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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

Chariots in the Clouds
DURING THE "SECOND PASSOVER" OF A.D. 66

AS RECORDED BY JOSEPHUS, TACITUS, AND OTHERS

"Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as the whirlwind"
Jeremiah 4:13

"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."
Isaiah 66:15, cf. 19:1

Jesus - “there will be terrors and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11)

DURING THE FESTIVAL SEASON OF A.D. 66

The Judgment on Jerusalem According to History

Heavenly phenomena - A star resembling a sword
- A comet (Halley's Comet)
- A bright light shining around the altar and the temple
- A vision of chariots and soldiers running around among the clouds and all cities of Palestine.
Earthly phenomena
(reported by priests)
- A quaking
- A great noise
- The sounds of a great multitude saying, "Let us remove hence." 

Source: The Last Days According to Jesus, R.C. Sproul

Jewish Wars 6-5-3 | Matthew 24:30 | Second Coming of Christ | Josephus on the Star | Response to the Preterist Position | Evaluating Historical Claims | Answering "Evaluating Historical Claims" | The Return of Jesus to Jerusalem | Coming in the Clouds of Heaven

Matthew 26:64. Jesus told him, "You said it. I am telling you then, that henceforth you shall see the Son of Man sitting from the right of the Power and coming over the clouds of heaven." (Aramaic Bible)

ORIGINAL CONTEMPORARY TESTIMONIES

Josephus (A.D. 75) - Jewish Historian
"Besides these [signs], a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence" (Jewish Wars, VI-V-3).

“A supernatural apparition was seen, too amazing to be believed. What I am now to relate would, I imagine, be dismissed as imaginary, had this not been vouched for by eyewitnesses, then followed by subsequent disasters that deserved to be thus signalized. For before sunset chariots were seen in the air over the whole country, and armed battalions speeding through the clouds and encircling the cities.”  (rendered in Chilton)

Tacitus (A.D. 115) - Roman historian
"13. Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world." (Histories, Book 5, v. 13).

HISTORICAL TESTIMONIES

Anonymous (1399)
Armed men in the ayere    upon ost-wyse,
Over the cyté were seyn    sundrede tymes.
A calf agen kynde    calved in the Temple
And eued an ewe-lombe    at the offryng-tyme. (lines 1225-1228)

"And then the people thought about them (these omens) and considered it all [God's] vengeance, / And knew their woe was due to the wrong that they did / When they killed in the town the bishop, Saint James; / [Yet] no one would equate it with Christ['s suffering], the misfortunes that they had." (Siege of Jerusalem, Lines 1237-40)

Richard Carew (1769)
"By such tokens, sometimes wonderfull, sometimes ridiculous, doth God at his pleasure, foreshewe future accidents: as in the Planets, before the battell at Thrasimenus, betweene Hannibal and the Romanes, by the fighting together of the Sunne and Moone. In birds, what time Brute brought forth the remnant of his army at Philippi, against Caesar and Anthony, by the furious bickering betweene two Eagles. In men, against the destruction of Hierusalem, by the encountring of Chariots and armies in the ayre. And before Alexanders battel with Darius; first, by a casual skirmish of the camp-straglers, vnder two Captaines, borrowing the names of those Princes; and then by Alexanders voluntary setting those Captaines to a single combat. Yea (to bring these examples neerer home) the like hath hapned both before and sithence, amongst boyes in other places. " (The Survey of Cornwall, p. 100)

Eusebius of Caesarea (A.D. 325)
"For before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen throughout the whole region in mid-air, wheeling through the clouds and encircling the cities" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Ch. 8).

Mark Hopkins  (1844)
"Still further, Jesus Himself prophesied. "Before the time of Christ and during His life, no false Christ arose; there was no war, and no prospect of one; and the Temple, and Jerusalem, were standing in all their strength. But He foretold that false Christs should arise, and should deceive many; that there should be earthquakes and famines, and fearful sights in heaven, and wars and rumors of wars, and great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever should be; and that Jerusalem should be compassed with armies; and that a trench should be cast round about it; and that one stone of the temple should not be left upon another; and that the Jews should be carried captive among all nations." Josephus verifies all these predictions to the letter. He was an eyewitness and a Jew, and nothing can be more striking than the comparison of his history with the prophecy. He tells of "fearful sights and great signs from heaven"; that "before sunsetting, chariots, and troops of soldiers in their armor, were seen running about among the clouds." "At the feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the Temple, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and, after that, they heard the sound as of a multitude, saying, 'Let us depart hence.'"'

 Tacitus, a Roman historian, also says, "There were many prodigies presignifying their ruin which was not averted by all the sacrifices and vows of that people. Armies were seen fighting in the air with brandished weapons. A fire fell upon the Temple from the clouds. The doors of the Temple were suddenly opened. At the same time there was a loud voice saying that the gods were removing, which was accompanied with a sound as of a multitude going out. All which things were supposed, by some to portend great calamities."1

 Josephus further says that "no other city ever suffered such miseries; nor was there ever a generation more fruitful in wickedness from the beginning of the world. ... In reality it was God who condemned the whole nation and turned every course that was taken for their preservation to their destruction. . . . The multitudes of those who perished exceeded all the destructions that man or God ever brought upon the world."

 Famine did its slow but dreadful work so that women were known to eat their own children, just as Moses said they would do, fifteen hundred years before. The prophecy of Christ that not one stone of the Temple should be left upon another, was literally fulfilled. The Jews were carried into captivity among all nations, and their condition from that time till now has been an impressive proof of the truth of prophecy. (Hopkins' Evidences, pp. 322-324.)

Thomas Newton (1754)
"
To these St, Luke addeth, xxi. 11, that 'there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.' Josephus, in the preface to his history of the Jewish war, undertakes to relate " the signs and prodigies, which preceded the taking of the city;" and he relates accordingly, that "a star hung over the city like a sword, and the comet continued for a whole year ;" that "the people being assembled to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night there shone so great a light about the altar and the temple, that it seemed to be bright day, and this continued for half an hour;" that " at the same feast a cow, led by the priest to sacrifice, brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple;" that " the eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass and very heavy, and was scarcely shut in an evening by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen, at the sixth hour of the night, opened of its own accord, and could hardly be shut again;" that "before the setting of the sun there were seen over all the country chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities ;" that " at the feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going into the inner temple by night as usual to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice as of a multitude saying, Let us depart hence;" and what be reckons as the most terrible of all, that one Jesus, an ordinary country fellow, four years before the war began, when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and down the streets day and night, 'A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice against all the people.' The magistrates endeavoured by stripes and tortures, to restrain him; but he still cried with a mournful voice, 'Woe, woe to Jerusalem!,' This he continued to do for seven years and five months together, and especially at the great festivals; and he neither grew hoarse nor was tired; but went about the walls, and cried with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe to the city, and to the people, and to the temple;' and as he added at last, ' Woe, woe also to myself,' it happened that a stone from some sling or engine immediately struck him dead. These were indeed fearful sights and great 'signs from heaven:' and there is not a more creditable historian than the author who relates them, and who appeals to the testimony of those who saw and heard them. But it may add some weight to his relation, that Tacitus, the Roman historian, also gives us a summary account of the same occurrences. He saith that "there happened several prodigies, armies were seen engaging in the heavens, arms were seen glittering, and the temple shone with the sudden fire of the clouds, the doors of the temple opened suddenly, and a voice greater than human was heard, that the gods were departing, and likewise a great motion of their departing." Dr. Jortin's remark is very pertinent. "If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many, who gave little heed to portents, and who know that historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed ; but as the testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions of Christ, so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these historians." But even allowing all that incredulity can urge that in the great calamities of war, and famine, and pestilence, the people always grow superstitious, and are struck with religious panics;-- that they see nothing then but prodigies and portents, which in happier seasons are overlooked ;-- that some of these appear to be formed in imitation of the Greek and Roman historians as particularly the cow's bringing forth a lamb ;-- that armies fighting in the clouds, seen in calamitous times in all ages and countries, are nothing more than meteors, such as the aurora borealis ;-- in short allowing that some of these prodigies were feigned, and others were exaggerated, yet the prediction of them is not the less divine on that account. Whether they were supernatural, or the fictions only of a disordered imagination, yet they were believed as realities, and had all the effects of realities, and were equally worthy to be made the objects of prophecy. 'Fearful sights and great signs from heaven' they certainly were, as much as if they had been created on purpose to astonish the earth." (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

Rev. William Patton (1877)
"He tells of strange sights of chariots and armies in the heavens: "A few days after the feast, on the twenty-first of the month Artemisius, a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; . . . for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding cities." He tells us also of an unusual voice heard in the temple: "Moreover at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence!' "  (The Judgment of Jerusalem - Chapter V)

Johann Philip Schabalie (1635)
"Soon after the feast of the passover, in various parts of the country, before the setting sun, chariots and armed men were seen in the air, passing round about Jerusalem, which was very alarming to behold.  At the subsequent feast of Pentecost, while the priests were going, by night, into the inner temple to perform their customary ministrations, they first felt, as they said, a shaking, accompanied by an indistinct murmuring, and afterwards voices of a multitude, saying, in a distinct and earnest manner, "Let us go hence." (The Wandering Soul, p. 412-413)


MORE RECENT TESTIMONIES

David Chilton (1987)
"What “clear warnings” had God given them? Apart from the apostolic preaching, which was all they really needed (cf. Luke 16:27-31), God had sent miraculous signs and wonders to testify of the coming judgment; Jesus had warned that, preceding the Fall of Jerusalem, “there will be terrors and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11). This was especially true during the festival seasons of the year 66. Josephus continues in his report: “While the people were assembling for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the eighth of the month of Nisan, at the ninth hour of the night [3:00 A. M.] so bright a light shone round the altar and Temple that it looked like broad daylight; and this lasted for half an hour. The inexperienced regarded it as a good omen, but it was immediately interpreted by the sacred scribes in conformity with subsequent events.”

    Those who were unable to attend the regular Feast of Passover were required to celebrate it a month later (Numbers 9:9-13). Josephus reports a third great wonder that happened at the end of this Second Passover in 66: “A supernatural apparition was seen, too amazing to be believed. What I am now to relate would, I imagine, be dismissed as imaginary, had this not been vouched for by eyewitnesses, then followed by subsequent disasters that deserved to be thus signalized. For before sunset chariots were seen in the air over the whole country, and armed battalions speeding through the clouds and encircling the cities.” (Jerusalem Under Siege)

Bill Crouse (1999)
 "The FTs main objection is that the events described in the prophecy just could not have been fulfilled during the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore refer to a far greater tribulation, one like the world has not yet seen.  PTs counter by noting that historians like Josephus and others give descriptions of that day that are astoundingly similar to the prophecy.  For example, Josephus describes strange signs that occurred in the heavens; he mentions a slaughter in the sea of Galilee that turned the lake to the color of blood, that the destruction was the worse since creation, that chariots and troops appeared in the clouds, etc.  Regretfully, we have no space for these many quotes but we would like to give one representative example from the pagan historian Tacitus: 

"In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour.  A sudden lightning flash from the cloud lit up the Temple.  The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure.  The Histories,  p.279. (Penguin edition) " (The Preterist View)

G.J. Goldberg (1999)
"Specifically, Josephus states in his opening sentence that people did not believe "manifest portents" and disregarded "the plain warnings of God." He then lists a series of increasingly strange manifestations: the sword-shaped star standing over the Temple, the light around the altar, the cow that gave birth to a lamb in the Temple, the enormous bronze gate of the eastern Temple court that opened by itself, chariots in the sky, the voice of an army in the Temple's inner court. These, Josephus states repeatedly, had their interpreters as being either good or bad omens. His description of the star must therefore be no more metaphorical than the other manifestations in the series, for saying that a heavenly event astrologically ruled over a place is already an interpretation of the event; and the omens are linked to the Temple by their manifest location, so Josephus does mean the star also was linked to the Temple by its manifest location. " (Josephus on the Star)

James Patrick Holding
"Of this we are told, "Not even radical fundamentalists believe that these events actually happened, even though the works of Josephus contain some of the same miraculous claims that are in the Old Testament." Gee, really? So where do I, and R. C. Sproul, fit on that range of radicals? Both RC and I (and others) have no problem believing that these events actually happened. We see them as fulfillemts of the Olivet Discourse prophecies against Jerusalem. Beyond that, how many people has X actually asked about this? As a "radical fundamentalist" himself many years ago, maybe he had these little problems, but mature believers don't: "Fundamentalists, of course, believe that if Josephus recorded stories of miraculous deeds that have their parallels in the Bible, then they should be believed insofar as they agree with the biblical accounts, but if Josephus wrote about miraculous deeds that don't have parallels in the Bible, like those mentioned earlier, then they may be rejected." Maybe some "fundamentalists" do believe this, but I don't know of any personally. So far Skeptic X's hand is the only one in the air." (Answering "Evaluating Historical Claims")

David Lim
"Josephus claimed in "Wars of the Jews," 6:5.3 that the people of Jerusalem had seen soldiers and chariots in the clouds surrounding the city.

Josephus, being a classical historian, need not subscribe to the school of naturalists.

Historians should record details as told and express opinion later, rather than blotting out improbable material from the very beginning. Conclusion should not be made from just the most probable scenario while ignoring all other possibilities.

It is for researchers to discover whether hallucinating drugs were used to induce that experience; or some told a lie; or words got changed in transmission; or it really happened that way. This is the spirit of -"keeping an open mind".

Early Christians are accused to have tempered with the record of Jesus in the writing of Josephus, without any factual evidence from his text.
Josephus can record hearsay evidence no matter how ridiculous they appeared to be. It does not naturally mean somebody has tempered with his text. " (Answering Opposing Views)

Ernest L. Martin (1992)
"Christ Jesus told the apostles that when they (or any of the saints) would see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then let the people of God flee from Jerusalem and Judea. ‘When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh’ (Luke 21:20).

The meaning of this verse has puzzled many people. How can it be that when Jerusalem is completely surrounded (encircled on all sides) with armies, then the people of God are told to flee the whole area of Judea (of which Jerusalem is a part)? If this is the strategy, then it seems that Christ is saying to surrender to the armies. But this I. not what Christ meant in his warning.

In actual fact, this prophecy of Christ Jesus was fulfilled to the letter in the period just before the war that destroyed Jerusalem from A.D.67 to 70. We have the eyewitness account of Josephus himself (he was the Jewish historian who accompanied the Roman armies to Jerusalem and saw or reported all that occurred in Judaea within that 3 and a half year event that occurred in the heavens that could not be identified as having its origin on earth. This was clearly a ‘sign" from heaven and I have not the slightest hesitation in stating that it was an exact fulfillment of what Christ Jesus said would occur that is recorded in Luke 21:20. Note what Josephus said happened just before the war with Romans commenced.

On the twenty-first of the month Artemisium [the last day of the 2nd Passover season In A.D.661, there appeared a miraculous phenomenon, passing belief. Indeed, what I am about to relate would, I imagine, have been deemed a fable, were it not for the narratives of eyewitnesses and for the subsequent calamities which deserved to be so signalized. For before sunset throughout all parts of the county [everywhere throughout Judea] chariots were seen in the air and armed battalions hurtling through the clouds and encompassing the cities" (War,VI.5.3 or Loeb VI.298, emphasis mine).

This is the very thing that Christ Jesus said to watch for. And then (about two weeks later) Josephus tells us:

Moreover, at the feast which is called Pentecost, the priests on entering the inner court of the temple by night, as their custom was in the discharge of their ministrations, reported that they were conscious, first of a commotion and a din, and after that of a voice as of a host, We are departing hence’ (War, VI.209,300).

With these two signs what did the Christians in Jerusalem and Judea do? Eusebius tells us that this is the time they began to leave the region because of the command of Christ and went to a city called Pella on the east side of the Jordan River (Ecclesiastical History, III.5). They and the apostles obtained safety from the holocaust that soon enflamed Jerusalem and Judaea.

These chariots and armed forces seen in the skies all over Judaea and encompassing the cities of the Jews was similar to times recorded in the early history of Israel. Angelic powers (in this case, good angels) accompanied the armies of Israel when it was the normal period (in ancient Times) for hostilities to occur. The Bible says: ‘And it came to pass, after the year had expired., at the time angels go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon" (II Samuel 11:1). The King James translators (and most modern ones) read the Hebrew as "kings," not "angels." But there is no reason whatever for reading the text as ‘kings.’ The verse was intended to show that angelic powers were there to aid Israel in their battles when they went to war.

A further reference (which even corroborates angelic connections with wars or the preparations for wars on earth) is 11 Samuel 5:23,24 God said to David that when he heard "the sound of a going [forth] in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you (David] shall bestir yourself [to war],’ This swishing sound in the top. of the trees of a turbulent waving action of the wind was recognized by David as caused by the Lord and his angelic hosts going to battle with David (see also Genesis 32:1.3 and II Kings 6:17 about angels accompanying God). But in A.D.66, instead of helping Israel win the war with the Romans that the people of Judaea were about to start, the angelic hosts were seen in the clouds in chariots and as armed soldiers encompassing the cities of Judaea and enclosing them on all sides for capitulation. This is precisely what Christ Jesus said to watch for in his Olivet prophecy." (Are UFOs Real?)

H.L. Nigro
"The sign of the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory —
The evidence of this is largely speculative. The only practical evidence comes from Josephus, who reports that, during the destruction of Jerusalem, there was a quaking on the earth, a great noise, and a bright light shining around the altar and the temple. Furthermore, he saw a vision of chariots and solders running around among the clouds and surrounding cities, much like the vision seen by Ezekiel in Ezek. 1:22-28. " (Response to the Preterist Position)

George Pytlik (1998)
"One extreme, known as "radical preterism," sees the entire sermon as a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Preterists point to such things as documented reports by Josephus, Tacitus and others in AD70 describing false prophets and false Messiahs leading many people astray, chariots in the clouds, voices from heaven, and signs in the sky. While such supernatural events may well have taken place, they do not prove that radical preterism is the answer. This view is fraught with difficulties since those holding it must believe that the rapture and final battle of Armageddon have already taken place. That leaves no room for a return of Christ in glory that the entire world will see, as he promised. It seems highly unlikely that the entire Christian church missed the much anticipated final return of Christ just 40 years after it was forged with such passion and persecution. Other difficulties include the lack of physical events such as the earthquake that would split the Mount of Olives in two."  (Deliver Us From Evil)

Farrell Till (1995) - Skeptic
"All of this testimony about miracles, a three-hour period of darkness at noon, an earthquake that resurrected "many saints," the resurrection of Jesus, the teleportation of Jesus from one location to another, the ability to pass through solid doors, etc., etc., etc.--all of this is so extraordinary that no rational person can believe it without better evidence than the kind I have discussed above. During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Josephus reported that a heifer being led to the altar in the temple gave birth to a lamb; he reported that a bright light shined about the altar in the middle of the night and gave the appearance of daylight; he reported that the people in Jerusalem saw armored soldiers and chariots in the clouds surrounding the city (Wars of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 5, Section3). I doubt if you believe any of this, and you reject it for the same reason I do. It is too fantastic to believe without better proof than the "personal testimony" of a man who lived in highly superstitious times." (Evaluating Historical Claims)

"7. Josephus's claim that the people of Jerusalem saw soldiers and chariots in the clouds surrounding the city one afternoon at sunset (Ibid.). Of this last event, Josephus remarked that one would think that it was merely a legend had there not been so many people who had seen it. So these are just a few supernatural events that are recorded in literature of ancient times. Will you please designate for us, the events in this list that you consider historical facts, and if you reject any of them, please explain why? I think your answer will probably demonstrate that this anti-supernatural bias that biblicists like to talk about in their discussions with skeptics is just a convenient straw man that they set up to draw attention away from their inability to prove supernatural claims recorded in the Bible."

 

CRITICAL COMMENTARIES:
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID

Keith Mathison (2003)
"Stevens also attempts to prove that
Acts 1:11 was fulfilled in the first century by pointing to a passage in Josephus that says the Jews saw chariots and troops of soldiers in the clouds in A.D. 66. He says that if this phenomenon was the fulfillment of Revelation 1:7, then it was also the fulfillment of Acts 1:11. A few observations are in order. First, the writings of Josephus are not inspired Scripture. We cannot automatically assume that his account of such a vision is true. Second, Stevens himself says that the coming of Christ would only be "seen" by those whose spiritual eyes were opened.   If those Stevens refers to as "sleepers" (those who were not true Christians) did not see Jesus, how could unbelieving Jews "see" him? Third, even if we assume that Josephus’ account is accurate, it does not say that the Jews saw Jesus. The account says that they saw chariots and troops. What Josephus describes is much more similar in nature to that which Elisha’s servant saw (2 Kings 6:17). Josephus does not describe anyone seeing a visible and bodily return of Jesus into the air or anywhere else." (Acts 1:9-11 and the Hyper-Preterist Debate Page).

 

THE SECOND PASSOVER - "PESACH SHEINI"
For the Ritually Impure (first by contact with a dead man), or Distant from Temple

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
In the Torah, only one holiday falls in the month of Iyar: the festival of the Second Passover (Pesach Sheini) on the fourteenth day of the month. Normally, the Torah tells us to celebrate Passover on the fourteenth day of Nisan, the month before Iyar. But a person ritually impure or too far away from the Temple on the fourteenth of Nisan--and therefore unable to celebrate Passover by bringing a sacrifice to the Temple on that day--has another chance, the Second Passover." (Its Never Too Late)

Glossary of Kaballah and Chassidut
Pesach Sheini ("Second Passover"): "The festival of the Second Passover (Pesach Sheini) on the fourteenth day of the month. Normally, the Torah tells us to celebrate Passover on the fourteenth day of Nisan, the month before Iyar. But a person ritually impure or too far away from the Temple on the fourteenth of Nisan--and therefore unable to celebrate Passover by bringing a sacrifice to the Temple on that "

Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
The Second Passover: "Second Chance" - "The fourteenth day of the month of Iyar is Pesach Sheini, the "Second Passover." When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, this day served as a "second chance" for those who were unable to bring the Passover offering on the eve of the "first" Passover one month earlier, the 14th of Nissan" (Chabad.org )

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Date: 20 Mar 2006
Time: 01:57:00

Comments:

Blessings,
look carefully at 1 john 2 - 28, notice in the ancient manuscripts, and in Ivan panin's numeric NT, and in the scholarly 1901 American Standard Version, we see that it says:
1Jo 2:28 And now, my little children, abide in him; that, if he shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

The correct translation is IF he shall be manifested, where the KJV and others translate it WHEN.
But look at the word "manifest" it is Phanaroo, wich means to manifest fourth, another word used in the Greek NT for this is Eclesea, to shine fourth from, and so it says ABIDE IN HIM, that IF he is manifested (in us) we we shall have boldness at his coming. this verse speaks of two comings obviously, otherwise it would be redundant. think about it.
But christ is not going to manifest in everyone who calls themself a christian, and therefore only relativly few people will not be ashamed at his coming, those who have Loved his appearing! (in them, and in others)
2Ti 4:8 henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.
this Word here appearing is Epiphaneia!
The Word of God speaks for itself.
Christ in us, the hope of Glory.
See if you can apply this understanding, and realize that Christ's Parouia (phisical coming) will not come until the harvest is mature, that is, christ is perfecly manifest in a firstfruits manchild that guides the rest of the remnant through the tribulation wilderness.
for more information, go to www.americaslastdays.com

Bless you, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Date: 30 Jun 2006
Time: 20:11:01

Comments:

If you would like to know what Ezekiel describes in his vision do a web search on "Solving the Riddle of Ezekiel's Wheels" and you will find my article posted on the UFO RESOURCE CENTER web site. I am the author of the article and am a Hebrew Old Testament scholar. It was the constant opinion of qntiquity that Ezekiel saw "the CHARIOTS


Date: 24 Sep 2006
Time: 14:44:05

Comments:

Relying on what is termed, "historical" documents in order to develop and ancient chronology is fraught with danger. No ancient source can be attributed with any reliability. The 4th century is no better -- Eusebius and the other Constantinian commentors were corrupted by their need to justify conquests. They and their ilk reconstructed ancient history and destroyed all previous records; the ancient sources are gone forever. That opinion, of course, presupposes that Eusebius was an historical personage, to begin with. No "history" can be used to justify faith -- faith rests on that which is unseen and unknown. Attempts to "confirm" one's faith through the so-called "witness" of history betrays a fear that what one believes may not be true.


Date: 13 Apr 2007
Time: 06:13:34

Comments:

To RELY on historical documents, would be dangerous, however to use historical documents to verify the historicity of the biblical record is far less dangerous. Our faith is and can be verified by what we see and know of history. Jesus boosted the faith of His followers by appearing to them, showing them that it is true that He is resurrected. Archeological finds repeatedly support the historicity of the biblical account, historical documents, also do the same. It would clearly be wrong to base our faith on what was recorded by 2nd-hand witnesses, however to use their testimony as supporting evidence for 1st-hand witnesses is an acceptable practice.

May the Lord bless you and keep you...


Date: 07 Jun 2007
Time: 07:20:10

Comments:

There is a danger here for the kid of sensory overload that is currently happening in contemporary society via our electronic media. To wit: We have too may sources speaking to the same subject to make any sense of them without time to dissect and evaluate each bit of information. What this does is to first leave the greater mass of humanity disinterested in the subject and second, make those who yell the loudest the ones that get heard.

If in fact the second coming has already come and gone, we here today are living in the post-rapture world. Once you get to that point, you have to begin looking at what is said about that time to see if our current situation is anywhere close to a fit. But before we can even begin this part of the journey, we are fallen upon by those who are certainly put out, if not actionably offended by the mere mention of such a scenario.

The majority of Christians will react to this just as they did to the notion that Christ and Mary Magdalene were married or at the very least, had some kind of personal relationship. This is the single failing of faith… it renders us away from being acute observers who then have no interest in discovery.

So, try as you might to present this theory to the world, it will do nothing more than become part of a inhomogeneous riot of information overlapping speculation, intertwined with various theory and of course, the mix from the extremists fringes. The average Joe… mankind, will be simply unable and then finally unwilling to recognize the simplicity of it all because it has been (purposely?) clouded over by the inane.
 


Date: 10 Nov 2012
Time: 02:01:31

Your Comments:

Hi,I don't know if this comment will be relevent seeing that this website seems fairly old with seemingly no comments beyond 2006 that I can see here.

I'm currently Writing an article on the 13th chapter of Revelation that ties into that of the 12th chapter of Revelation very neatly.

Since I'm also going to be citing Josephus' account and also Tacitus' account of seemingly supernatural events occurring during the apostolic time period in which John records his visions of what appears to be a fulfillment of Revelation 1:7 I needed to do some research into Josephus' work and so came upon this website.

I understand from its makeup and content to be produced by those Christians that have an understanding that all of the events recorded in the 3 synoptic Gospels i.e. Matthew 24,Mark13 and Luke 21 were fulfilled in 'the great tribulation' of 67-70AD.

Of the 3 synoptic Gospels, only Luke's account shows a much more revealing scenario that does indeed point to the possibility of the fulfillment of much more prophecy that can be assigned to the past as in what is seemingly termed the 'Preterist' view.

Mainstream Christianity does in fact assign much prophecy to our future in regard to the Olivet prophecies contained within the gospel author's accounts that rightfully does belong in the past and was indeed fulfilled at that fateful 67-70AD ending of the Old Testament age.

It makes no logical sense whatsoever for the apostles who were then at the time of their questioning Jesus about the 'end' of 'their age' and who were simply his students or disciples at that time to be inquiring about a 'future age' of as yet unborn gernerations nearly 2000 years into their future as many suppose and therefore assume without proof.

They were clearly surprised that Jesus foretold that the magnificent temple that had been refurbished by Herod at an earler time at great expense was shortly to be left completely destroyed with not one stone left upon another.

There is no real need to cite the accounts of either Josephus or Tacitus as 'proofs' of fulfilled prophecy however, as the bible contains within itself not only proof from many other prophets but the book of Revelation is the most noteworthy of all the prophetic books in determining and filtering out truth from error in the arena of both fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled prophecy.

Modern Christianity in its zeal for the so called second coming to occur in 'our future' has overlooked the fact that Jesus has been on this earth many times and instead of just one 'day of the Lord' there have been and are recorded many such times of God's intervention in humanity's affairs on earth.

Each of these 'Days of the Lord' have been recorded as such in the prophetic writings of a number of the prophet's works.

Jesus in fact never numbered His comings and goings on this earth and the New Testament writer's attest to the fact that Jesus was the one reported in the scriptures as Melchisedec, i.e. the 'King of Salem' which city-state location was apparently interpreted as 'city of peace' and Jesus was named a priest, forever, after the order of Melchisedec the eternal priest, that was recorded in scripture as having neither father nor mother, nor end of life, i.e. an immortal being, quite obviously, who received tithes from Abraham returning from a battle between kings.

There's no need for me to quote scripture as all Christians are familiar with these accounts and this is a commentary only and not a missive to prove or disprove anything.

In my research and that of my colleague who is actually a very thorough biblical scholar of over forty years standing, with whom I have written collaborative work dealing with a great deal of our findings together in our hitherto very extensive prophetic studies and researches into many areas of both old and new testament prophecy --- we are agreed after much consultation, that the apostle and newly made prophet,John, actually wrote or recorded the visions given him by the angels [and witness of Jesus Christ of the book of Revelation] prior 67-70AD.

I realise this statement flies in the face of secular scholar's assertions and also much of Christendom's beliefs that the book of Revelation was written around 95AD.

However,the evidence for this bold statement lies in the 11th chapter of Revelation's first 2 verses wherein John shows no recognition of Herod's refurbished temple having been destroyed.

If the temple had been destroyed at the time the prophet John, who was the beloved disciple that leaned on Jesus'breast and was seemingly much more informed by virtue of having a closer more intimate understanding of the spiritual side of Jesus' life as a result --- would he not have inquired of the angel that informed him in Revelation 10:11 that; " Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." asking how he was supposed to measure the temple if it no longer existed at the time of his writing the book that is almost the most misunderstood of all prophetic books.

The understanding arrived at by the very real internal evidence within the book of Revelation's visionary accounts, if it was indeed written prior to 67-70AD [and we guess it to have been written no later than 66AD] does indeed open the way for the possibility that Revelation 1:7 may have been fulfilled in the past and not yet to still be fulfilled in our future as many in Christendom --- with the possible exception of the so called 'Preterists' who's views, which on surface to many secular scholars and skeptics, seem flawed for having posited what also seems credible to me and my co-author, editor and partner in prophetic research of many years --- are much closer to the truth as we also understand it regarding the 'end of the age' as having occurred in the past.

Further, Jesus made an enigmatic statement to his disciples about John that left them all wondering about whether John would die or not that also lends weight to the above bold statements contrary to secular scholars claims of post 67-70AD authorship of Revelation as follows in John's gospel account that also has ramifications of the so called second coming to 'end' the 'age' having occurred around the 67-70AD period:

John 21:22
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

This next follow up scripture indicates that John knew he would die but also strongly infers John might be atill alive at Jesus' coming to end the apostolic age nevertheless:

John 21:23
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

So, what of the possibility of the synoptic Gospels actually applying to a further coming of Jesus to this earth in the distant past before his final coming in our future?

If we take into account that Jesus never numbered His many comings and goings on this earth at all as either 'first' or 'second' comings as scholars and most of Christianity does indeed do --- without apparent regard that the prophets and even at least one of the new testament authors show about him being on the earth as Melchisedec ---what we find in the gospel accounts is a rather revealing statement and mini-prophecy about what he did indeed label his 'final' coming to earth as:

Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

So Jesus names the time period of His final coming very clearly as the time of 'the regeneration'

What all this means therefore is that there is not only room and scope to allow for all the events recorded in the 3 synoptic gospels that record the answer to the then disciples question regarding the destruction of the temple and the 'end of the age' to have occurred around 67-70AD but also Jesus' future and much more spectacular final return as outlined in the book of Revelation and parallel prophecies in many of the prophets works, including Isaiah,Daniel,Zechariah and a number of other so called minor prophets including Joel ---that will leave the inhabitants of this earth that survive all that is recorded in Revelation, spellbound, so to speak and absolutely stunned in the extreme --- as events will not necessarily unfold and be fulfilled as most of Christianity expects.

[Thanks for the comment.   Your research is good, up to a point.   The instinct to make complicated matters as simple as possible doesn't serve well in Biblical theology.  The fact is, there is no first edition of the book of Revelation with provenance, so it is ultimately a guessing game.  Yes, the visions relate to first century events if written by the Apostle John.   This is standard apocalypticism - summing all prophecy up in events about to be fulfilled.   However, there is no doubt that the book is a composite.   There are seven letters to the churches, there are additional visions and prophecies.   They were NOT all composed in one sitting on the isle of Patmos.    There is good reason to believe that though the visions date to before the fall of Jerusalem, but that doesn't require the work to have been entirely written as we have it today (especially because the earliest known fragment displays the 616 variant!).   Anyway, keep studying, but for heaven's sake don't assume that the book should be taken as a whole, completely at face value.  You wouldn't do this with any of the other biblical prophets, so why do it here?  blessings!]


Date: 21 Aug 2011
Time: 15:56:51

Your Comments:



I have films shot in the infra red spectrum of strange sights and signs in the sky.

I enjoyed your postings.

ken klein
 


 

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