Currently in the Liturgies of daily Mass we have been reading the Book of Revelation. It is commonly read at the end of the liturgical year, for it bespeaks the end of, and passing qualities of all things of this world.

It is also a book of glory, depicting the ultimate victory of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a great period of conflict between the doomed kingdom of this world, and the victorious Kingdom of Christ. In this context the Book of Revelation is not a mere tour guide to the last days, but is a book of glory reminding us that Christ has the total victory already wrapped up.

I would like in this post to present a view of the Book of Revelation that, while a minority opinion, I think better articulates the original context of the Book of Revelation and provides important interpretive keys to understanding its fundamental message.

The Majority of modern scholars place the date of the composition of the Book of Revelation between 90-110 AD. There are good reasons for this, not the least of which is the testimony of several Fathers of the Church. Irenaeus places the work at 96 AD. Victorinus places the writing in the context of the persecution of Domitian, and indicates it was thus that John was imprisoned on Patmos. Jerome and Eusebius say the same. This date of composition (90-110) also flows well with modern theories of biblical dating which tend to favor later dates as a general rule.

The Minority view places the date of composition before 70 AD, during the persecution of Nero. (This was the first and to that time, the worst persecution of the Church in the First Century). Although this view is clearly in the minority, it is gaining adherents.

Of course we might wonder if such an early date does not offend against the testimony of the Fathers of the Church just mentioned. But not, the most significant Father to attest to a mid-nineties date is Irenaeus. It is on him that most other Father’s based their conclusion. But it must be said, that in terms of dating, Ireneus is a bit unreliable. For example, he argues that Jesus was 50 when he was crucified. Thus, though Irenaeus gives us a lot of good biblical insight, he is less reliable for testimony referencing dates and time frames. Likewise, the grammar of the Greek sentence wherein Ireneus states the date of 96 AD is unclear. It can be translated two ways:

1- “John had this vision, near the end of his life, during the reign of Domitian” or 2- “John had this vision and lived on to the reign of Domitian

Thus the minority opinion does not disregard the testimony of the Fathers, but it is understood by these scholars as more vague.

An additional and more central reason for leaning to the earlier date of prior to 70 AD, is that it gives a clearer account of the context for the persecutions being endured by the Christians that flows more from the actual biblical data, wherein the persecution derives more from fellow Jews, than from Romans alone.

Thus, these “minority” scholars seek to integrate the Book of Revelation within the same conflict of other New Testament books such as Acts and the Epistles, namely a dispute between Christians and their Jewish opponents, who then engage the Roman officials for redress, rather than to set Revelation as a conflict merely between Christians and pagan Rome.

To state again, the common modern and majority view is that the context of this book is the persecution against Christians by Domitian (Emperor from 81-96 AD) and the Roman Empire which he headed. John has been arrested and exiled to the Island of Patmos. Thus, the chief context for the majority view is the antagonism of the Roman Empire seeking to force Christians to emperor worship and apostasy from the Christian faith in the one true God. Further, the harlot city is defined in this point of view as Rome.

But the minority view holds that the primary antagonist is not Rome alone, but is a more complex reality of Jews and Romans in concert together against the early Christians.

Recall how Jesus was put to death by Pontius Pilate and the Romans. But, this was also due to the provocation of fellow Jews against Jesus. Peter and John, likewise Paul all suffered from the same collusion of fellow Jews who incited the concern and hostility of Roman officials. The general context of the early New Testament period is that fellow Jews, who did not accept Christ, stirred up trouble for the early Church and provoked the Roman authorities to arrest, punish and even put to death early Christians.

The minority position sees this as the primary historical context of the persecutions described in the Book of Revelation.

Recall too that the Book of Revelation presents the primary antagonist as a horrible Red Dragon. He is clearly the devil. But this Red Dragon gives birth to two beasts which antagonize the Church. This is the double threat experienced by the early Christians.

Historically, at the early stages, Roman authorities were generally indifferent to Christian teachings. However, when Jews, who rejected Christ, entered into open conflict with Christians, they did so in such a way as to involve, often unwillingly, Roman officials. Once provoked, these officials would often be fair, but could also be ruthless.

Later in the Book of Revelation, the double enemy against the Christians is described as a twofold threat, as a “beast” and a “harlot.” The minority view holds that the “harlot city” is really Jerusalem, not Rome.

“Jerusalem” here symbolizes Jews, but not all Jews. Remember that many Jews did in fact become Christians. “Jerusalem” here is understood as those Jews who emphatically rejected the Messiah. It especially represents the leadership centered in the Temple.

Thus the city that is destroyed in the Book of Revelation is, in fact, Jerusalem.

Now, this corresponds to what happened historically in 70 AD to Jerusalem. And thus, the minority view holds that the Book of Revelation dates from the period before 70 AD.

The year 70 was a crucial year for the city of Jerusalem, for it was that year that the war with the Romans was concluded. In this year, Jerusalem was sacked and burned and the Temple destroyed. Not one stone was left on another and the whole area (except for a few dwellings on Mt. Zion) was abandoned. Survivors were carried into slavery or killed. The destruction and abandonment was total and 1.2 million Jews lost their lives, according to Josephus, the Jewish historian.

So, the minority view holds that the book of Revelation was a prophecy of these events and actually served to warn the Christians of the signs that would precede the destruction that they flee before Jerusalem’s doom was sealed. Thus, the historical context of the Book of Revelation is the persecution of Christians by unbelieving Jews in partnership with Roman officials, and the subsequent destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Lord in Judgment of Israel’s unbelief and persecution of those who did believe.

Although it is a minority view, it is growing in acceptance and, I would argue is compelling for the following reasons:

I. It links the Book of Revelation to the “mini-Apocalypse” which has a clear context: the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple. It also links it to similar prophecies of Christ in the Gospels, most notably the Mount Olivet Discourse: For example, (Mat 24:1-44):

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. {2} But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” {3} As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” {4} And Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. {5} For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. {6} And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. {7} For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: {8} all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. {9} “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. {10} And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. {11} And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. {12} And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. {13} But he who endures to the end will be saved. {14} And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. {15} “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), {16} then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; {17} let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; {18} and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. {19} And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! {20} Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. {21} For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. {22} And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. {23} Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. {24} For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. {25} Lo, I have told you beforehand. {26} So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. {27} For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {28} Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together. {29} “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; {30} then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; {31} and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. {32} “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. {33} So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. {34} Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. {35} Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. {36} “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. {37} As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {38} For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, {39} and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {40} Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. {41} Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. {42} Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. {43} But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. {44} Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Note the similarities in passage like this to the prophecies of Revelation. Note too that the context of the Mount Olivet Discourse is the destruction of the Temple and the signs that precede it, not the destruction of Rome or of the world.

Indeed there are striking parallels in the details of Revelation and the Mount Olivet discourse wherein our Lord proclaimed the imminent destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The parallels are too numerous to detail here, But I have put them in column form here: The Fourth Apocalypse. But in effect, there are many who argue that the Book of Revelation is the Mount Olivet discourse, missing in John’s Gospel but theologically set forth in his second work: The Book of Revelation. And thus its content corresponds to the context of the Mt Olivet discourse, namely, the Destruction of Jerusalem, not Rome.

II. It links the Book of Revelation to prophetic books of the Old Testament and maintains their historical meaning and focus. Most of the Book of Revelation is drawn directly from Old Testament Prophets such as Joel, Daniel and Ezekiel. Since this is done, it is important to learn what their historical context and concerns were.

Most of the O.T. sources from which John and the Holy Spirit draw, have the historical context of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple which took place in 587 BC. If that was the original context of the texts from which John borrows, then it is strongly probable that John is saying, what happened then (in 587 BC) will happen again unless there is Jewish repentance and faith. This is what the passages meant in the Old Testament time and now John borrows them for the current time of 70 AD, wherein the Temple and Jerusalem were prophesied by Jesus to be destroyed again.

Thus parallel events are being described and point to the context in which John writes. The minority view fits nicely with this historical perspective.

III. It maintains the tradition of prophets in terms of the use of the word “harlot”. In the Old Testament, Jerusalem, and the people of Israel are called the “harlot” since they have committed adultery, forsaken the Lord, and are sleeping with false gods. Nowhere in the Old Testament is Rome or any pagan city called a harlot. But Jerusalem repeatedly is.

Thus again it seems unlikely that Revelations would depart so suddenly and steeply from a biblical tradition and assign the title “harlot” to the pagan city, Rome, rather than to its traditional referent in the prophetic school: Jerusalem. Here are some examples of the use of the word from the prophets:

1.(Isa 1:20-21) But if you refuse and rebel [O, Israel], you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” {21} How the faithful city has become a harlot, she that was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.

2.(Jer 2:19-20) Your wickedness will chasten you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts. {20} “For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, ‘I will not serve.’ Yea, upon every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down as a harlot.

3.(Ezek 23:28-30) For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust; {29} and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labor, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your harlotry {30} have brought this upon you, because you played the harlot with the nations, and polluted yourself with their idols.

IV. It also fits with the most direct references as to the identity of the persecutors in the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 2 & 3 there is reference to a “synagogue of Satan” and that they consider themselves Jews. Romans would surely not have considered themselves Jews. Hence, we ought to take the text at face value: the primary persecutors are Jews. But the persecutor is not Jews alone, but also the Gentiles, responding to the complaints of Jews against the Christians. ( Thus the enemy is also identified as Caesar Nero: Here are a couple of texts that describe the persecutors of the Christians in very Jewish terms:

1.(Rev 2:8-9) And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. {9} “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not2, but are a synagogue of Satan.

2.(Rev 3:9) Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you.

V. The Minority opinion also takes the clearest identity of the “harlot city” at face value and corresponds to it more exactly. In Revelation 11 the harlot city is identified as Jerusalem (not Rome):

(Rev 11:8) …and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Thus the city is Jerusalem, not Rome as is presupposed by the majority opinion. The city described as the place where their Lord was crucified can be no other place than Jerusalem.

VI. 666= Nero not Domitian. The famous text identifying the “beast” as having a name that corresponds to the number “666” dates Revelation to 54-68 (Nero’s reign) not Domitian (81-96). Note the texts:

(Rev 13:18) This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

There is little dispute today that “666” is a clear reference to Nero. But why would Nero be referenced in a persecution taking place near 90 AD under the reign of Domitian? Thus the minority view of Revelation as a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (not Rome) in 70 AD seems more plausible.

VII. It will be noted that there are two beasts described in Revelation 13, one from “the land” and one from “the sea.” Hence there are two adversaries: Unbelieving Jews (The beast from the Land, for Land = “Promised Land”) and Rome (the beast from the Sea, for “Sea” is a common symbol of the Gentiles).

Both of these beasts emerged from a “red dragon” that has 7 heads (there were 7 Herods) and ten horns (there were ten Caesars who interacted with the 7 Herods). Thus a complex, double-enemy seems to be described.

These two beasts, both coming from the Red Dragon, seem to comport well with the data of the Book of Revelation and the Historical context of the time leading up to 70 AD wherein the two enemies who conspire against the early Church. Ultimately, as the Book of Revelation also describes, these two beasts turn on one another, and the harlot is destroyed.

This historically happened: In Revelation (Rev 17ff) The complex, two-fold enemy is described as a beast, and a harlot. The harlot city rides upon the beast. The beast later turns and devours the harlot with fire and total destruction. This in fact happened when Rome (which had a partnership with Jerusalem through the Herodian dynasty) turned against Jerusalem and totally destroyed her by fire, killing 1.2 million Jews.

Thus the Book of Revelation seems to describe an enemy of the early Christians that is a complex combination of two enemies who conspire against the early Church, and later turn on each other. This was historically the fact at the time of 70 AD when the Jews and Rome went to war against one another.

VIII. It flows well from the fuller context of the New Testament. through the bulk of the New Testament the antagonists are fellow Jews who do not accept Christ as the Messiah It is they who involve Roman authorities in exacting punishment on Christians. Those these Roman officials are often hesitant to become involved, though they are not thereby absolved of responsibility any more than Pilate can be absolved for his actions. Notice the consistent Biblical context of the double enemy face by Christians:

1.It was fellow Jews who handed Jesus over. In particular it was fellow Jews who had much invested in the Temple and its rituals who were most threatened by him who handed him over. Pilate, though unjust in his final action, was reluctant and it was only when He perceived that the Jewish leaders would lead a riot that he relented and had Jesus put to death.

2.In the Acts of the Apostles, it is always fellow Jews who attack and pursue Paul. The Romans, far from being Paul’s enemy are in fact his protectors on more than a few occasions. Even when he Romans do arrest Paul it is once again due to the insistence of fellow Jews and the threat of civil unrest it Roman officials did not comply. Again, the final arrest of Paul centered on a perceived defilement of the Temple that he supposedly committed. This was not in fact the case but was the pretext by which the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem handed him over.

3.In the Epistles of Paul, once again, it is fellow Jews and Judaizers (So-called Christians who wanted to bring the whole Jewish ceremonial law into the Church and make it binding on all Christians) who are the real enemies. Paul does not preach social unrest against Roman authority (Nor did Jesus). In fact, Paul counsels respect for authority and prayers for all in authority. Likewise, Jesus strongly resists any attempts to draw him into political zealotry and any conception of the Messiah that would understand him as military savior.

4.None of this is to render the New Testament anti Semitic. Remember, most of the early converts were Jews. Jewish Christians made up a sizable percentage of the early Church. The question here is not ethnic hatred but of a clear distinction between those who would accept Jesus as Lord and those who would not. The division was not some mere intellectual debate. It was a volatile clash between absolutely different understanding of the basic questions, who is God? Who is supreme? Who is to be worshiped?

5.It therefore seems unlikely and unusual that, very suddenly, the context changes radically in the final book of the New Testament. All along, the context was of the passing away of the Old Order of the Law and the Temple and the passionate fear and hatred that this caused. It seems more likely that the final book of the Bible would prophesy the conclusion to this clash.

IX. It takes the use of the word “soon” that is often used in the Book of Revelation more at face value. Throughout the Book of Revelation the temporal expectation that the events it describes are to take place “soon.” For example:

1.(Rev 1:1 ) The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must SOON take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

2.(Rev 1:3 ) Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the TIME IS NEAR.

3.(Rev 2:5 ) [To the church at Ephesus] Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

4.(Rev 2:16 ) Repent then. If not, I will come to you SOON and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

5.(Rev 3:11 ) I am coming SOON; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

6.(Rev 22:12 ) Behold, I am coming SOON, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done.

7.(Rev 22:20 ) He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming SOON.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Now, it is true, “soon” can be understood from God’s perspective, a perspective that sees a watch in the night (4 hours) as equivalent to “a thousand years.” But we ought not dismiss that the “soon” referenced here might also have had a more denotative meaning and meant that, as Jesus said in the Mount Olivet discourse “There are some standing here today, who will not taste death until they see all these things take place.” For the early Christians “soon” may well have meant 70 AD, rather than the 90+ AD that many moderns presume.

X. If Rome is the harlot city, as the majority opinion presumes, there is a problem in that it was never destroyed. It was sacked many centuries after Biblical times (in the late 4th and early 5th Centuries AD), but it was never burned or destroyed as depicted in Revelation. Jerusalem however was destroyed and burned in 70 AD and thereby correspondent to the prophecies of the Book of Revelation (e.g. Rev 18:18 inter al).

Hence, for these reasons, and other reasons not set forth here, The “minority” view seems quite plausible. Namely, that the Book of Revelation is describing the clash between Jews and Christians (which drew in the Romans) and caused the persecutions against the Church which is described in Revelation. It is not merely a book describing Roman persecutions.

Further, the context of just prior to 70 AD, under Nero seems more plausible, (that the context of 90 AD under Domitian). And the war-like and apocryphal events described are those that lead up to the destruction of the Temple and the full establishment of the Church, as the new locus of the worship of God. Here is the more likely and immediate context of the Book of Revelation.

This does not mean that there is no value in the majority opinion, (namely that the beast (Harlot) is Rome and the context is a Roman persecution of the Church). Since this is the majority view it would be wrong to simply dismiss that view. Hence, what I have presented here is still described as the minority view.

But I have come to appreciate that the minority view enables us to have a far richer understanding of the Book of Revelation, since it sees the Book of Revelation as a part of the whole Bible rather than as merely an apocalyptic work that radically stands apart from the other biblical views.

Consider well the possibilities of the minority view of Revelation. Fundamentally this view roots the Book more solidly in the rest of Biblical tradition, and maintains the focus on the biblical city of Jerusalem and the context of faith, rather than the pagan city of Rome to which the early Church looked with evangelical mission and open doors, rather than with the polemical disdain and gleefully expectant destruction presumed by the majority view.

Surely, as with any minority view, as you ponder it, you may be troubled by the fact that it unsettles what seems more familiar. But I have come to see that it comports better with the actual data of the Book of Revelation. How say you?

By the way, David Chilton has written quite thoroughly of this “preterist” theory of the Book of Revelation here: Days of Vengeance
More is info is also available: HERE

91 Responses

  1. PeteWaldo says:

    As in all such discussions on preterism and futurism relative to each other, is an absolute dearth of discussion on the historic amillennialism of those great men of God of the Reformation like Matthew Henry and Isaac Newton, which evidence suggests was also the view of the church up until preterism and futurism began to come into vogue in the 19th century. Folks often dismissing this traditional context out of hand while never even having investigated it, even though ALL Jews and Christians are historicists, when it comes to Old Testament prophecy.

    • newenglandsun says:

      The first full commentary on Revelation was by an historicist. But there was never a dogmatic adherence to it (not even by your demonically possessed reformers, one being an anti-semite, one being a Calvinist, and the other being a greedy adulterer).

      Historicism is full of holes and is sinking.

      Source: I am an ex-historicist and I *know* historicism relies on pseudo-historical bunk and attempts to draw influences from people (like Luther) who didn’t even believe in historicism.

      Oh, and Isaac Newton constantly changed his theological positions throughout his life. He went from staunch anti-Trinitarian to being completely agnostic of his own anti-Trinitarianism. He also had many different datings for the return of Christ none of which he held as dogmatic and he was also agnostic on that.

      Honestly, Newton, to me, comes out as more of an agnostic and a constant truth-seeker than a “secret heretic” (how can a heretic be “secret” again any way?).

      • Pete Waldo says:

        Thank you for your response.

        “Historicism is full of holes and is sinking.”

        If the traditional historicist approach to Bible prophecy is sinking, then Jews and Christians will have to abandon such as our view, that the figures of Daniel’s “beasts” represented literal successive kingdoms that were to unfold in his future.

        “Source: I am an ex-historicist and I *know* historicism relies on pseudo-historical bunk and attempts to draw influences from people (like Luther) who didn’t even believe in historicism.”

        That would not be surprising if they followed a 19th century cult, like those who seem to label their DOCTRINE AS historicism, that demonize the Papacy and Roman Catholic Church, the way that SDA do as well. While those cults may have used and abused, the traditional historicist approach, their doctrine does not constitute the historicist approach. It is nothing more than that. AN APPROACH to Bible prophecy.

        By having abandoned the traditional historicist approach to New Testament Bible prophecy – thus abandoning a UNIFORM approach to all bible prophecy – the church is NECESSARILY PRECLUDED from even considering, that Muhammad could be THE false prophet of the book of Revelation, let alone being precluded from considering the possible role of 1900 years of Christian era history in prophecy.

        This even though Muhammad’s followers – 1/4 of mankind in the world today – must deny the crucifixion of Christ, and thus deny His sin atoning shed blood, as an article of their faith in Muhammad. Must deny the Son of God to such an extent, they are taught that to confess that Jesus is the Son of god, or even to pray in Jesus name, would constitute the single most “heinous” and ONLY UNFORGIVABLE SIN (“shirk”) in Muhammad’s religion.

        Not surprisingly then, this same 1/4 of mankind in the world today, are commanded a Muhammad’s followers have been for 1400 years, to conquer all kingdoms and subjugate all people to Islam.

        Bukhari, V1 B2 #24 Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle…..

        Subjugate all people on earth to denying the crucifixion of Christ, and thus the shed blood of the Lamb of God.

        Quran Surah 4:157 That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but THEY KILLED HIM NOT, NOR CRUCIFIED HIM, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, FOR OF A SURETY THEY KILLED HIM NOT

        To deny the Son of God as another article of their faith in the false prophet Muhammad.

        Quran Surah 19:88 They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!” 89 Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!

  2. newenglandsun says:

    The two enemies are heresy and Rome. Heresy is the false prophet and heresy is the ten horns and false religion. The beast (Rome) turns on heresy when it becomes Christian.

    Thus, it makes sense to see the book as referring to that. Written in 95-96 C.E.

  3. Mark E. Mountjoy says:

    An excellent essay! Great work and format. Please visit my website: Atavist Biblical It would be great if we could collaborate and discuss these and other issues. I recommend Doron Mendel’s “The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism.” It appears to me that the Sea Beast armies suffered destruction WITH the Destruction of Jerusalem (shortly after it: Revelation 19:1ff). However, the Roman armies came off the victors in their A.D.70 imbroglio with the Jews. This seems to contradict what you’ve said. Could it be that the Sea Beast was JEWISH armies–bandits, revolutionaries and nationalists? These spent the good part of 42 months in a civil war wherein one of their chief points of agreement was an intense hostility against the Jerusalem Aristocracy. Jerusalem, according to Josephus, was destroy by their own sedition and then the Romans destroyed the sedition. Anyway, I hope to hear from you. God bless you and yours.

  4. Scath Beorh says:

    Consoling. And utterly clarifying. If the Kingdom of God is here, and the righteous become more righteous while the ungodly become more evil, then our only work is to ensure that the good word of the gift of the kingdom of eternal life is preached, and then the end will come… when Jesus returns as King of Kings.

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