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Vindicating the Apostles and the Prophets

15 Mar
Vindication

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One of the great discrepancies of a futuristic view of the Apocalypse is that such a rendering of the Scriptures simply cannot be harmonized with what Jesus claimed during his ministry. Nor does it agree with what Paul said during his ministry. John tells us in Revelation 18:20 that by judging the great harlot God had avenged his holy Apostles and prophets. How could the destruction of any modern day army or nation avenge the persecution and deaths of the Apostles and prophets? Just as the vain traditions of men in the first century AD made the word of God of no effect, so, too, do modern day “vain traditions of men” make the word of God, particularly the Apocalypse, of no affect among his people.

In order for the futuristic view of the Apocalypse to be true, that is, that its fulfillment is meant to occur in our day, or 2000 years after Jesus, one must claim the writers of the New Covenant text were ignorant of the times and the seasons and even mistaken about when Jesus claimed he would return. Even Jesus’ words must be twisted in order to point, not to the first century AD, but to a time 2000 years later (or more). One has to wonder what sola Scriptura would look like in such a context. Given the history of a futuristic interpretation of the Apocalypse with its many failures, what would humbling oneself before the word of God (Isaiah 66:2) mean in such a doctrine?

Understanding the Apocalypse begins with knowing and practicing the premise that the word of God cannot be made to contradict itself (John 10:35). If it appears to contradict, it is our own understanding of the text that is wrong, not the text itself. We need to seek out the Scriptures that would shed light on our understanding and remove the contradiction. This hasn’t been done in any modern interpretation of the Apocalypse, and proof of this is their many failures in predicting its fulfillment.[1]

Jesus tells us that it was Jerusalem that had killed all the prophets of the Old Testament, its leaders would also kill him (Matthew 21:33-46), and those Jesus would send to them (Matthew 23:29-35; cp. Revelation 18:20, 24). Moreover, Jesus predicted Jerusalem with its Temple would be utterly destroyed (Matthew 22:1-7; 23:37-38), and all these things would occur within the generation in which Jesus and the Apostles preached (Matthew 23:36).

Now, notice how Paul’s understanding of the first century AD is in perfect harmony with what Jesus predicted during his public ministry:

For you, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (1Thessalonians 2:14-16)

Paul tells us that his countrymen, i.e. the Jews, but more specifically the leaders at Jerusalem, not only killed Jesus, but they killed the prophets under the Old Covenant and were persecuting and murdering those preaching to them in Paul’s day. This is exactly what the Lord had predicted would occur.

Finally, John then tells us in the Apocalypse, that the great harlot, i.e. Mystery Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:1, 4-5) was the great city (Revelation 17:18) who had killed the prophets and the Apostles of Jesus (Revelation 17:6). That is, the guilty city that had slain the witnesses of Christ is that same great city where Jesus was crucified (Revelation 11:7-8).[2] In other words the guilty city was first century Jerusalem, that great city, the great harlot, Mystery Babylon the Great, which the Lord had destroyed with her Temple in 70 AD, when he came in the person of Titus with his Roman armies (cp. Luke 21:20).

Who is unable to see the harmony between Jesus, Paul and John? In every point all agree. Jerusalem was responsible for the killing of the Old Testament prophets, the killing of Jesus and those Jesus sent to the city in an effort to help them believe the Gospel and repent. When Jerusalem authorities destroyed the witnesses of Jesus or had others kill them, there remained no remedy and the great city, i.e. the great harlot, was destroyed with her Temple.

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[1] See List of Dates Predicted for Apocalyptic Events and The End of the World.

[2] See my earlier studies: Who Are the Two Witnesses? and The Responsibility for the Witnesses’ Deaths.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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