Dating The Apocalypse #6
by Arthur M. Ogden

Our last two articles examined texts within the Apocalypse which conclusively prove that the primary events foretold in Revelation center around the desolation of the nation of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem. Many other texts from within the book support this conclusion. In this study, we shall consider texts which are not conclusive but lend strong support to our conclusion. A third group of texts broader in perspective clearly supports our findings but will not be covered in our studies.

Supportive Texts

Revelation 1:7 is parallel to Matthew 24:30. Some consider it a quotation. The details are the same. The language is almost identical. Both texts depict a coming in divine judgment (cf. Commentary on Revelation by Homer Hailey, p.102). Jesus' statement in Matthew referred to His coming in the destruction of Jerusalem (cf.Matthew 24:34). Its appearance in the Apocalypse supports our conclusion.

Revelation 1:12-17 parallels Daniel's visions of the Son of Man (Daniel 7:9,13-14; 10:2-21). Daniel saw the Son of man and His involvement in what would befall Daniel's people (Israel) in the latter days. The events foretold were many days in the future when revealed to Daniel. John saw the Son of man presented in like fashion instructing him to write about the things which would shortly come to pass (Revelation 1:1,19). The time was at hand (Revelation 1:3). The picture supports our conclusion.

Revelation 6:12-13 parallels Matthew 24:29-32, Mark 13:24-29, and Luke 21:25-31. These texts record Jesus' discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem. The language is comparable even to the discussion of the fig tree. How can we overlook the obvious? This too supports our conclusion.

Revelation 6:15-16 "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."Hosea used the same kind of language to describe the future punishment of Samaria who represented Israel (Hosea 10:8,9). Isaiah used it to describe the punishment of Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:10-22). Jesus also used this language to warn the Jews of the coming plague upon Jerusalem (Luke 23:28-31). Again, this supports our conclusion.

Revelation 11:18 With the sounding of the seventh trumpet a city fell demonstrating the rule of God and Christ (Revelation 11:15). In this action God avenged the blood of His servants the prophets. Only the Old Testament prophets are called "God's servants the prophets" (cf. Hailey, p.246). What occurred here is what Jesus promised in Matthew 23:34-39, Luke 11:49-51, and 13:33-35. This follows the demise of the city where our Lord was crucified (11:8), confirming the Jerusalem connection.

Revelation 12:14 "Time, and times, and half a time" is an expression used two other times in scripture (Daniel 7:25; 12:7). In both instances, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was in view. The expression means three and one half years, the length of the Roman-Jewish War which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem. This further supports our conclusion.

Revelation 14:19-20 The vine of the earth was gathered and cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. The vine of the earth was the nation of Israel (Psalms 80:8-19; Isaiah 5:1-7). The passage portrays the fruit of this vine gathered into a winepress for the extraction of blood. This is the precise picture when the Jews gathered in Jerusalem for Passover in 70 A.D. and were surrounded by the Roman armies.

Revelation 15:1 Seven angels with the seven last plagues appear to pour the wrath of God upon those who "shed the blood of saints and prophets" (Revelation 16:6). Since Jerusalem was responsible for the deaths of all the prophets, Jerusalem is the recipient of this wrath. This is the wrath God promised Israel if she rebelled against Him (Leviticus 26:15-46).

Revelation 17:4 Babylon was decked in purple, scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls. Jeremiah pictured Jerusalem adorning herself this way hundreds of years previous to the Apocalypse (Jeremiah 4:20). Our conclusion has scriptural support.

Revelation 17:5 Babylon's forehead signified what she was, a harlot. The prophets of old portrayed Jerusalem as a harlot. Jeremiah goes so far as to proclaim her having a "whore's forehead" (Jeremiah 3:1-3). This certainly supports our conclusion.

Revelation 18:4 A voice from heaven calls for God's people to come out of Babylon the Great lest they be partakers of her sins and receive her plagues. This corresponds perfectly with the instructions given by Jesus to His disciples to leave Jerusalem when they saw the proper sign (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20-22). This fully supports our conclusion.

Revelation 18:12-13 The merchandise mentioned in these two verses are products found in Jerusalem most of which were in the temple. Verse 13 is interesting because all of the products mentioned through "sheep" were a part of the temple service (cf.Exodus 30; 1 Chronicles 9:29; 29:1-5; 2 Chronicles 2 & 3). Further support for our conclusion.

Revelation 19:7-9 The marriage supper of the Lamb continued following the destruction of Babylon the Great. This is the identical picture presented in parable by Jesus (Matthew 22:2-14). In the parable, the king (God) sent his armies to destroy those murderers (Jews), who refused the invitation to the marriage, and burned up their city (Jerusalem). This again is supportive of our conclusion.

Revelation 19:11-15 The king of Kings wore a vesture dipped in blood. He tread the winepress of the wrath of God. What was in the winepress? (cf.Revelation 14:19,20 above.) Answer: The fruit of the "vine of the earth," the nation of Israel. Jesus carried out this judgment upon Israel (Matthew 24:30; cf.Luke 21:24,27). This supports our conclusion.

Observation

A likeness between the book of Revelation and the Old Testament prophets is apparent to all serious Bible students. This is especially true when considering the book of Daniel. The Apocalypse is the New Testament counterpart to Daniel. Without doubt, Daniel addressed Israel's future all the way to the end of the nation in 70 A.D. Such chapters as 7, 9, 12 stand out in forecasting the ultimate end of Israel as a nation. That end came in 70 A.D. When Daniel received his prophecy, he was told that the time was not for many days (Daniel 8:26; 10:14). In Daniel 9:24-27, a long period of several centuries was forecast before the final destruction of Jerusalem would come. In chapter 12, Daniel inquired as to when the judgment foretold would come to pass. God answered, "for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9; cf.12:13).

John's message was urgent. The prophecy was to "shortly come to pass" and "the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:1,3; 22:10). Daniel's prophecy was more than 500 years future when he wrote. It was yet for many days while it was at hand when John wrote. If John wrote the Apocalypse between 65 and 68 A.D., indeed, the destruction of Jerusalem was at hand. Jerusalem was destroyed in late summer, 70 A.D.

It is also interesting to note that John spends two chapters discussing New Jerusalem. Why? It was the natural thing to do. Since the bulk of this book leans toward developing the destruction of old Jerusalem, it is only fitting to discuss the emergence of new Jerusalem which God promised centuries before. The new Jerusalem represents the New Testament order which replaced the old. From this point of view, the new Jerusalem takes on added significance and glory.

Summary

In these last three articles, I have labored to show that the internal evidence of the book of Revelation ties in with the rest of the Bible. Four arguments were made to prove conclusively that the book of Revelation centers around the desolation of the nation of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem. This article was designed to show that the entire substance of the Apocalypse supports our conclusions. If this line of reasoning is valid, we have conclusively proven what the book of Revelation is about and when it was written. I have been making these arguments for seventeen years and to date I have not had one person to deal forthrightly with the arguments. They are either true or false! If they are false would some one please prove them false.

A recent statement affirmed that the explanation of the Apocalypse centers around the identity of Babylon the Great. I agree. Suppose we give some time and attention to what the Bible says about it. I will state it again briefly and simply. In Babylon was found the blood of saints, apostles, prophets, and all that were slain upon the earth (Revelation 17:6; 18:20,24). Jesus said, "it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33). He also said that Jerusalem would be held responsible for the "blood of all the prophets" (Luke 11:50), yea "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth" (Matthew 23:35). A prophet could not perish out of Jerusalem who was to be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets and all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. How, then, could Babylon the Great symbolize any other city other than Jerusalem without making a liar and false prophet out of Jesus? I challenge you, who ever you are, to either answer the argument or accept it as the answer to the book of Revelation.

Some say this is just my opinion. I deny it. I must accept what Jesus said in the above passages by faith. Do you accept them as a matter of faith? If not, why not? If so, please answer how you can believe them and still believe Babylon the Great is Rome or any other entity? Sectarians have as much right to ignore Biblical statements concerning baptism as we do to ignore Jesus' emphatic statements concerning the city responsible for the deaths of the prophets. Is it opinion to believe Jesus' words? If so, then everything you believe is simply a matter of opinion.

Conclusion

I believe our approach to the dating of the Apocalypse is valid scriptural reasoning. If it is not, I must confess that I do not know how to reason scripturally. This means I have never seen a valid scriptural argument, would not recognize one if I saw it, and could not make one if my life depended upon it. You are hereby challenged to study it carefully and prayerfully to refute and expose it if fallacious, or accept it if true. God is your judge.


This page is Copyright 1997-98 by Alex Ogden, All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated on Thursday, May 28, 1998.


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