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Thursday, June 2 2011

Jerusalem In Flames

Jerusalem is a very ancient city that has known many triumphs and tragedies. From the perspective of Bible History, Jerusalem has been completely destroyed and burned twice - once by the Babylonians, in 586 BC, and again by the Romans, in 70 AD. Both of those events were prophesied.

Prophecy reveals that Jerusalem is again going to be destroyed and immersed in flames. While that yet-future event (don't worry, it's not going to happen for over 1,000 years, as we will prove from the Holy Bible) will indeed be the final destruction of Jerusalem, a New Jerusalem will take its place - after which it will never again be conquered or destroyed.

The LORD God (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

"25:8 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon [see also What And Where Is Babylon Today?], my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations." (Jeremiah 25:8-9 KJV)

It then happened, exactly as the LORD declared: "they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire."

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets [see also The Prophets: North and South], until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD [see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark], and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof." (2 Chronicles 36:15-19 KJV)

"The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up"

Jesus Christ prophesied of the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. He also warned His people to flee the city when they saw the Temple being abominated (that Roman desecration of the Temple in 70 AD was a prefigure of the ultimate end-time abomination of desolation that is yet to come - see Abomination of Desolation - Where?).

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [see The Apocalypse Of Jesus Christ]" (Matthew 24:1-2 KJV)

"24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand: 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains." (Matthew 24:15-16 KJV)

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is not recorded in the Holy Scriptures (except in Prophecy). It occurred when most of the New Testament Scriptures had been written, except for the Book of Revelation that was written around 90 AD (see The Old Man's Letter). We do have however first-hand eyewitness accounts, as made available by the Jewish historian Josephus who lived from 37 to 100 AD. He records the fall and burning of Jerusalem in his The Wars of the Jews (here translated by William Whiston):

An excerpt from Book 6, Chapter 8:

"5. ... (403) So the Romans being now become masters of the wars, they both placed their ensigns upon the towers, and made joyful acclamations for the victory they had gained, as having found the end of this war much lighter than its beginning; for when they had gotten upon the last was, without any bloodshed, they could hardly believe what they found to be true; but seeing nobody to oppose them, they stood in doubt what such an unusual solitude could mean. (404) But when they went in numbers into the lanes of the city, with their swords drawn, they slew those whom they overtook, without mercy, and set fire to the houses wither the Jews were fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest; (405) and when they were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses, that is of such as died by the famine; they then stood in a horror at this sight, and went out without touching anything. (406) But although they had this commiseration for such as were destroyed in that manner, yet had they not the same for those that were still alive, but they ran every one through whom they met with, and obstructed the very lanes with their dead bodies, and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree indeed that the fire of many of the houses was quenched with these men's blood. (407) And truly so it happened, that though the slayers left off at the evening, yet did the fire greatly prevail in the night, and as all was burning, came that eighth day of the month Gorpieus [Elul] upon Jerusalem; (408) a city that had been liable to so many miseries during the siege, that, had it always enjoyed as much happiness from its first foundation, it would certainly have been the envy of the world. Nor did it on any other account so much deserve these sore misfortunes, as by producing such a generation of men as were the occasions of this its overthrow."

An excerpt from Book 6, Chapter 9:

"1. (409) Now, when Titus was come into this [upper] city, he admired not only some other places of strength in it, but particularly those strong towers which the tyrants, in their mad conduct, had relinquished; (410) for when he saw their solid altitude, and the largeness of their several stones. and the exactness of their joints, as also how great was their breadth, and how extensive their length, he expressed himself after the manner following:-(411) "We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men, or any machines, do towards overthrowing these towers!" (412) At which time he had many such discourses to his friends; he also let such go free as had been bound by the tyrants, and were left in the prisons. (413) To conclude, when he entirely demolished the rest of the city, and overthrew its wars, he left these towers as a monument of his good fortune, which had proved his auxiliaries, and enabled him to take what could not otherwise have been taken by him."

"2. (414) And now, since his soldiers were already quite tired with killing men, and yet there appeared to be a vast multitude still remaining alive, Caesar gave orders that they should kill none but those that were in arms, and opposed them, but should take the rest alive. (415) But, together with those whom they had orders to slay, they slew the aged and the infirm; but for those that were in their flourishing age, and who might be useful to them, they drove them together into the temple, and shut them up within the walls of the court of the women; (416) over which Caesar set one of his freed men, as also Fronto, one of his own friends; which last was to determine every one's fate, according to his merits. (417) So this Fronto slew all those that had been seditious and robbers, who were impeached one by another; but of the young men he chose out the tallest and most beautiful, and reserved them for the triumph; (418) and as for the rest of the multitude that were above seventeen years old, he put them into bonds, and sent them to the Egyptian mines. Titus also sent a great number into the provinces, as a present to them, that they might be destroyed upon their theaters, by the sword and by the wild beasts; but those that were under seventeen years of age were sold for slaves. (419) Now during the days wherein Fronto was distinguishing these men, there perished, for want of food, eleven thousand; some of whom did not taste any food, through the hatred their guards bore to them; and others would not take in any when it was given them. The multitude also was so very great, that they were in want even of corn for their sustenance."

"3. (420) Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand, as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand, (421) the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first, occasioned so great a traitness among them that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as destroyed them more suddenly."

As explained above, the Messiah warned His people to flee the city when the conditions of its destruction were visible. They did not ignore His warning.

"Under the reign of Vespasian, Rome declared war against the Jews because of their repeated revolts, and General Titus besieged the city of Jerusalem 70 A.D. It is said that eleven hundred thousand [i.e. one million, one hundred thousand] Jews perished in the six month siege, but the church there escaped the horrors of the siege by following the instruction of Christ in Matthew 24, and fleeing to the mountains beyond the Jordan. This timely retreat was made to the small town of Pella." (Hugh Smith's History)

"In the fall of Jerusalem, few if any Christians perished. From the prophetic utterances of Christ, the Christians received warning, escaped from the doomed city, and found refuge at Pella, in the Jordan valley." (Hurlbut's Story of the Christian Church)

Jerusalem has one more incineration coming, along with every other city on earth, at the end of the 1,000 years that will begin on the day of Christ's return (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin and What Will Heaven Be Like?). When the process of salvation has been completed, the entire planet will become an ocean of fire (see the Fact Finder question below).

The Ocean Of Fire

"3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV)

Then will come the New Jerusalem - which will never again become corrupt or destroyed.

"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who brought the Flood of water upon the Earth? Who is bringing the Flood of fire upon the earth?
See The Floods Brought By Christ; also Baptism Of Fire and The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?

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This Day In History, June 2

455: Gaiseric and the Vandals (from which the term "vandalism originated) captured and plundered Rome (see also The Arian Kingdoms).

597: Augustine, missionary to England and the first archbishop of Canterbury, baptized Saxon king Ethelbert. The Christian-professing faith then spread rapidly among the Angles and Saxons.

1098: During the First Crusade (see The Crusades), the first Siege of Antioch ended when Crusader forces captured the city.

1420: King Henry V of England married Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France.

1692: Bridget Bishop became the first woman to face the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. She was hanged on June 10.

1734: During the War of the Polish Succession, Russia and Austria took Danzig after a siege which had begun in October of the year before.

1740: Comte Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, known as the Marquis de Sade, French writer and man of letters, was born. The term "sadism" is derived from his name.

1763: During Pontiac's Rebellion in Michigan, Chippewas captured Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the defender's attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.

1780: Riots began in London in protest against Parliament's plans to extend the Catholic Relief Act, canceling restrictions on Roman Catholics.

1793: Maximillian Robespierre, a member of France’s Committee on Public Safety, began the "Reign of Terror," a purge of those accused of disloyalty against the French Republic.

1818: The British defeated the alliance of Maratha in Bombay, India.

1848: The Slavic congress in Prague began.

1886: U.S. President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only President to be married in the White House. The groom was 49, the bride was 22.

1896: Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his new invention: the radio.

1910: Charles Stewart Roll became the first man to fly an airplane across the English Channel.

1924: The U.S. granted full citizenship to the native people, the "Indians" (ironically, the "American" government granted citizenship to the original Americans who lived there for millennia before the European immigrants, who later claimed themselves to be the Americans, came).

1928: Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek captured Peking in a bloodless takeover.

1949: Transjordan was renamed Jordan (see also Beyond Jordan).

1953: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place at Westminster Abbey in London, 4 months after the death of her father King George VI. It was the first coronation seen on television.

1969: The Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne collided with the U.S. destroyer Frank E. Evans off the coast of South Vietnam. The destroyer was split in two.

1979: Pope John Paul II arrived in Poland in the first visit by a Pope to a communist country.

1997: A jury in Denver found Timothy McVeigh guilty of the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 that killed 168 people.

2003: The European Space Agency launched its first space vehicle to another planet, the Mars Express. It was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.


Copyright © Wayne Blank