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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator




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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

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260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

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1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

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The Fall of Jerusalem and The Roman Conquest of Judea

“One of the most stirring episodes in the history of the world is furnished by the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, its capture, and its destruction . . .”

"Her tale of splendour now is told & done" Dean Milman



It was while gazing on this magnificent city that our Lord delivered his solemn prophecy of its approaching downfall.






The Fall of Jerusalem and The Roman Conquest of Judea


One of the most stirring episodes in the history of the world is furnished by the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, its capture, and its destruction. Not only does it command our attention from the valour displayed by the besiegers, and the desperate resolution of the besieged; from the numerous pathetic incidents which marked the course of the great struggle, and which have been recorded with so much eloquence by Josephus; but we are impressed by the fact that the downfall of the Holy City was the fulfilment of a distinct prophecy, and the last unmistakable sign that the old order had changed, giving place to the new—that the Old Dispensation had passed away, to be succeeded by the religion of Christ.

A story so striking in itself, and so suggestive, cannot fail to interest the reader, however plainly told. In the following pages an attempt has been made to condense it within moderate limits, while, it is hoped, preserving its most salient points. It is here preceded, moreover, by a rapid summary of the events which culminated in this one supreme event, and followed by a brief narrative of the final subjugation of Judaea. In the main it is founded upon Josephus; but some illustrative particulars have been gathered from other sources, and recourse has also been had to the modern works of Merivale and Milman.

The writer therefore hopes that in its present form the " old, old story " will continue to interest the youthful reader; and that in many a " Sunday Library " his unpretending volume will be allowed to occupy a " place of honour."


Let the reader carry back his imagination to a time immediately preceding our Saviour's death; to the day when, seated on the green slope of the Mount of Olives, with his apostles gathered around him, the Author of our Faith looked down upon the great Jewish metropolis—" the Holy City "—glowing in the gold and purple of the sunset.

It was evening, says Dean Milman, and the whole irregular line of the famous capital, as it soared from the deep valleys encircling it on three of its sides, might be clearly traced. Behind the western hills " slow sank the setting sun"—the "significant emblem of the great Fountain of moral light, to which Jesus and his faith have been perpetually compared"—his last gleams of glory resting on the castled height of Mount Zion—on the magnificent palace of Herod the King—on the square tower, the " Antonia," at the corner of the Temple—and on that Temple itself, the centre of the Jewish faith, the home of the Old Revelation, blazing all over with spikes of gold, which glittered in the sun like shafts of fire. Below, its colonnades and its massive gates flung their broad, heavy shadows over the courts, and so produced that magical contrast of light and shade, which is not only important in an artistic point of view, but in its singular influence on the spectator's imagination. Further around mounted roof after roof in long succession, partly enveloped in the long volumes of smoke which rose from the evening sacrifice; and against the distant horizon towered the blue masses of the mountains, as if to fence in from the outer world a scene so glorious, so sacred, and so fair.

In truth, a glorious scene; for Jerusalem at that epoch surpassed all the other cities of the known world in grandeur. A Latin writer, some few years later, spoke of it as " longe clarissima urbium Orientis, non Judasse modo,"—as by far the most splendid, not simply of the cities of Judsea, but of the Bast. Herod the Great had enriched it with stately structures, whose magnificence could not be equalled even in Imperial Rome itself. Its gymnasiums and its theatres, its pillared porticoes and its forums, were of the most precious materials and of the noblest proportions. All the shrines and sanctuaries of Rome could have been enclosed within the precincts of the Temple, which had been rebuilt on the holiest site in the Holy City, and enlarged with an outer court of much greater dimensions. For fifty years, says Merivale, marble had been piled upon marble in constructing it. It occupied the whole summit of the hill of Moriah—next to Zion, the most prominent quarter of the city—and rising upon enormous substructions from the deep valleys beneath, seemed like one immense citadel, the Sanctuary of the Jewish nation.

" On the rival summit of Mount Zion," continues the historian, " the highest elevation in Jerusalem, was planted the royal residence; no modest mansion for the most eminent of Roman senators, but a Palace worthy of the name; an abode befitting an Oriental potentate, erected not by the contributions of the populace, but by confiscation of the estates of the great and powerful of the land. Surrounded with lofty walls and towers, springing, like the Temple, from the depths of the gorges beneath, containing vast halls and ample corridors, its courts filled with trees and grass-plots, with reservoirs, fountains, and running streams, it was a palace, a villa, and a fortress all in one. Zion and Moriah faced each other across the deep and narrow trench of the Tyropceon, and the Temple and the Palace were connected by a bridge or causeway, across which the sovereign marched above the heads of his subjects, as the sun passes in the heavens from cloud to cloud."

It was while gazing on this magnificent city that out Lord delivered his solemn prophecy of its approaching downfall. His disciples, their hearts burning with patriotic fervour, not unnaturally began to praise its exceeding beauty, and especially to dwell with fond affection on the superb character of its Temple,—" how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts." They saw it as it was; they had no thought of its future, or what thought they had was probably connected with its greater glory as, at some later time, the head-quarters of the New Revelation preached to them by their Divine Master. But he, piercing the clouds which obscured the human view, dispelled in a moment all their visions, and overwhelmed with sorrow their boastful minds. " As for these things which ye behold," he exclaimed, " the days will come in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." We can imagine the consternation with which the disciples listened to this terrible prediction, and the panic fear which led them to inquire, " Master, but when shall these things be ? Will no sign be vouchsafed to us before so awful a destruction falls upon Jerusalem ? "

The reader may perhaps wonder why this doom was preordained for the Holy City; why the capital of Judaea —the city of David and Solomon, of the kings and the prophets, the common centre of God's chosen people— should have been marked out for so signal a calamity. But it was stained with the blood of the just and the true— its streets had witnessed the sufferings of saints: its inhabitants, rejoicing in their wealth and prosperity, had turned a deaf ear to the warnings of the Most High . . .


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Date: 13 May 2007
Time: 17:23:44


I have seen record that Jerusalem fell under Roman control on June 5, 70AD and we know that on June 5, 1967 Jerusalem fell to Israeli control at noon. Could our calendars actually be three entire years behind true time? Seams as if in retrospect and relying on the recollections and accountings of men that entire years may be lost over long periods than individual days.




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