Tag Archives: Josephus

The Fifth Bowl and the Seat of the Beast

seven vials - 5a

from Google Images

The fifth bowl of wrath, then, affected the power or authority of the Beast. It affected the extent to which his throne or seat of authority was felt throughout the world. Peter mentions in his first epistle that believers were under persecution in five Roman provinces that now comprises part of modern day Turkey (1Peter 1:1, 6-7; 4:12). I argued in a previous study, The Persecution in Asia Minor, that such a widespread persecution had to have had a common source. That source couldn’t have been the Emperor, although he had the power to cause such a persecution. The reason why it couldn’t have been him is that Rome simply killed their adversaries. They didn’t infiltrate them in order to gain power over them (cp. 2Peter 2:1-3). The only other entity who had power to cause such widespread persecution was the high priest in Jerusalem. He had such power, and the first three persecutions of Jesus’ disciples were begun under the influence and authority of the high priest officiating out of the Annas family of high priests. Annas, remember, was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, and Jesus was brought before him first (John 18:12-13). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 30, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Over Whom Did the Beast Reign?

Beast of Revelation 13b

from Google Images

The beast had power or authority over Jews, and only Jews who were the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He, indeed, had authority over all tribes, no matter which language was spoken, and no matter where they resided in the Roman Empire (Revelation 13:7). However, that authority was limited to the Jewish race. It did not include gentiles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 26, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Murders, Sorcery, Fornication and Theft


from Google Images

The text in the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse continues on to say that the rest, who weren’t slain by the judgment of the Sixth Trumpet, refused to repent of their murders, sorceries, fornications and thefts (Revelation 9:21). I don’t believe the sense has to be immediately following the deaths of one-third of the Jewish population. Rather, I think the sense pertains to during the judgment itself, while the deaths were occurring all around them, still the Jews didn’t consider their deeds and repent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 17, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Locusts Prepare for Battle!

Roman Horseman

from Google Images

The Roman army was a very sizeable and mighty force to reckon with. They were noted for how swiftly they were able to mobilize their military forces and bring them to the battlefield. The locusts are compared with the war horse in Revelation 9:7, which are mentioned again in Joel 2, concerning a day of darkness and thick clouds (cf. Revelation 9:2), when a mighty army comes as horsemen in battle (Joel 2:2-4). Any Jew who was acquainted with the Scriptures would have understood that his only hope in gaining victory over such a military machine was, if God would take his side against the Roman oppressor. Nevertheless Jesus and his disciples through their preaching the Gospel claimed this would be a time of judgment against his people. Now, all the Jews could do was wait for the battle to come to them. They rejected their only Savior, so they faced the greatest war-machine of their day without any hope of victory (Luke 23:29-30; cf. Revelation 6:16). Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 3, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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My Study and Josephus


from Google Images

In previous studies I have concluded that the Jewish high priest, Annas, is the “fallen star” of Revelation 9:1. That is, he brought the independent Jewish state back into existence, represented in the smoke arising from the pit of the abyss (Revelation 9:2). Nevertheless, the first century AD Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, would not agree with my position, because he completely exonerates all the “high priests and the men of power.[1] Therefore, it becomes necessary to discover whether or not Josephus’ record is completely unbiased and true. If his record is true, my understanding about Revelation chapter nine is completely wrong, because my whole argument hangs upon the corruption of the high priests, especially Annas, and their desire to govern themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 29, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Smoke of the Abyss

Smoke of the pit

from Google Images

In Revelation 9:2 the fallen star (verse-1) opened the bottomless pit (G12) or the pit of the abyss (G12), and immediately smoke arose out of the pit. Most often in the Old Testament, smoke is used to express the presence of the Lord either in the form of salvation of the righteous (cf. Exodus 19:18) or in the form of judgment upon the wicked (Genesis 19:28). Here, after the blowing of the Fifth Trumpet, the smoke, as the smoke of a great furnace, arose out of the abyss, and the sun was hid, which may signify that what was done by opening the abyss hid heavenly light. That is to say, opening the abyss resulted in a final rejection of or at least the continuation of hiding the truth, which in the context of the Apocalypse means: the smoke hid the truth of the Gospel, as it was then being preached by Jesus’ disciples, whom the Jewish authorities were persecuting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 27, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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A Star Called Wormwood


from Google Images

In my two earlier studies entitled: Blowing the Third Trumpet and A Great Star Fell from Heaven, I tried to show that the star that fell from heaven was a Jewish spiritual and civil leader, namely, one of the influential high priests at Jerusalem, who stood against the Lord and the Gospel that was then being spread throughout the Roman Empire by Jesus’ disciples. He had planned and executed a great persecution against the Messianic church immediately following Paul’s imprisonment at Caesarea. All of the General Epistles: James, 1 & 2 Peter; 1, 2 & 3 John, and Jude were written, in my opinion, during Paul’s incarceration and in an effort to stem the attack of the Jewish leadership at Jerusalem against the spread of the Gospel. This persecution of believers didn’t go unnoticed by the Lord, and he retaliated against the unbelieving Jewish nation, as I hope to show in this study. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 15, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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A Great Star Fell from Heaven

Fallen Star

from Google Images

When the third angel sounded its trumpet, a great star fell from heaven (Revelation 8:10), but what does this mean? First of all, a star represents kings, especially the Messiah (Numbers 27:17), but they can also represent leaders of the church (Revelation 1:16, 20), or even the nation of Israel, itself (Revelation 12:1; cf. Genesis 37:9-12). Secondly, if we consider the veil of the Temple, the significance of the star falling from heaven might impact the reader in a very unexpected manner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Blowing the Second Trumpet

Trumpet - 2nd

from Google Images

When the second angel blew his trumpet, a great mountain, as though it were burning with fire, was cast into the sea. If we consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 21:21 or Mark 11:23, it needs to be said that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples had ever prayed to remove a literal mountain and cast it into the sea. Jesus did cause a literal tree to dry up, but nothing was ever done to a literal mountain. Therefore, it seems to me that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, and, if so, he couldn’t have been speaking of Mount Olivet, as many commentaries assume. Rather, he spoke of Jerusalem in a spiritual or metaphorical sense (cf. Daniel 2:35; Zechariah 4:7). Jesus’ words: “this mountain…” was, probably, a gesture toward Jerusalem, which would have been in view from the point where Jesus and his disciples were standing and discussing the dried up fig tree. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 8, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Composition of the 144000


from Google Images

If we are to understand what is happening in Revelation 7:5-8, there are several things we need to consider about how this group of people is comprised. First of all, Levi is numbered with the tribes that were sealed, and Levi was never numbered with his brethren (Numbers 1:49), because he had no inheritance in the Land. Rather, the Lord was his inheritance. Secondly, Dan isn’t mentioned at all among the tribes that were sealed, and finally, Ephraim isn’t specifically mentioned, although Joseph is, but Joseph includes the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, yet Manasseh is specifically mentioned by itself. Knowing this, it doesn’t seem as though we should look to this group of people in the same sense that we understand the group that Moses took out of Egypt, which we find recorded in the book of Exodus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Wrath of the Lamb

Wrath of God

from Google Images

When the sixth seal was opened and the heavenly signs were seen, the kings of the earth and their nobility, the commanders of the military, the wealthy and the powerful men of society, both slave and free – all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains (Revelation 6:15). If this were literally true, it would indeed have been an event worthy headlining any newspaper or television newscast throughout the world. Nevertheless, the phraseology is simply a metaphor that pointed to the world’s response over Jesus’ judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 16, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Why These Seven Churches?


from Google Images

It is interesting that only seven churches are mentioned, and only these in the province of Asia. There were certainly more churches even in that province than the one’s mentioned in Revelation 1:11. Therefore, we need to ask, why did the Lord pick out these seven churches, and why only from the Roman province of Asia? First of all, it may prove significant that the seven churches seem to be situated in an ancient Roman mail route to various distribution centers. Beginning in Ephesus, the capital of Asia, the mail would have traveled north to the other distribution centers: Smyrna and Pergamum, then southeast to Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. So, communications would begin in Ephesus and go inland to the other cities (churches), and, considering the direction (inland) of the communication, it might be inferred that important news would spread until the whole province (taken for the world) would be reached. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 5, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

from Google Images

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?[1] Will it ever be found? Does it even exist at all? According to the Biblical record, it is never mentioned after Nebuchadnezzar had both Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed in the sixth century BC. What happened to it after this is disputed in extra-biblical literature. Some rabbis claim it was carried off to Babylon, while others claim it was hidden by Jeremiah in a cave on Mt. Nebo[2] located in modern Jordan (2Maccabees 2:4-7), where Moses stood to look at the Promised Land before he died (Deuteronomy 34:1-5). Still others claim it was hidden somewhere on the Temple mount, itself. More modern claims that the Ark had been found have been mentioned, but for various (convenient) reasons, nothing has ever been produced in the form of objective evidence that the Ark still exists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 20, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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The Bridegroom Comes!

Bridegroom Comes

from Google Images

The Olivet Discourse in Matthew extends into Matthew 25 where Jesus offers his Apostles three more parables. The first of these is the Parable of the Ten Virgins. As we know from the account, five were wise, but five were foolish in that they didn’t bring any oil for their lamps. As the bridegroom delayed, all of the virgins slept, but a cry was heard at midnight that the bridegroom was coming. All awoke and the five wise dressed their lamps, but the five foolish realized they hadn’t enough oil. When they asked the wise to share their oil, they were refused, because there might not be enough for both the wise and the foolish, if the wise gave up their oil. The foolish were told to go to them who buy and sell and buy oil for themselves, but as they went the Bridegroom arrived and only the wise were able to go with him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 15, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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What Were the Signs of the End?


from Google Images

A few days before he was crucified Jesus predicted the complete destruction of the Temple, obviously, the city as well. Part of the city wall was composed of stones that built up part of the Temple complex. Jesus’ disciples were absolutely astonished over his prediction. It was not something they had expected would occur in their lifetimes, let alone ever. When Jesus arrived on Mount Olivet, four of his Apostles took him aside to ask him privately when these things would be, and what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age (i.e. the Mosaic Covenant). The other Apostles probably remained with other disciples, so that Jesus could be questioned privately about his astonishing remarks. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on November 6, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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