, shortly after John Levi of Gischala, the other main Zealot leader, had fled his hometown and come up to Jerusalem. Josephus said regarding Eleazar ben Simon that he was “the most plausible man” of the Zealot leaders, “both in considering what was fit to be done, and in the execution of what he had determined upon.” Josephus also said that it was “Eleazar, the son of Simon, who made the first separation of the zealots from the people, and made them retire into the temple” (Wars 5.1.2).

John Levi joined forces with Eleazar and, after killing Ananus ben Ananus and the other high priests in February-March 68 AD, together they seized control of the entire city of Jerusalem. In spring or summer 69 AD Simon Bar Giora seized control of the upper city of Jerusalem and parts of the lower city. John Levi maintained control of part of the lower city and the outer court of the temple, and Eleazar ben Simon controlled the inner court of the temple.

three-main-zealot-leaders

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University (June 9, 2015)

Then a short time before the Roman siege began on April 14, 70 AD, Eleazar ben Simon turned against John because, according to Josephus, “he could not bear to submit to a tyrant [John] who set up after him” (Wars 5.1.2). There were then “three treacherous factions in the city” (Wars 5.1.4; Revelation 16:19). This was the breakdown of the three armies (Wars 5.6.1):

[1] Simon Bar Giora: 10,000 men and 50 commanders; 5000 Idumeans and eight commanders
[2] John Levi: 6,000 men and 20 commanders
[3] Eleazar ben Simon: 2,400 men

Eleazar ben Simon was killed by John Levi’s forces on April 14, 70 AD, just as the Roman general Titus began his siege. This happened at the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Eleazar opened the gates to the inner court of the temple

“and admitted such of the people as were desirous to worship God into it. But John made use of this festival as a cloak for his treacherous designs, and armed the most inconsiderable of his own party, the greater part of whom were not purified, with weapons concealed under their garments, and sent them with great zeal into the temple, in order to seize upon it; which armed men, when they were gotten in, threw their garments away, and presently appeared in their armor… These followers of John also did now seize upon this inner temple, and upon all the warlike engines therein, and then ventured to oppose Simon. And thus that sedition, which had been divided into three factions, was now reduced to two” (Wars 5.3.1).

During the first half of the Jewish-Roman War (Fall 66 AD – Spring 70 AD), Eleazar ben Simon was the Zealot leader who controlled the inner court of the temple. His location and position allowed him to oversee and regulate the activities which took place there.

Phannias, the Fake High Priest of the Zealots

The second major custom to be altered had to do with the high priesthood. In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus gave an account of the high priests from Aaron until his own time, taking note of the strict rule that every high priest had to be a blood descendant of Aaron. This rule was broken by the Zealots (“the seditious”) during the Jewish-Roman War:

“AND now I think it proper and agreeable to this history to give an account of our high priests; how they began, who those are which are capable of that dignity, and how many of them there had been at the end of the war. In the first place, therefore, history informs us that Aaron, the brother of Moses, officiated to God as a high priest, and that, after his death, his sons succeeded him immediately; and that this dignity hath been continued down from them all to their posterity. Whence it is a custom of our country, that no one should take the high priesthood of God but he who is of the blood of Aaron, while every one that is of another stock, though he were a king, can never obtain that high priesthood. Accordingly, the number of all the high priests from Aaron, of whom we have spoken already, as of the first of them, until Phanas, who was made high priest during the war by the seditious, was eighty- three” (Antiquities 20.10.1).

In Wars 4.3.6-8, Josephus provided the details of how the Zealots committed this treachery. This took place around December 67 AD. Keep in mind that Eleazar ben Simon was the main leader of the Zealots at this time (Wars 4.4.1), controlling the inner court of the temple:

Now the people were come to that degree of meanness and fear, and these robbers to that degree of madness, that these last took upon them to appoint high priests. So when they had disannulled the succession, according to those families out of which the high priests used to be made, they ordained certain unknown and ignoble persons for that office, that they might have their assistance in their wicked undertakings; for such as obtained this highest of all honors, without any desert, were forced to comply with those that bestowed it on them

These men made the temple of God a strong hold for them, and a place whither they might resort, in order to avoid the troubles they feared from the people; the sanctuary was now become a refuge, and a shop of tyranny. They also mixed jesting among the miseries they introduced, which was more intolerable than what they did; for in order to try what surprise the people would be under, and how far their own power extended, they undertook to dispose of the high priesthood by casting lots for it, whereas, as we have said already, it was to descend by succession in a family. The pretense they made for this strange attempt was an ancient practice, while they said that of old it was determined by lot; but in truth, it was no better than a dissolution of an undeniable law, and a cunning contrivance to seize upon the government, derived from those that presumed to appoint governors as they themselves pleased.

Hereupon they sent for one of the pontifical tribes, which is called Eniachim, and cast lots which of it should be the high priest. By fortune the lot so fell as to demonstrate their iniquity after the plainest manner, for it fell upon one whose name was Phannias, the son of Samuel, of the village Aphtha. He was a man not only unworthy of the high priesthood, but that did not well know what the high priesthood was, such a mere rustic was he! yet did they hail this man, without his own consent, out of the country, as if they were acting a play upon the stage, and adorned him with a counterfeit thee; they also put upon him the sacred garments, and upon every occasion instructed him what he was to do. This horrid piece of wickedness was sport and pastime with them, but occasioned the other priests, who at a distance saw their law made a jest of, to shed tears, and sorely lament the dissolution of such a sacred dignity.

So the times and the law of the Jews were significantly changed by these actions which Eleazar ben Simon had a major hand in carrying out. If you have any further insights into how the times and law were changed by the little horn, please feel free to share them.

—————————-

In the next post, we will look at how the little horn persecuted the saints for 3.5 years right up until the time that the kingdom was given into their hands.

All of the posts in this series can be found at this page.

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33 thoughts on “The Little Horn Changed Times and Law (Daniel 7:25)

  1. Love it; now not with standing the destruction of Jerusalem; Israel in a broad general sense was not defeated until the bar Kochba war; prior to this period israel as a nation was functional, a king a flag, and a milita —minting coins etc every thing a nation would do—bar kochba even begin the process for the reconstruction of the temple—-things soured and Hadrian with what something like 12 legions come thru the land of israel and burned and destroyed something like 1000 villages and fortifications—-a massive struggle—at the end of it all Hadrian plowed temple mount—-to my mind this was indeed the end of the promised lands and end of its peoples as a nation and with the diaspora came the establishment and the process of the Stone Mountain kingdom—-so i am in the process of trying to reconcile the two great destructions, Jerusalem and then the bar kochba endings—then the great and final diaspora

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    • Thanks, William. Yes, the Bar Kokhba Revolt is important to consider, and I’ll be discussing it when we get to Revelation 20 in this series. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said, “game over,” when referring to Daniel 7:11-12 and the overthrow of Israel. Keeping in mind the Bar Kokhba Revolt, how would you articulate the contrast that’s shown in Daniel 7:11-12 between the burning and destruction of the fourth beast and the extended life of the first three beasts?

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    • Hi Paul. What do you mean by “all the prophecies”? Perhaps you’re referring to typical interpretations of Daniel 7 and the little horn. Also, are you saying that this interpretation is off-base, or that other interpretations are off-base? Thanks.

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      • Hi Adam

        I am not responding to the whole study but to a particular comment of one of your guests that this signaled the end of promised lands , and Israel as a nation state. Of the many prophecies that contradict this is Ezekiel 36: 19-38. Here it is clear that the Lord will bring back the dispersed Israelites unconditionally, not for their sakes but for the sake of His Name: it states that He considered the fact that they were without a land to profane His Name, and He would put His Spirit within them.

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      • Paul & Adam—-it is my opinion that ch 36 and 37 are much and the same—indeed the dry bones came back to life and indeed the captives and those of the diaspora were returned to the land—for his name sake—they however did not find salvation in fact it was rejected—the wrath of the wine-press of God brought forth their utter destruction—vengeance/justice was taken upon those that killed the prophets and that generation suffered the wine-press of the wrath of God—rolled up like a scroll discarded and the new heart put into the remnant at pentecost—the kindgom of messisah (the stone cut from the mountain and the saints taking over the kingdom) is everlastingly in place—and so it is—may we live in righteousness and holiness, a sweet savor unto his mind

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      • Hello William and Adam

        It seems fairly clear that the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD ended with the diaspora of the Jews and was a judgement. Therefore I do not believe the promise made to them in Ezekiel 36 can apply here. It is said in Chapter 37 to be an everlasting Covenant of Peace, in keeping with the same promise mentioned in Jeremiah and Hebrews. This is the promise of the New Birth which did not happen in 70 AD .on a national level, but only to the remnant. This will happen to the inhabitants of Jerusalem when they recognize their Messiah when He rescues them in Zachariah 12-14. Neither can this promise simply be transferred to believers in general, although we all share in it, as it links the Jews to their forefathers and their land.

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  2. My two-penny worth: In terms of the little horn (Eleazar ben Simon or John of Gischala etc. ) intending to change ‘times and law’; this whole war was against the flow of God’s plan of salvation. It was against the advent of Christ and all that he taught and prophesied. The temple system was finished but these murderous factions hung on, in some sense believing they would win out despite their own obviously dreadful behavior.

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  3. Yes and as bar kocha was ourside of the 1st century and Josephius had passed there seems to be a complete acceptance that all things of old covenant had ended (destruction of jersualem) prior to the bar kocha reign and wars and the final destruction of all things nationalistic. With the prophecy interpreters having such a poor history (late grate planet earth, left behind series and the continual arguments presented by the dispensation), seems like a different look might be in order—

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  4. Adam love your effort and thoughtfulness
    so
    let me try, the contrast between the continuation of the populace and the beast given to the flames—there indeed is a difference; the three overthrown dominions were simply a change of overlords, while the last beast was terminated in all forms—political geographical and religiously
    here is my supposition
    Daniel and Ezekiel seems to tell more of the whole story;
    Ezekiel seems to be dealing with the captivity, the warnings the destruction of jersualem the return of the captives and the promised temples and lands—-all unfulfilled promises because it was not mixed with faith; hence never realized and never will be realized
    Daniels dealing with the Metals man of Neb and his vision of the four beasts; here daniel is thematically telling the whole story from neb to the Stone kinddom/the saints takking over the kindgom; it is two witness dealing with the same period of time—basically moving Israel out of the picture and the establishing of the kingdom of the Stone/the saints taking over the kindom of God (dan 7)
    Ezekiel flushes out the how comes and the what fer–valley of dry bones —return of the captives etc
    now both witnesses give way to the end of era times of the jews by means of Revelations—here we see the end of the old covenant by means of the big four—vespasian titus trajan and hadrian (one could say the four horsemen)—the destruction from galilee to the siege of jersuamem, Vespasian and Titus, kitos war and the final bar kochba revolt and slaughter—then the final abomination that caused the desolation—-then the selling of the jewish defeated and the final diaspora
    herein we see the babylonian harlot, the prophet beast the city where our lord was slain thrown to the flame—to borrow your phrase, game over,
    coming out of this era we see the stone mountain, the saints serving under the lord ship of messiah —joined in an eternal priest hood —in a kindgom that never ends
    so let god be Praised, we are now 2000+ years into the reign of the kindom of our LOrd

    so i do love your effort to flush out the who, what when, where, why and how stuff, God Speed

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    • Thank you, William. I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this contrast and into other studies as well. I’ll need to ponder more on what you’re saying here. That’s interesting what you said about the difference in approach between Ezekiel and Daniel.

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    • William, thank you again for your feedback on this post, especially concerning the section on Daniel 7:12 (“As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time”). I re-did that section of this post just now, and I believe it’s more accurate and clear.

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  5. Paul, Adam–it is my perspective that all of Ezekiel was a ministry to the Israelites in exile—god made great promises thru the ministry of Ezekiel—it was received tepidly at best—it was not mixed with faith, they killed ezekiel, something like a quarter of the population returned to jersualem; judah, the rest chose to remain in Babylon thus the promises (temple and lands etc) layiing fallow —-thus we see great and glorious promises rattling around like a marble in a match box—thus old covenant discarded and the new covenant established—and nationalistic Israel lost into history—the kingdom of God triumphant

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    • Hello William and Adam

      We only have to read the New Testament to see that national Israel was not lost to history in the time of Ezekiel. Besides the New Covenant was made first with Israel ( Israel and Judah, specifically mentioned in Jeremiah ) That is why Jesus came first to the Jews and then to the gentiles. How would that be if Israel was lost to history at that time?

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  6. Paul Adam

    from the time of the visions of Ezekiel until the return of the captives, the promises of God thru the Ezekiel visions were expressively given to encourage and to establish Gods sovereignty—so the killing of Ezekiel, the failure to add faith to the new temple vision, the land promises, etc the failure to return to jersualem, and the pitiful zerrubal temple all were an affront to God—israel was on a downward spiral that ended with the bar kochba war, the declaration that we have no God but csaesar—sealed their fate—with the fall of bar kochba—end of nationalistic israel—and for 2000+ years, the advancement of the Stone cut from the mountain reigns as the voice of God on the earth—-the old covenant from the god point of view—gone lost in history—for it to come back would be a complete affront to Gods salvation work thru Jesus—their is neither jew nor gentile and etc

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    • William and Adam
      How do you harmonize this interpretation with Zachariah 12-14 which shows the conversion of the Jews at the return of Christ in the clearest of terms ( a Spirit of grace and supplication ) and many other scripitures showing their return at the end of time? Zachariah 12-14 cannot in any way be referring to 70AD or the Revolt for this very reason.

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  7. Paul Adam
    acknowledge your perspective and ; heard it many times

    try to make it very short and concise, can talk forever on this subject

    the end of the Jewish era is prophesied by Joel; out pouring of spirit etc; this is one of my first markers dealing with the Jewish end times; so with the prophecies of Ezekiel and others given basically to encourage them in their repentance and obedience, God promised great and glorious things the temple lands and etc; the end of the metals man the vision of the four beasts ending in the kindgom of Jesus/the church; thus the end time prophesies reflect the messiah, so Nehemiah’s prophecies are in this light–if i may i would point out that the same group of people that pierced jesus was the same group of people that would look upon him–thus it is my thesis that Nehemiah’s was again dealing with great and glorious end time promises of God to Israel—then we See that Jesus lamented O Jerusalem O Jerusalem (math 23;37), I would have but YE WOULD NOT messiah completely rejected, murdered by roman justice system–basically the continuation of the lamentations of God when he said IT NEVER ENTERED MY MIND THAT YOU WOULD DO SUCH A THING, IE PUT YOUR CHILDREN THRU THE FIRE—so i have all things of Jewish covenant ending within the 1 and early 2nd century and the church marching forward

    would God that it were not so, it is however my interpretive perspective

    now as a parallel of the great promises of God to Israel, we the chruch have the great promises of 15 ch of st John that under girds all our kingdom actions—abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you will and it will be done unto you—a staggering kingdom promise that i myself simply stagger along lamenting on my ways being so far from realizing the greatest promise in the bible; heard many false prophets teachers declaring it to be untrue

    now a personal note, been to Israel many times; ;going thru the garden of Gethsemane, sitting on the mount of olives overlooking the mosque adorned temple mount; sitting on the southern pramarad again overlooking the mosque adorned walled city ; praying and sensing the lamentations of God and Jesus it is /was heart breaking

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    • Hello William and Adam

      Far from heralding the end of the Jewish era, Joel says the opposite. ” For look in those days and at that time, when I turn back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,then I shall gather all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.And I shall enter into judgement with them for My people,my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations , and they have divided up my land.” The same is said in Zachariah 12-14. Jesus comes to the rescue of the Jewish people. They turn to him with a spirit of grace and supplication ie repenetance. That is what the Lord Jesus referred to when He said “You will not see Me again UNTIL you say “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord” This is a quote from Psalm 118 heralding the return of the Messiah.

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      • Paul/adam

        peters sermon in acts 2:14 mirrors that of joel —joel 2:28 says then i wll pour my spirit on all flesh—ie Peter says this is that which was spoken by the prophet joel—so if this is true then the last days would have preceded occurred/parallel with Peters sermon which reflects joels outpouring of the spirit—thus we see that all daniels ezekiels zacharian ezra’s prophecies ended unfilled at the last days —-so unfuflilled promisces filled the land asthe end came thru the four horsemen; vespasian titus sige of jersualem, masada titus, trajans kito wars and then hadrian dealing with the bar kochba uprising and wars—-thus the end came and the new beginning by means of the new kingdom of messiah ruled rules and reigns

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      • William and Adam

        The giving of the Spirit, which began 2000 years ago, to the early Jewish remnant and the gentile church,does not simply mean the Jewish era was ended. The prophecies that I quoted in Joel 3 and Ezekiel 36 are not conditional promises as was the case with Mosaic Law. They are a statement of intent, dependent on God, not the Jews. He says so explicitly. To say otherwise is to deny scripture

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  8. Paul Adam

    indeed i consider “for his name sake” he brought the captives back to Jerusalem—his intent and desires clearly stated–his will clearly stated—however his will and intent not mixed with repentance/faith brought forth nothing, promises that were intended for Israel not realized—so back in Israel Ezekiel temple not built the land not distributed was not a failure of Gods promises but abominable (sacrilegious) behavior that brought about their destruction—-conditional promises vs unconditional promises—unconditional promises was in fact Jesus on the cross his resurrection his ascension, his pouring forth the spirit, all unconditional promises ensuring his will—the disciples went to Jerusalem to wait for his promise, it came and they received the unconditional promise of God. Israel heritage was Vespasian, Titus Trajan and Hadrian followed by slavery and the final diaspora—my thoughts and interpretations of God and his scriptures

    conditional and unconditional promises and the behavior of God is another topic for discussion and has much to do with the interpretation of God scripture and his relationship with his covenant peoples and his new covenant peoples

    regards

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    • William and Adam
      Scripture ,like nature is to science, should be allowed to tell it’s own story. One cannot interpret the first part of the promise in Ezekiel 36 and divorce it from the second – that God would put His Spirit into the Jewish nation. This is entirely in keeping with so many other prophecies that tell of the Jewish return to their Messiah that it is impossible to ignore.

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  9. Paul Adam

    and so it is; a marker for me is in 1st samuel ch 8; God directly and clearly states that Israel had rejected himself from being their king. Israel chose a king such that they would be like their neighbours etc—-here we begin a long and painful woeing of God, to bring Israel back—prophet after prophet called after the (Ezekiel identified) two sisters aholah and aholabah, many and wonderful promises made—-the harlots for-head unbowed then went into nationalistic decline/destruction thru and by means of vespasian, titus, trajan, and hadrian—-the divorce was final god separated from the harlot brides, the two sisters—so we see the history of the Babylonian captives and the effort to identify thru historical events characters and places the evidence of Gods relation with his wayward God rejecting peoples; for me it is often sobering and wistfully meloncoly —to much to look at—so we see that God has reestablished his kingship thru the lordship of messiah and his kingdom—Gods everlasting peace and kingship reigns— Jesus reigns from the right hand of the throne of God—aint going to be looking for no Ezekiel temple and the land grand promise

    lol billy

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    • William Adam
      I don’t think we can disregard any prophecy in the Bible. As it says in Timothy, ALL scripture is God breathed. If we throw it out, we reject His Word- so much of Ezekiel is yet to come. This is borne out by Isaiah 11:11 when the Jews are brought back to their land a second time. A cursory glance at the details shows this is not the return from Babylon. It must therefore be a return AFTER 70 AD

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      • Paul
        I have thought that God was through with literal Israel when it was destroyed in 70 AD. Now I think of Israel as pointed out in this scripture.
        Galatians 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. NASB

        I think that now you and I are Israelites.

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  10. Adam,

    I would like to propose a very, very simple definition for “changing the times” that Daniel itself gives. Look at Daniel 2:20-21(LXX) where Daniel praises God for revealing to him the content and the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. “May the name of God be blessed from everlasting and to everlasting: for wisdom and understanding are his. And HE CHANGES TIMES AND SEASONS: HE APPOINTS KINGS, AND REMOVES THEM, giving wisdom to the wise, and prudence to them that have understanding:”

    It appears to me that Daniel equates the power of “changing times and seasons” with the ability to appoint kings or remove them from the throne. This idea is duplicated by Christ’s words in Acts 1:7 as he deflected the disciples question about whether he would restore again the kingdom to Israel at that time. “And He said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know THE TIMES OR THE SEASONS, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

    Whoever the little horn was, it would intend to exercise this power of setting up kings or removing them.

    Incidentally, the very question that the disciples asked in Acts 1:6 – “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” – shows us that the kingdom at that time was NOT in the hands of Israel as it had been in former years under David and Solomon. This is one reason why I cannot agree that the fourth kingdom of iron in Daniel’s vision of the metals man was Zealot-led Israel. I believe Israel, the “Seed of men”, is represented by the CLAY in the feet of the image, collaborating with the iron kingdom of Rome under King Herod’s leadership (who had been set up by the approval of Rome’s Senate). The “clay” of the people of Israel was never able to mix with the “iron” of the Roman empire.

    I believe the little horn being destroyed was the utter destruction of the Julio-Claudian dynasty with the death of Nero, (not the destruction of the whole Roman empire). I find Daniel in the LXX to give a bit clearer picture of the little horn’s description and its source of origin. For instance, Daniel 7:23 LXX, “And he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on the earth, which shall excel all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and trample and destroy it (or cut it in pieces). And his ten horns are ten kings that shall arise; and after them shall arise another who shall exceed all the former ones in wickedness, and he shall subdue (or humiliate) three kings.” If Zealot-led Israel is supposed to be the fourth kingdom of iron, I don’t find them being able to excel all the other kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. This all-encompassing level of raw, savage power was more descriptive of Rome’s affect on the entire habitable world. Also, I find that Nero could well be said to exceed all the former emperors in wickedness.

    Nero did intend to change law as well. The alliance of friendship that Israel had made with Rome long before in Maccabean times was a law that Nero had to change once the rebellion had broken out under the Zealots in AD 66. This original treaty between Rome and Israel had been inscribed on brass tablets in 161 BC, and was renewed once more in 143 BC. Once the daily temple sacrifice for the emperor and the empire had been stopped by Eleazar ben Ananias in AD 66, this was a challenge to the alliance of friendship between Rome and Israel that had to be met by Nero, who then broke the ancient treaty and declared war on Judea.

    Nero also subdued and humiliated three kings by SETTING UP and REMOVING the Parthian kings during the conflict over Armenia. The names of these 3 humiliated kings who were forced to submit to Nero’s decision on who would sit on the Armenian throne were Vologases I, Tigranes, and Tiridates I. We have a record of Tiridates I laying his crown at the foot of Nero’s statue and agreeing to accept it back again only from Nero in Rome . That certainly qualifies as humiliation and subjugation of a king. This is what I believe to be the meaning behind the little horn intending to “change times and law”.

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    • Patricia Watkins wrote:
      (This idea is duplicated by Christ’s words in Acts 1:7 as he deflected the disciples question about whether he would restore again the kingdom to Israel at that time. “And He said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know THE TIMES OR THE SEASONS, which the Father hath put in his own power.” )

      Patricia,
      Why do you think that Jesus “deflected the disciples (sic) question about whether he would restore again the kingdom to Israel at that time”? What do you think that His reply was about? What do you think that the words ” ‘It is not for you to know THE TIMES OR THE SEASONS, which the Father hath put in his own power” are a response to if not the times and the seasons for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel?
      Lloyd

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  11. Hi Lloyd,

    Good question. My short answer would be…

    The disciples were operating under virtually the same mistaken assumption as the Pharisees in Luke 17:20. They still presumed that Christ intended Israel to rise in power again with a physical dominion over the same territory which Solomon controlled in that “golden age” of the millennium which started in 968/967 BC (the date of the foundation stone for the temple being laid).

    The literal 1,000-year millennium may have just come to an end on His resurrection day in AD 33, but Christ had even better things in mind for His disciples. The kingdom and the temple made of “living stones” would soon go vibrantly mobile – empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit poured out on the disciples, which they would carry with them and within them to ever-expanding regions of all the nations.

    Christ had no intention of restoring the limited, physical dimensions of a kingdom to ethnic Israel AT ALL – EVER AGAIN. That would have been regression, not advancement of God’s kingdom. This is why He side-stepped the disciples’ question in Acts 1:7 and steered their expectations in a more exalted direction instead. At that time, they might not have been given a heads-up on exactly when God would remove the last kings of Daniel’s metals-man image, but better than that, they were promised “…ye SHALL receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

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    • Patricia,
      How do you know that “The disciples were operating under virtually the same mistaken assumption as the Pharisees in Luke 17:20.” and that “They still presumed that Christ intended Israel to rise in power again with a physical dominion over the same territory which Solomon controlled…”?

      Please remember that these apostles who asked this question had just spent “forty days” with their risen Lord discussing the kingdom (see Acts 1:3): why would you think that the apostles thought that Jesus would have any “intention of restoring the limited, physical dimensions of a kingdom to ethnic Israel “?

      Even more important, can you really think that these Apostles who had just spent the past “forty days” with the risen Jesus discussing all things “pertaining to the kingdom” would really be “operating under virtually the same mistaken assumption as the Pharisees in Luke 17:20” and that “They still presumed that Christ intended Israel to rise in power again with a physical dominion over the same territory which Solomon controlled…”?

      If they were that would make Jesus the poorest teacher in all of history and it would make the apostles that listened to and believed Him to be most stupid!

      I do not think that Jesus “deflected… or side-stepped… the disciples (sic) question about whether he would restore again the kingdom to Israel at that time” at all. The apostles question had nothing to do with a physical kingdom as you assume; rather it was all about the Davidic kingdom promised in Luke 1:30-33. I think that He answered them directly and truthfully that it would not be necessary for them to “know the times or the seasons” when God ( who had given the promise and had the “power” (v 7) to “restore the kingdom to Israel”) would “restore the kingdom to Israel” by placing Jesus on the “throne of His father David”! They would indeed be given “power” to be “witnesses…” and to preach “this gospel of the kingdom…” until the time came (70 AD) when God would give Jesus the throne of David” (And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (of the Mosaic age) come. Matt 24:14)

      Amazed in His grace,
      Lloyd

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  12. Hi Lloyd,

    If there’s one thing I am impressed with after reading all the gospels accounts and the records in Acts, it is that Jesus was the most patient of instructors imaginable, and that the men he chose to eventually lead His church were an example of some of the most thick-headed among humankind. This should be an encouragement to the most dense among us, including myself. Even after standing there, staring at an empty tomb, after 3 1/2 years of direct instruction by the Lord, John 20:9 says “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” When they had scoffed at the women’s testimony after they had seen the risen Lord, Christ had to personally upbraid the eleven later on in Mark 16:14 “with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

    So yes, I do believe it was entirely possible that the disciples, even after 40 days of instruction on the things of the kingdom of God, were still entertaining some vague notions that a physical restoration of the physical ethnic kingdom of Israel was a possibility (with the dimensions of Solomon’s dominion). Traditionally-held views always die hard. We still hear similar, widely-held views to this day, spoken in pre-mil disp. language and Zionist-type terms.

    As to the “throne of David” and just when Christ assumed His position on that throne, Adam has touched on this subject in several places here on this site. After reading Acts 2:29-36 that Adam pointed out, I am certain that Christ had already been seated on that throne of David after His ascension from the Mount of Olives – NOT beginning in AD 70. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses, Therefore BEING BY THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD EXALTED, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost…..”, and so on, and so forth. Christ was already enthroned by Pentecost time in AD 33, just waiting until His enemies became His footstool.

    (By the way, becoming a “footstool” is a wonderful thing, if you have been a previously categorized pagan nation. Consider what a footstool represents. It is a place of direct, face-to-face communion between God as king and man as a suppliant, which previously in OT times was limited to the tabernacle and the temple – I Chron. 28:2. Since AD 70, all physical structures that pictured a restricted access to God were dissolved. Christ had planted a footstool of direct communication with Himself in every nation under the New Jerusalem reality, when every one of his servants could “see His face” – Rev. 22:4.)

    As to Adam’s post topic of “times and seasons” and how to define them, there is another verse in Acts 17:24-26 that touches on this subject. Paul was on Mars Hill addressing the Athenians, and said, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;…And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, AND HATH DETERMINED THE TIMES BEFORE APPOINTED, and the bounds of their habitation;” In the Interlinear, this is rendered “the forearranged times”, using the “kairos” term meaning “seasons”. This goes right along with the simple definition I posed to begin with, found in Daniel 2:20-21 in the LXX – that “changing the times and seasons” is the equivalent of being able to remove kings or to set them up. Here in Acts 27:26, Paul links this power God has to determine the “times” with also being able to set up the physical boundaries of nations as well.

    So, the little horn who would “think to change times” would aspire to set up or remove kings, simultaneously determining the boundaries and the dimensions of those kings’ physical dominions. I still think this applies better to Nero rather than to Zealot-led Israel. The Roman empire may not be the predominant feature in the prophetic material of Daniel and Revelation that many preterists make it, but I think it would be a mistake to dismiss it totally. In other words, I still see 3 separate beasts in Revelation – one Roman from the sea, and two of them Judean, from the land and from the wilderness.

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  13. Patricia
    I agree with you completely with respect to the disciples and followers of Jesus; to my mind as well they were without faith, complete unbelievers for the period between the death and resurrection —-the women went to carry out burial rituals; there was no faith found in Israel; zero zip nada, with amazement and wonderment they went to the tomb, i visited the garden tomb on one of my visits, they went as unbelievers with as much sorrow and discouragement that a human can suffer—the visits with the resurrected jesus changed all of that and they obeyed his command to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, it was fulfilled when the split tongues of fire sat upon them—ah yes what a powerful empowerment—-that is still on going–praise be to our risen king

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