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Ignoring history causes us to fall into serious interpretation errors regarding "End of the World" prophecies. Jesus and the apostles used the word "aion" when they referred to the end of "an era" and not the word "Kosmos", which refers to "the world". The Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus lived in the first century throughout the end of the Old Testament Jewish age and he described what took place in great detail in his books "The Wars of the Jews." The author makes a compilation and summary of these very valuable historical writings, joining segments where we can clearly appreciate the fulfillment of all prophecies of the end. This book is very revealing and graphic. You will read about the signs seen in the sky and in the Temple as well as the horrors that occurred until the final destruction of old Israel. **
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Voice Of The Light Ministries, Incorporated
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9a6cfc54-28fd-4f7b-9d85-633d73b41982
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The End



Of An Era



Rediscovering a hidden History





Dr. Ana Méndez Ferrell





Voice of The Light Ministries





DEDICATION





I dedicate this book to my dear Heavenly Father, to whom I owe all things, and to Jesus Christ, my savior who brought me out of darkness and revealed His light to me. I will always be thankful for giving me His Spirit, his wisdom, health, and all the riches of His glory to share His love and power with others.





Voice of The Light Ministries





THE END OF AN ERA



2016 Copyright © Ana Méndez Ferrell





All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or any means, filed in an electronic system nor transmitted in any electronic, mechanical way including photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system, or in any other manner (including audiobooks), without the previous written permission of the author.





All Scripture references are from the New King James Version ® (NKJV). Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. In some cases from the Amplified ® Bible (AMP), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org) unless otherwise noted.





Category Eschatology





Publisher Voice of The Light Ministries

P.O. Box 3418



Ponte Vedra, Florida, 32004



United States of America





www.voiceofthelight.com





ISBN 978-1-944681-18-0





DO WHAT IS RIGHT





Luke 16:10-13



He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?





“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”





We are counting on you to do what is r; ight when it comes to not duplicating, reproducing or selling this eBook. It is prohibited to pass this link on to others.

Thank you!





Comments





Today, a new generation is emerging demanding truth, pushing us to seek the power and the establishment of The Kingdom of God in a much deeper way. That is why The Father is raising up a generation that understands His eternal purpose. A generation that is willing to establish their lives upon the foundations which Jesus Christ, as Apostle and Administrator of all things, left us and entrusted us with: THE CHURCH.

"THE END OF AN ERA" is a very serious study and investigation carried out by Dr. Ana Méndez Ferrell. It sheds light upon and brings together an infinite number of biblical truths that have been perverted by religiosity and the ignorance of many regarding the end times. You will witness how even history backs up every one of the words Jesus Christ announced through His prophets as well as those He spoke with while here on earth.

No doubt you hold in your hands an invaluable complement that will help you unearth in your spirit each one of the eternal principles Jesus established for a Governing Church; finishing all things in His death and resurrection.

As young people and being part of this generation of Reformers, we are called to shake off all structures and preconceived ideas so that the Spirit of God can introduce to our understanding, and that of our nations, a new Genesis.

It's Time for Reformation!

David Silva Rios, Guayaquil-Ecuador





Every prophet in the old covenant understood history in detail, either through culture or revelation. Their prophecies never belittled the understanding of what God "did," so that through revelation what He would "do" could be understood. As the church, we have lost that historical account, that thread, and without it, it is impossible to understand the purpose of His multi-generational plan we were inserted into.

The book you hold in your hands is a decisive text whose pages manifest the sincere dedication to inquire truth. With deep love, Prophet Ana Méndez Ferrell joins two realms, the historical as well as revelation in an apostolic way while shedding light on the historical and spiritual construction of the building called church. We will not see this in its fullness until we understand what has already been fulfilled.

I venture to say that after reading each chapter, you will not see the crucifixion, resurrection or the true prophecies about Jesus in the same way. A powerful gust of understanding will elevate your faith to experience the supernatural Kingdom that Christ completely conquered.

Simón Aquino M., Santiago - Chile





Introduction





This is probably one of the most important books you have ever had in your hands.

The search for truth as well as understanding the origin of what we believe is fundamental in order to walk with God.

We are living in times that demand serious investigations and radical changes. The Church and its members - I’m speaking in general terms-are not epistles of the glory of God that the world can read. Far from it, the world is not seeing much difference between those who call themselves Christians and the rest of the people.

You find the sick in both groups, along with people with the same kinds of problems with no apparent solution. You also find the same people full of debt, living in lack and the same types of sin and abominations that are seen in and out of Church. The Church is fragmented and attacks itself from within. The essence of what could be is not seen.

Shortly after receiving the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church of Galatia in the Bible were “enchanted,” “bewitched” by religious defilers that caused them to return to the law and conform to a system that leads them to the death of the spirit.

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.



But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1: 6-8

If this happened in the first century in just a few years among the most glorious Church there has ever been, can you imagine the type of distortion that has happened after two thousand years?

The Church lost the basic principles of interpretation when the dependence on the Holy Spirit was lost. That is why we have been dragging around many erroneous fables and doctrines that have robbed the effectiveness of the finished work of Christ.

As I sought answers to deep questions that arose in my spirit, God led me to rediscover history.





We must see and analyze the things that really occurred and were actually written as a testimony of the fulfillment of all the prophecies regarding the end of the Old Testament age.





These facts have always been accessible to us, and others before me have attempted to bring them to the light, but the devil, as well as dogmas and time have kept them from being made known.





This book is an extract and a historical summary that will open your eyes to see and understand that many things which the Church is still waiting for to take place, have already occurred. Christ was clear when He said:





I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

John 17:4





He finished His work and does not have to do anything else to finish it!





Reading the works of the historian, Flavius Josephus is a great and heavy task since they are written in old English with a grammatical form that is no longer used. They are written in 27 books and have been translated several times by different people, which mean not all versions are exactly the same.





The essence and content is the same, but the grammatical form may vary.





For this reason, and knowing that very few people have delved into such deep investigations, I decided to extract the more relevant chapters and paragraphs which certify what took place in the first century.





In some cases I was forced to translate from Old English to Modern English, while making sure I did not touch the meaning of each phrase.





The origin and page numbers of each extract are clearly identified in the notes on the pages so that the reader may clearly verify:





The version I will be referring to is:





The War of the Jews:

The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

by Flavius Josephus.





As I read many versions, I found the content to be the same in all of them but not the order of the books. One may find an episode at the end of a chapter that in other versions is in the beginning of the next chapter and even in the next book.





So I encourage you, if you want to go beyond and deeper in this truth, to read on your own the complete works of Flavius Josephus.





May the eyes of your understanding be opened and may you enter into the wholeness, which was conquered by Christ on the cross and the glories which followed His sufferings.





The End Of An Era





Much has been speculated regarding the end times, as if referring to the end of the world. The truth is, when Jesus spoke of this topic, He was referring to the end of an era.





Who was Jesus and what did He come to do on earth?





This question, which seems very obvious in Christian circles, is not understood as it should be. In fact, there is much confusion as far as His purpose and design.





Jesus was the prophesied Messiah of Israel and His ministry in the flesh was only for the Jews.





In the spirit, as King of kings, He is the Messiah of all humanity, but in the flesh, He was circumscribed to the people of Israel.





But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”



Matthew 16:24





Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy, prophesied about Himself throughout the Old Testament. He prophesied about what His coming in the flesh would be like, and how He would defeat sin and establish The Kingdom of God on the earth. Then He would sit as King in high places and bring judgment. This would bring an end to the Old Testament age and would make His tabernacle amongst those who believed in Him, placing His Spirit within them. Everyone who believed in Him would have eternal life.





Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

1 Peter 1:10-11





We must find every single interpretation of the words of Jesus spoken in the gospels in the Old Testament, since it was the Spirit of Christ which spoke about them before His coming in the flesh. He came to fulfill EVERYTHING THAT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT HIM and would complete His work.





That is why He said, “It is finished!”





The Purpose Of The Old Testament





This was established by God to prefigure true and celestial things which are The Kingdom of God in the Spirit. God created for Himself a people and a nation. He established prophets which would announce the coming of what was true and immutable, which was the Messiah. Once Jesus Christ came, there was no longer a need for the former things.





For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:7 & 13





For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Hebrews 10:1





Jesus had to come in the flesh to fulfill all justice, be the perfect sacrifice, and to present Himself once and for all.

When “Justice” was fulfilled, the purpose of the Old Covenant culminated and Jesus established the new one. Jesus came to establish Himself as the High Priest of the coming age, or the good things to come. Referring to them as “the good things to come,” means that the old would end in order to establish the new.





But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come , with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12





The fulfillment of the work of the cross marked the end of the old system of sacrifice and this was considered the end of the age.





He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages , He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 9:26





Notice that the end of the age is linked to the Cross, and not to the end of the world.





The end of the age had come. The priesthood in the flesh gave way to the Spirit. Jesus cannot be and could not have been the High Priest in the flesh in the earth because he did not have the priestly lineage the old covenant required.





For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.

For if He were on earth , He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things,

Hebrews 8:3-5a





This clearly states that the earthly ended so the heavenly could be established.

The physical Temple ended to give way for the Temple of the Spirit to be established in the hearts of men.





Jesus spoke to His contemporaries, especially to His disciples of when the end of the Age would be. Jesus knew that an unprecedented tribulation upon the Jews was coming, which would end the nation of Israel. The Father had determined this would happen in 70 A.D. and the clock was ticking.





Jesus predicted everything that was going to happen. He said, it would be “soon,” and it happened 37 years later. All that was fulfilled was described in detail by Flavius Josephus, and that is the reason for this book. The reader should be made aware that everything Jesus spoke of was fulfilled and that everything prophesied regarding the end in the Old Testament was also fulfilled.





Through the first twenty verses in Matthew 24, Jesus tells His disciples about the many events that would accompany His “coming,” which relates to the time when the temple was destroyed. Several signs are mentioned. In the parallel verses in Luke 21 and Mark 13, we find also expressions that have been previously prophesied in the Old Testament.





Jesus declared that “The abomination of desolation,” first prophesied by Daniel 1 , was one of the events that would take place during the times of famine, earthquakes, wars, false prophets, etc. All of this was fulfilled in the years just before the total destruction of Jerusalem. This period is known as, “The War of the Jews,” which lasted three and half years, and then the end came.

Before the Romans began the final and greatest siege of the city, the disciples were warned that they should run to the mountains just like Jesus had told them. They took shelter in a city called Pella, which King Agrippa offered as a refuge for the Christian community. 2





All the prophecies given by Jesus about His coming and the end of the age were declared to those whom He was sent to, the Jews.





When Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”



Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, (parousia) and of the end of the age (aion)?”



Matthew 24:1-3





Jesus uses the words “parousia” 3 which is the word, “presence” in the Greek, and “aion” 4 which means “age”. Jesus was not talking about coming in a physical body to destroy Jerusalem. Instead He was talking about coming in the clouds with His glorious presence bringing the great judgment which would be very visible.





“The disciples were asking when the end of “aion” would be, or the Moses era, which Jesus had just prophesied would occur.





The Jewish people recognized two ages-the one in which they lived at the time (under the Law), and the coming age or the age of the Messiah. A common Jewish conception, which appears many times in the Talmud, is that the coming of the Messiah would end “the age” as it was known and the “coming age” would arrive.





The Jewish people only recognize two ages; the age of the law and the age of the Messiah.” 5





Every time the word “coming” is mentioned in Matthew 24, the words parousia and erchomai are used. Both refer to a spiritual presence or manifestation.





In the Greek, the word used for physical presence is “ prosopon ,” which does not appear in any of these scriptures, referring to the end of the age.

“Parousia” in the Greek means “presence” and Erchomai is the verb “to come,” in a grammatical tense referred to as aorist. This tense has no relation to time; it is something that exists or happens eternally.





The closest thing in English would be the expression made by the Roman Centurion that came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant.





The following is an analogy of His authority:





“And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes .” When does he come? Whenever, it is not future or present. This verb is somewhat like this in the aorist tense. It is an apparition of Christ that happens continuously and in certain points in history, like we will see further in this book, about the judgment He himself decreed, and came to pass in 70 A.D.





(In the section for questions at the end of this book, we explain the meaning of all these words that have to do with the coming of Jesus in His Kingdom.)





In the 24 th chapter of Matthew, He first spoke of them seeing: “the sign of the son of man.” (Matthew 24:30) Notice, that one thing is a sign and another is a physical manifestation.





This will be clear when we narrate the signs Josephus testified that occurred right before the great fall of Jerusalem. One of them was that they saw the armies of heaven in their chariots on the clouds above the cities. (Chapter 11)





Part of Jesus’ ministry was preaching “The great day of the vengeance of our God.” This is the day He was referring to in the verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke describing the end.





The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;

Isaiah 61:1-2a





Jesus spoke directly to those listening, saying:





So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Matthew 24:33-34





The prophecy was made for that generation, and it was related to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.





If He told them these things would be fulfilled in their generation , it had to be fulfilled in that time. As a matter of fact, it came 37 years after He prophesied. That is also why He said some would not see death before the end came, referring to John who died 30 years after this great judgment.





Also, when the women of Jerusalem cried for Him, He told them:





“…Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’



Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’



Luke 23:27-30





Jesus was not talking to women two thousand plus years in the future; He was talking to the ones that would be alive in the judgments from 66 to 70 A.D.





The Early Church knew The End was near





They knew they were in the end times and were awaiting the end as well as the judgment spoken by Jesus over Jerusalem. The apostles prepared this generation to wait for “The day of the Lord.”





John knew it:





Little children, it is the last hour ; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

1 John 2:18





Peter knew it:





Jesus had spoken to His apostles about how the city would burn and how all the structures of the old priesthood would be removed. What Peter wrote will become very clear when we read later in Josephus’ writings about the destruction of Israel by fire. He was worried about the new believers walking in holiness because that day was close. The ministry of Peter was in Jerusalem and even though his writings were copied and sent to Asia Minor, he spoke directly to the Jewish people and the Gentiles who lived there.





But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (structures) 6 will melt with fervent heat; both the earth (territory) 7 and the works that are in it will be burned up.





Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

2 Peter 3:10-12





The Greek word for elements is stoicheion and it refers to the structures or rudiments of the Mosaic Law. This word is mentioned 5 times in the New Testament. 8





One of them is:





Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements (stoicheon) of the world.

Galatians 4:3





Peter also affirmed that the end was near in his first letter:





But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

1 Peter 4:7





Paul knew it:





The author of Hebrews, possibly Paul, knowing that day was near, and there would be a horrible tribulation, wrote:





For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

Hebrews 10:30-31 & 37





He also wrote to the Corinthians:





Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

1 Corinthians 10:11





James knew it:





You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand .

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door !

James 5:8-9





The twelve knew it:





When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10:23





Jesus was speaking to the twelve, not to people two thousand years plus in the future.





“Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”



Matthew 16:28





The High Priest heard it:





Jesus declared from that moment on he would see the Lord coming in the clouds.





Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”



Matthew 26:64





The Page of The Great Confusion





Thousands of years have gone by since the Gospels and the Neo-Testament letters were written. For almost 400 years they remained scattered and hidden to humanity.





In 397 A.D., around the time when the canon of the New Testament was recompiled in the council of Cartago, the Church was already in great decline. The Holy Spirit was completely ignored and the Church had already been transformed into a hierarchical and a Nicolatian system.





By that time, the Catholic Church (the only one that existed at the time) felt a tremendous hatred towards the Jews, since they were directly responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. Another thing that contributed to this hatred was that the Church was romanized, and Rome hated the Jews. That is why they destroyed them.





In an attempt to separate themselves from the Jews, the compilers of the apostolic manuscripts decided that everything that had to do with Christ should not be mixed with the Old Testament.





They decided to begin the New Testament with the Gospels. That way Christianity would be separated from Judaism.





By doing this and placing a page named “ The New Testament ” between Malachi and Matthew, they changed the entire meaning of the interpretation of what Jesus did and said.





Jesus is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. He is the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament. He is the fulfillment of all justice as well as the Law.





He is the golden seal who closes the Old Testament, who is crowned with the out pouring of the Holy Spirit, prophesied by Joel.





The New Testament should begin when Cornelius receives Salvation in Acts 10. In that moment the work of the Eternal God extends to the world of the Gentiles, and all things are made new. Before this, Jaweh and His Son, Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is the God of the Jews and no one elses.





The Tragedy of the “Out Of Place-Comma”





An example that will help us understand the great tragedy of this badly placed page is the “Out of place-Comma”:





The meaning of the phrase, “Let’s eat, Grandma,” can completely change if it is missing the comma. It would read, “Let’s eat Grandma.” While humorous, it goes to show how one comma can completely change the meaning of the phrase.





The same occurs with the badly placed New Testament page.





If it is right after Malachi, then it means that Jesus is not the Messiah of Israel that came to fulfill the law. It means He is a Christian Messiah, separated from Israel which did not speak to the Jews, but to the entire world. This would also mean that the promises and the judgments were only for the Church and not for Israel.





This causes us to see the prophecies that He spoke of regarding the end, in the future, and as something that must be fulfilled in our time.





It also causes the Jews to not recognize Jesus as part of their history, but as the Messiah of a new religion called, “Christianity” which is also a Greek word. Therefore, this caused the Jews to not want anything to do with Jesus. THIS IS A GREAT TRAGEDY!





Now, if the page is located in the right place, after Acts 10, Jesus is the Messiah of Israel. He is a part of their history and the fulfillment of all the Law and the prophets. Seeing it this way, that the ministry of Yeshua (Jesus) was only to the Jews, all the prophecies about the end times were fulfilled in His generation.





Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Luke 24:44-45





The Importance of Knowing History



A short Story about an Ignorant Man





An ignorant villager, completely unaware of world news lived in the mountains of the Pyrenees in Europe. Even though he lived in the 21 st Century, the small village where his house was located lacked the most basic resources of civilization.





One day as he walked the mountains, he found the remains of an old airplane crash site and in it he found a half-burned newspaper. Filled with curiosity, he read, “Hitler declares World War II.”





Completely unaware of whom that man was and not knowing anything about World War II, he was greatly frightened when he read the news. While confused, he ran and told his neighbors that they were at war. They then passed on the news to the neighboring towns screaming all over, “We’re at war! The end is near! Let’s stock up and hide in lairs and caves!”





No one questioned where that information came from and whether it was true or not. They simply assumed that it was right and they should take whatever measures necessary to let as many people know as they could.





Many abandoned their jobs and those who were going to be married, canceled their plans. Young people who wanted to pursue a career gave that up and went into hiding.





As ridiculous as this story is, it is the reality of all those who ignore history.





It is impossible to correctly interpret Old-Testament prophecy, as well as the prophecies of Jesus regarding the end, while ignoring what Israel and the believers experienced in the first century.





The Church and its theologians based all of their conjectures in the few letters we have in the New Testament, leaving out the historical context the early church experienced while under Roman domination.





God allowed other historians and reporters to record historical events other than the writers of the New Testament. They were eye witnesses of the things Israel experienced before the complete destruction of their nation.





Among them, the most well known is a historian named Flavius Josephus.





My purpose in writing these pages is to give you, beloved reader, a summary with extracts from the books of Josephus, to lead you to know the history and fulfillment of all the Biblical prophecies of the “ end times .”





The most important works he wrote are called, “ The Antiquities of the Jews” and they comprise 20 books. The second and most relevant to interpret the prophecies of Jesus regarding the end times are called, “The War of the Jews.”





This last one narrates in detail the Greek-Roman period in Israel’s history, and are written in seven books. They describe in great detail the great conflicts found in Israel, the wars against themselves and against the Romans. These wars began in 66 A.D. and culminated three and a half years later in 70 A.D. Israel was completely destroyed with its last fortress refuge being Mazada where the remaining Jews committed a mass suicide.





Flavius Josephus





Who was Flavius Josephus ?





The Autobiography of Josephus





Josephus himself describes his origins. He was from a high ranking priestly family; part of the 24 main families that composed Israel’s royalty. He was born around 37 or 38 A.D. in the first year of Emperor Caligula’s reign. 9





He writes of himself:

“I was proficient in improving my learning, and appeared to have both great memory and understanding. When I was a child, about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all for the love I had for learning; on which account the high-priests, and principal men of the city, came to me frequently to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law. And when I was about sixteen years old, I had a mind to discern the several sects that were among us. There were three sects; the first is that of the Pharisees, the second is that of the Sadducees, and the third that of the Essenes.” 10





These, represented the right, the left and the extreme left of Jewish legalism respectively.





He became familiar with these three Jewish sects and also went to the desert for three years under the leadership of a hermit called Banos, probably Essenian or related with this sect. Once he felt he had received enough instruction, he left and adhered to Phariseeism.





Josephus and His Allegiance to Rome





In 64 A.D. during Nero’s Roman Empire, while Felix was the governor of Judea, Josephus was assigned to travel to Rome. His mission was to request the freeing of two Pharisees who were being held under Roman authority. There, he was presented before Empress Poppaea, Nero’s wife, whom he found to be in favor of the Jewish people. She released the imprisoned Jews and bestowed great mercy upon Josephus.

It is believed that this stint in Rome caused Josephus to feel, if not immediate loyalty towards the Romans, at least a strong conviction that the Roman power was invincible, thus defying it was insanity on the part of the Jews.





Soon after returning to Judea, the riot of 66 A.D. broke out and he placed himself at Rome’s service after the defeat of Galilee, with his confidence being shattered in advance.





In that year Josephus had led the Galilean defense. Terrorized by the advancement of the Roman legions, the Jewish army deserted and took shelter in a cave where they decided to commit suicide. Josephus arranged it to where he was the last one left and decided to give himself up to the Romans.

Taken before Vespasian 11 , Josephus predicted that in less than a year, the general would be the Roman Emperor. This prediction must have given him grace before Vespasian because he pardoned him, influenced by the fact that Josephus had powerful friends in Rome.





Although his true loyalty and love was for his own nation, and as we already mentioned, they considered him a chief noble among them, Josephus also served as a historian and reporter for the Roman people. Later on he became Titus’ 12 Jewish counselor.





This allowed him to give reliable testimony of what occurred on both sides.





He was able to learn many details regarding the siege of Jerusalem in the Roman camp. He urged the Jews, in vain, to put an end to the war because he feared for his fellow citizens the consequences of their stubbornness.





Either way, this is a man who knew how to write well in both Aramaic and Greek. Scholars regret that he did not provide more details regarding the sources he used for his work, but being an eye-witness speaks volumes regarding his experience. Although we should point out that he is more of an apologist than a historian, since he deliberately accumulated facts related to his special interests.





Undoubtedly Josephus’ works are of immeasurable historical value, especially to Christians who may cross-check them with the inspired accounts we have in the New and even Old Testament.





After the taking and plundering of the Holy City (in 70 A.D.), Josephus believed it would be sensible to escape the likely vengeance of some of his exiled patriots, who criticized his conduct, so he followed Titus to Rome. That is when his Roman citizenship was grantedand he took the name Flavius. This was appropriate for the notable Jew, who frequented the treaty between Vespasian and Titus (Roman Emperors of the Flavian Dynasty).





The Destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple in History





It is important to place the reader in the historical background of the powers that subjugated Judea right before the first century. This will allow the reader to see what was happening, what the circumstances were and which characters led Israel into its decline. We will then delve into the wars of the Jews and the incidents that led to its total destruction.





Jerusalem Was Taken Several Times in History





Before the birth of Jesus, Jerusalem had been destroyed several times. Not all the prophecies that spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem refer to the final devastation of 70 A.D.





There were prophets that referred to the previous destructions and reconstructions of the different temples that were built after Solomon’s temple.





Josephus writes about these different destructions:





“It was first destroyed by the king of Babylon after 1360 years, eight months and six days after it was built. Then the King of Egypt, Asocheus and then Antiochus Epiphanes of Pompeii (which partially destroyed the Temple), then Sosius and Herod took it and conserved it.” (Herod built the last temple).





“The first to build it or establish it was a powerful Canaanite named Mechizedech, which means a “just man” in the language of the homeland and it was so; that is why he was the first that served and administered the priesthood for God and as he began to build the Temple, he called the city Jerusalem, because it was called Salem before.”





The Destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon





This destruction was prophesied by Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah. 14





It happened approximately in the year 586 B.C., on the seventh of Av, which is the fifth month. Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard of Babylon destroyed the Temple which was built by Solomon with much effort. The Bible records this tragic event:





And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month (which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire.





The bronze pillars that were in the house of the Lord, and the carts and the bronze Sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried their bronze to Babylon. They also took away the pots, the shovels, the trimmers, the spoons, and all the bronze utensils with which the priests ministered. The firepans and the basins, the things of solid gold and solid silver, the captain of the guard took away. The two pillars, one Sea, and the carts, which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure.

2 Kings 25:8-9 & 13-16





Our holy and beautiful temple, where our fathers praised You, Is burned up with fire;

Isaiah 64:11





That beautiful Temple that was filled with the glory of God was reduced to rubble and to the shame of the people, 403 years after its construction. During four centuries God put up with the sin of the Jews until their wickedness brought their ruin.





During the Babylonian captivity there were prophets that prophesied the rebuilding of the Temple. They were Ezekiel, Haggai and Zachariah.





They referred to the will of God to rebuild the Temple once again before the coming of the Messiah. Jesus came among many other things, to destroy the old system of the Temple and in order for this to occur, it needed to be rebuilt. It was destroyed and was rebuilt twice before the coming of the Son of God.





The Rebuilding of The Temple during the Medo-Persian Empire





After the return of the captivity of Babylon, during the Medo-Persian Empire, the Temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt, approximately in the year 417 B.C. For the Jews it was a joyous celebration because they could serve God in the Temple again. This Temple was much smaller and plain compared to the one Solomon had built. This is the Temple Zerubbabel built, assisted by Cyrus, King of Persia.





The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know

That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.

For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.

Zachariah 4:9-10





The people continued disobeying God and so a new yoke and a new destruction came.





Judea Under the Greek and Roman Empires, II and I B.C.





By the second century before Christ, the Greek Empire dominated a great part of the known world, including Israel.





Two large factions among the Greeks fought over control of the Empire. One was Ptolomeu and the other was Antiochus Epiphanes.





This last man was a perverse tyrant that brought great destruction over Israel.





Fig. 1 — Map of the Empire of Greece





C1. The Domination of Greece





Antiochus Epiphanes was a Grecian Emperor of the Seleucid Dynasty (central part) between the years 212 and 163 B.C.





Back then the chiefs of the Jews,who represented the sects of the Pharisees, were in great conflict with one another. In the meantime Antiochus Epiphanes organized and expedition against Jerusalem.





Josephus, being a historian, writes regarding these times:





“And came upon the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also robbed the temple, and put a stop to the practice of offerings as a daily sacrifice for three years and six months. 15



Now Antiochus was not satisfied with his unexpected taking of the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar; which they all opposed, and those who stood up to defend their Law, were put to death.” 16





According to the Book of the Maccabees , Antiochus promulgated several religious type ordinances: He tried to suppress the worship to Yahveh and tried to establish worship to Greek gods. However, the Jewish Priest Mattathias and his two sons called Maccabees were able to rally the people against him and they overthrew him. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah commemorates this event.





C2. The Roman Empire





The last stage of Roman history was referred to as an Empire in which Rome was governed by emperors. They established an absolute government where all power was set upon them; political, military, religious and administrative. This stage started in 29 B.C. with the reign of Augustus (Octavius) and ended with the reign of Romulus Augustulus in the year 476 A.D., due to the barbaric invasions of the fifth century.





Fig. 2 — The Domination of The Roman Empire





Pompeius Magnus





In the year 63 B.C. Rome conquered the Empire of Greece. There was a politician and Roman general called Pompeius. who was one of the ones who took Jerusalem and desecrated the temple, leaving it quite damaged. He then tried to find grace among the Jews by promoting among them the restoration of the daily sacrifice.





Flavius Josephus narrates in, “Antiquities of the Jews,” the events that took place during that siege.





“Of the Jews, twelve thousand fell, but of the Romans very few… and no small damage was caused to the Temple itself, which, in the former ages, had been inaccessible, and seen by no one.





Pompey went into the temple with many others and they all saw what was unlawful for any man to see besides the high priests. Yet Pompey did not touch anything on account of his respect for their religion; and at this point , he acted in a manner that was worthy of his virtue. The next day he gave the order to those who were in charge of the Temple to cleanse it, and to bring what offerings the law required to God. He also restored the high priesthood to Hyrcanus, of the Pharisees sect.” 17





Fig. 3 — Pompeius and the Dead Inside the Temple





“Herod the Great”, King of Judea





Herod the Great became the king of Judea in 40 B.C. At that time, the building had suffered considerably, due to natural disintegration as well as hostile military attacks.





In an attempt to obtain the favor of the Jews, Herod was determined to reconstruct the temple. The work started in approximately 25 B.C. and required a lot of work and money. It was filled with splendor. That is why it was called, “Herod’s Temple” or Second Temple. This is the temple where the Lord Jesus Christ drove out the money changers. It had been turned into a den of thieves and a business center. The people were still far from the will of God, and that is why Jesus prophesied against the temple:





Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Matthew 24:1-2





As we will see in the coming pages, this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.C., when Titus, the Roman General, invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in Av 9 of the Jewish calendar. Oddly enough, this was exactly 2 days after the 656 th anniversary of the destruction of Solomon’s temple by the Babylonians. Yet, some among them assured it was the same day.





Who Ruled in Rome During the 1 st Century?





Caligula, Claudius and Nero of the Claudian Dynasty





During the time of Jesus, Caligula ruled as the Emperor of Rome and governed over Judea, Herod Agrippa I. This emperor was followed by Claudius Cesar and he was followed by Nero who set Rome on fire the first time. These three rulers violently persecuted Christians and threw them to the lions, crucified them and burned them alive in the Roman Circus, but they weren’t the only ones.





Non-Dynasty Emperors





At the time of Nero’s death in the winter of 68 A.D., three more emperors governed, one right after the other in a one year time span, for very short periods of time. They were Galba, Otton and Vitellius. It could be considered only one government that ruled during the civil wars.





Vespasian and Titus, of The Flavian Destiny





Later on Vespasian was crowned as Emperor. He was the general of Nero’s army. He ruled the Empire during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and his son, Titus, was the General of his armies.





It is important to know these names because it will help us understand how history unraveled and how the prophecy was fulfilled.





Jesus in His glory, in approximately 18 67 A.D., prophesied in the Book of Revelation. He was warning His people of the events that were soon about to take place. Jesus wanted to encourage them and give them understanding of the great destruction that would come upon Jerusalem and all of Judea through the Roman Empire.





Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

Revelation 17:9-11





The beast symbolized the Roman Empire, personalized in Nero, which began the destruction of the Jewish nation in 66 A.D., by sending General Vespasian to siege Jerusalem and take the nation. Here it is very important to place Jesus´ prophecies in the timeframe of what was about to happen.





The Roman Empire was made up of approximately 20 nations that did not get along with each other. (See fig. 2) This caused it to be a mixture of iron and clay, just as Daniel prophesied to King Nebuchadnezzar when he had the dream of the great image.





This image represented the four empires that conquered Israel and corrupted it: Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. The feet symbolized the Roman Empire and “the rock,”who was Jesus, would come to destroy all structures of accumulated corruption for seven-hundred years. When this structure fell, The Kingdom of God would be established and Jesus would rule with His saints. 19





As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Daniel 2:43-44





Now then, going back to the scripture of the eight kings in Revelation 17, let us see who these kings were:





In the next graphic, we see the 5 kings of the Julius-Claudius dynasty. Among them was Nero, who is described as the “one who is.” (Nero was the emperor in 67 A.D., who Jesus prophesied about in the book of Revelation .)





This was followed by the period of the four “non-dynasty” emperors during the civil wars in 69 A.D. These could be considered the sixth one. At the end of that year the Flavian Dynasty surged with Vespasian, the seventh king. He was succeeded by his son Titus, who inherited the Empire from his father. Being the son of Vespasian, he was the eighth, while at the same time, the seventh , because of his bloodline.





Fig. 4 — Roman Emperors of The First Century





The Sects and The Most Important Characters in The Wars Among The Jews





The Jewish Sects and The Political Movements that provokedthe conflicts





Israel was divided into three religious sects: The sects of the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes. Aside from these, we will see a very important political movement that rose up called the Zealots.





We will also present the Jewish tyrants who rose up against the Romans, and for this reason were considered by many to be like messiahs. They along with their helpers, caused the internal destruction or civil war within Israel.





The Three Sects Of Judaism





The Sadducees





“They were the right of Jewish legalism. They were recruited among nobility, priests and intellectuals. They were followers of Hellenism and did not believe in a special mission of sacred character on behalf of the Jews as a result of Abraham’s calling. They did not allow faith in the resurrection of the dead or the angelology of the Pharisees and had no sympathy for Messiahnism.”



“We frequently find them joined to the priests and scribes as confederate enemies of Jesus Christ and even though it seems illogical, some of the priests belonged to this skeptical sect. They were the realistic politicians who thought it was a utopia the idea of a Jewish world domination. They formed a small, but greatly influential minority in the times of Christ.”





“They disagreed among each other regarding fierce customs and did not think highly of foreigners. They were actually very inhumane towards them.”





The Pharisees





“The Pharisees, on the other hand, belonged to the middle class and formed a strictly Jewish, legalistic party. They believed that the Jews had to be a holy people, dedicated to God and they believed in The Kingdom of God. They stood out in the synagogue where the people received instruction from the most educated among them and were admired by the people for this.”





“They tended to attribute what ever happened in life both to God and to fortune. They said that doing good or bad was in the hands of men, but that good fortune helped them in everything. They also said that all souls are incorruptible, but that only the good ones pass on to other bodies and the bad ones are tormented with pleadings and torments that never end.” 20





Pharisees loved one another and showed goodness to one another.





Saul of Tarsus was one of the few sincere Pharisees and was chosen by the Lord.





The Essenes





“As far as the Essenes, we know they formed a small religious minority and lived in communities very similar to the friars of our time, but their ideals were as much political as religious. They practiced very strict humanitarianism; a true kingdom of God without restrictions from the State and without civil law.”





“The Essenes considered themselves the eschatological people of God because they believed that fulfilling the law would bring about divine intervention in the form of a war that would put an end to all the governments of the earth. Therefore, in order to be admitted into this sect they required an apprenticeship of several years, surrendering of private property and in many cases, giving up marriage.

Once the new member was accepted, he would work in agriculture and manual labor, but above all he would dedicate himself to the studying of Scripture. They had community assemblies and practiced daily ablutions and conscience examinations.”





The Movements of political revolt and the false messiahs who rose up





The Zealots





The Zealots were a political-nationalist movement in the first century and were founded by Judas of Galilee, soon after the birth of Jesus. The name refers to the zeal its members had towards Yahweh.





They were the most violent sect of Judaism of their time, frequently clashing with others, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees, whom they accused of having a “zeal for money.” The term zealot has come to be known as synonymous, in several languages, to intransigent or radical militants.





Some historians consider them the first terrorist groups in history, since they utilized the homicide of civilians who collaborated with the Roman government to dissuade others from doing the same thing. Within the zealot movement, a radicalized faction known as Sicarios distinguished themselves, due to their virulence and sectarianism.





Their objective was a Judea, independent from the Roman Empire through armed warfare. We will see this develop in these pages.





Due to the great fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., they occupied the Fortress of Masada, which served as the last Zealot refuge. Three years later they committed mass suicide, in this place, refusing to surrender to the Romans.





John of Giscala





For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24





Upon the death of Judas the Galilean, founder of the Zealot movement, a new leader rose up, named John of Giscala. Due to the idea held by the Pharisees that the Messiah would deliver them from their oppressors, the Romans; they considered John their Messiah due to the fierceness and cruelty with which he fought Rome.





Josephus writes regarding him:





“It was John, the son of a certain man named Levi that drew them to rebel and encouraged them in it. He was a cunning, archaic man, and had a temper that could put on various shapes; very rash in expecting great things and very sagacious in bringing about what he hoped for. It was known to everybody that he was fond of war, in order to thrust himself into authority; and the seditious part of the people were under his management.” 21





Simon Bari Giora





“At the time a new blood thirsty, enlightened man by the name of Simon Bar Giora, also known as Simon Ben Kojba managed to join together a strong group of discontent Jews and organized a party of violent evildoers.





His name went down in history when the Tana Rabbi Akiva Ben Iosef, a wise rabbi and influential person in the Sanhedrin, allowed him to take on the name, “Bar Kokeba (“ Son of a Star” in Aramaic), referencing the Biblical verse in Numbers 24:17, “A Star shall come out of Jacob” ). Thus, Akiva declared Ben Kojba as the authentic Messiah that would deliver the Jewish people from its oppressors. 22





In the midst of the war against Rome, the people of Israel were bleeding to death in useless civil wars. In Jerusalem the Zealots were killing one another and were divided among themselves into two groups, those who fought with John and those with Simon.





When Simon Bar Giora arrived in Jerusalem, he faced John of Giscala in a horrible massacre, which lasted many days. Thousands of innocent Jews died, caught up between both groups. Both would burn up each other’s supplies which could have helped feed the enormous population trapped by the Roman siege.”





The Dispersed Jews throughout Asia and Europe





It is important to understand that the Jews were not concentrated within Israel during the times of Jesus or in the first century. During the wars of the Jews, Rome launched a strong attack, conquering every place where there were Jewish settlements.

These Jewish settlements were the ones Jesus referred to as the nations that would be judged. Also, the term “Gentile nations,” was given to the kingdoms under the yoke of Rome, who formed the existing world in those days.





As an example of this the Jewish nations came together at the feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out.

The dispersed Jews referred to themselves as nations and as such they had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. They marveled when they saw the disciples speaking the tongues of their nations.





Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs — we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”



Acts 2:7-11





They were all Jewish. The Gentiles did not travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feasts.





When Jesus prophesied that nation would rise up against nation, He was referring to the Jewish nations, which fought against one another in the wars of the Jews.





When He spoke of judging the nations in the valley of decision, He was referring to the Jews. His prophecy was directed towards Israel and the end that was near.





As we delve into the wars that we will be studying, we will see horrific situations of brother rising up against brother, nation against nation, attacking one another.





For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Matthew 24:7-8





NOTES

Additional Details regarding

the Formation of These Jewish Nations





King Nebuchadnezzar deported large groups of Jews into Babylon between the years 605 and 587 B.C. Despite Cyrus’ edict, the majority of the exiled preferred to remain in Babylon due to the economic and agricultural conditions being favorable towards them. Gradually, from 400 B.C. to 200 A.D., they occupied several nations in Europe.





“Josephus describes Syria as the country with the highest percentage of Jewish inhabitants, probably due to its close proximity to Israel. Particularly, there were important Jewish centers in the capital, Antioch as well as in Damascus and Apamea. A great number of Jews lived in Syria and Asia Minor where the Jewish settlements were encouraged by the policies of Seleucides kings (Greek Empire) which governed large areas in Asia Minor. There were also many Jews in several islands in the Eastern Mediterranean. Many lived in Crete, Delos, Paros, Melas, Euboea and other islands.”





“ …there were Jews in the urban centers in Greece and Macedonia… According to the Acts of the Apostles; there were Jewish communities in Thessalonica, in the Macedonian cities of Philippi and Berea as well as the well-known cities of Athens and Corinth. Inscriptions still remaining show evidence of the existence of Jewish colonies in several places in the Peloponnese (Greece).” 23





The Wars of The Jews by Flavius Josephus





When I read these 7 books, I was perplexed at seeing the accuracy of the words Jesus used to prophecy the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the era. Everything was vividly narrated by Josephus.





The books begin with a prologue that summarizes the development of all the wars until the final defeat in Judea.





During 66 A.D. there were major conflicts in Judea. The nation was divided and controlled by John of Giscala, leader of the Zealots and there were revolts everywhere.

Rome attempted to control these internal wars to no avail. In the end these insurrections led to the total destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The Roman army simply gave the last stab.





That is how Jesus predicted it 37 years earlier. These wars were signs the disciples had to look out for to know the end was near.





And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Matthew 24:6





FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS’ PROLOGUE OF THE

SEVEN BOOKS OF THE WARS OF THE JEWS (EXRACTS)





“Because the war the Romans waged against the Jews is the greatest our age and times witnessed and the greatest we have ever heard of, regarding city against city and people against people.” 24



“The imprisoned captives in the entire war reached ninety-seven thousand and those that died totaled one-million, one-hundred thousand, (plus women and children). They were Jews, but not all were from Jerusalem because they had come for the Passover Feast. They were suddenly closed into the war and the Roman’s siege.





First, because they were closed in, they suffered great pestilence and then the hunger came.” 25





For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Matthew 24:21





And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Luke 21:11





“The Jews, earnest in age but lacking judgment, seeing they flourished no less in riches than in strength, had such a terrible sense of time that they arose hoping to possess the East, (occupied by Rome) and were then very frightened.”





“The Jews thought that all those that were on the other side of the Euphrates would rise up against the Romans as well (in the Eastern Empire). The Romans were bothered by the British, their neighbors, and the Germans as well. The universe was full of discord after Nero’s Empire. Taking advantage of the times and major revolts, many pretended to rise up with the Empire. Hoping to have a better gain, the armies wanted to mix it all up.” 26





“Witness to it all was Emperor Titus Caesar who gained it all. He saw how everything was destroyed because of the discord among the naturals (the Jews) along with the great tyrants that had risen up, and how they forced the Romans to light everything on fire and burning the sacred temple. He always had mercy on the people but he was prohibited from doing what he wanted for them due to the seditious rebels. Many times he even extended the siege longer than necessary to avoid destroying the city and allow the authors of this great war to repent.”





“In the end if we compared all the adversities and destruction that have occurred since the creation of the universe to the destruction of the Jews, all the others are inferior and less in volume.”





“But I will take the beginning of my story where they, along with our prophets ended. I will tell as diligently and at length as I can about the war that occurred in my time. I will speak of the war that began twelve years into Nero’s Empire and I will speak of all of the events and all the damage that took place due to Cestius 27 and of all that was gained by the Jews at the beginning. I will tell of how they strengthened their people, and of how Nero, because of the damage brought upon by Cestius, fearing the state of the universe, made Vespasian general captain. He then entered through Judea with his oldest son and with a great army of Romans, killing multitudes of people throughout Galilee. I will tell of how he took the cities by force as well as others which surrendered.”





“In speaking of this I will faithfully include the truth of what I’ve seen and suffered; I will not hold back from telling of the misery and misfortune because I am telling it to those that know of it and saw it.”





“Then, after the Jewish state was demolished, Nero died and Vespasian, having made his way towards Jerusalem was detained due to the empire and left for Egypt (to the funeral). He took his son Titus with him. I will also speak of the mutilations and revolts that took place in Rome, and how Vespasian was declared Emperor by the people of war, against his will. I will tell of how the Jews were involved in domestic revolts and seditions. I will describe how they were subjected to tyrants and how these tyrants were involved in discords and great seditions. Going back to Titus, after Egypt, he came against Judea twice and entered the lands along with his army. I will speak of the many times the city was afflicted while he was present.”





“Then I will declare the cruelty of the Jewish tyrants that rose up in Judea against their own and the humanity and clemency of the Romans with foreigners. Titus, wanting to keep the city and conserve the temple, compelled the rebels to seek and ask for peace and harmony.”





“I will describe in detail the wounds and misfortune of all the people and how much they suffered sometimes due to war and others times due to seditions and revolts as well as hunger and how in the end they were imprisoned. I will not stop telling of the deaths of those that attempted to flee and the punishment and torture the captives experienced. I will tell of how the temple was burned against Caesar’s will and how the many treasures and riches perished due to the fire as well as the slaughter and destruction of the main city, which all of Judea depended on.”





“I will tell of the marvelous signs and wonders that took place right before the horrendous events and of how the tyrants were captured and imprisoned. I will describe how the Romans resumed their victory and demolished from the root all the Jewish strongholds and defenses and how as Titus conquered all of these lands, he reduced them to his mandate, and of his return to Italy and his triumph.”





“Everything I have said I have written in seven books for those that desire to know the truth. I will begin my story in the same order I have told it in summarized form.”





Israel would be destroyed by the Roman army and dispersed throughout the nations. This is the story of its destruction.





They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 28



Luke 21:24





The Beginning of The Destruction of Jerusalem





The Beginning of the Wars

The first revolt began in 66 A.D. in Caesarea. After winning a legal dispute before the judges, the Greeks provoked a fight in the Jewish neighborhood and the Roman garrison did not intervene. The rage of the Jews grew when they found out the Roman procurator of Judea, Gessius Florus, had stolen money from the treasury of the Temple.

Also, in an act of defiance, the son of the High Priest, Eleazer Ben Ananias stopped the prayers and the sacrifices in the Temple in honor of the Roman Emperor and gave the order to attack the Roman garrison that was in Jerusalem. The governor of Galilee, as well as the governor of Judea (Herod Agrippa II) fled while Cestius Gallus (Roman general in Syria) put together an important force to march to Jerusalem and suffocate the rebels.

The Jews managed to fend off Cestius Gallus’ forces in Beth Horon and forced him to leave, having killed 6,000 Legionaries.

Prophet Daniel clearly describes this episode and what would be the end of Israel as well as the things that would occur as a sign to those with understanding. It paralleled what Jesus prophesied about the end.

Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Daniel 12:10-11

The 1,290 days are equal to three and a half years. This is how long the wars lasted, up until the final destruction of Jerusalem, as well as the end of the antique priestly system.

Some Scholars place this 1,290 years from the resurrection of Jesus in 31 A.D. to the death of Stephen in 34 A.D.

The important fact here is that either of these interpretations swirl around the generation that Jesus prophesied to, the Jews of His time.

And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.

Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue.

And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

Daniel 11:31-35



The Romans had a deep rooted, irrational hatred against the Jews and the Christian Church; the majority of which were converted Jews.

Nero, who was the Roman Emperor in Rome, would crucify or throw into the lions den to be devoured, anyone who converted to Christ. There were a great amount of martyrs. On the other hand, General Cestius and then General Vespasian (who would later become emperor) seized and fiercely attacked the cities in Israel.

Vespasian, supported by his son Titus, had already taken several cities, Yodfat, Tiberias, Gamala, Caesarea of the sea, Gadara and others, by the time he reached Gischala. “There he conquered Galilee in the way of the Romans, destroying entire cities, executing hundreds of thousands of men and selling the women and children as slaves. Rome could not be messed with, but it was too late for the Jews to understand this.” 29



The Jews and the Christians, those who were left alive and managed to escape, would go from city to city, fleeing for their lives and preaching the Gospel.

When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10:23



The Wars Continue





1. John of Gischala flees with the People towards Jerusalem



Flavius Josephus describes the escape:

“The Roman’s attitude provoked such terror in the Jewish cities that the majority of the people surrendered without opposition, while thousands and thousands of Jews, terrified, fled towards Jerusalem led by John of Gischala. Meanwhile, Vespasian sent his son Titus, with a squadron of thousands of men on horses, to follow them and kill them.”



“Now in the night time, when John saw there were no Roman guards about the city, he seized the opportunity directly, and taking with him not only the armed men who were with him, but a considerable number of those who had little to do, together with their families, fled to Jerusalem.” 30



The women and children followed about 20 stadiums behind. As they fled, many fell andothers were fighting amongst themselves over who else would flee, stepping one over another. “There was a miserable destruction made of the women and the children, while some of them took courage to call their husbands and kinsmen back, and so beseech them with the bitterest lamentations, to stay for them; but John’s exhortation, who cried out to them to save themselves, and fly away, prevailed. He cried out that they should flee because if the Romans captured them, aside from taking them captive they would also be killed. All those that fled scattered themselves as much as they could depending on their strength.” 31



When John arrived in Jerusalem with the men of war that followed him, he made arrangements with the Zealots who were there and made the Temple his refuge and center of operations.

Meanwhile, Titus killed two thousand men that fled and he took three thousand women and children captive. 32





2. The Beginning of The Destruction

“All of the people in Jerusalem were broken-hearted with the arrival of John and they would ask all those who fled how it had gone for them and what slaughter had taken place. All they could do was weep, for they clearly understood the penalty they had suffered.” 33



“Hearing about what the captives had suffered and endured caused everyone to be sad and perturbed. They thought this was a great argument to believe their own destruction. John was not ashamed of having left some behind, and would even go everywhere inciting everyone to war, convincing them of the weakness of the enemy and flaunting their own strength. He would deceive the simple ones who lacked understanding in matters of war. He would tell them that even if the Romans fled, they could never enter through Jerusalem’s walls since their engines and battering rams were worn down by the damage caused in so many battles. He would corrupt a great number of young people with his words, but all of the older and more prudent people cried for the city that was pretty much lost, knowing full well what was about to happen.”



“There was confusion among the people. The farmers and rustic people in the neighboring areas of Jerusalem rose up and began to clash and fight amongst one another.”



“All of the cities were in revolt and were clashing with one another. Whenever the Romans let up on their fighting against them, they would begin to kill one another. There was a large and cruel dispute among those that wanted peace and those that loved war and sought it. This discord would rise up within their homes and then the closest of friends were in discord and each one would join with their relatives and with those they intended to defend. That is how all of the people were divided into towns and they would rebel.” 34



Jews and believers (who were Jewish as well) were all living this great conflict, just as Jesus had spoken.

And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.(And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.) 35



Matthew 24:10-13





Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”





Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

Luke 12:51-56





“The natural ones (Jews) began to rob and commit larceny amongst the mobs throughout the land. Their cruelty and injustice did not differ from that of the Romans. Those who were being destroyed by them preferred to be killed in the hands of the Romans, since it seemed less cruel compared to the suffering inflicted on them by the natural ones.” 36



“This city (Jerusalem) was not ruled by anyone in particular among the Jews. They would embrace anyone who wanted to live there. Upon seeing so many people enter, the naturals thought they were coming to assist them. This brought great disgrace in the end since many useless people who provided no benefit only stayed to use up the supplies and sustenance of the city.” 37



“Besides the war, this caused hunger to break out which brought with it even more sedition and revolts. Many thieves came from outside and got together with those that were already within the walls. They were even crueler and would not cease to commit all kind of evil deeds, even the biggest and most horrendous ones.

“They were not happy with just stealing and stripping men, but they found joy in killing nobles and this without hiding or during the night time.”



“The people were so subjugated and frightened, but this did not keep them from boasting. They even had the audacity to choose among themselves pontiffs, not by lineage or nobility, but among their own partners in crime.”



“They deceived anyone they could with words and fables, and not satisfied of persecuting men, they then decided to insult God by entering the forbidden place with dirty and damaged feet (The Holy place inside the Temple).” 38





3. The Priests Ananus and Jeshua

At the time there were two righteous men who loved the city and its inhabitants and wanted to defend it from the havoc brought on by the Zealots. One of them was named Ananus (or Hanan), and the other was named Jeshua (not our Lord). They were loved by the people since they sought peace and treated everyone equal.

They knew the Romans could not be defeated and knew if the Jews did not learn to live peacefully, they would perish altogether.

Ananus had been chosen to be the High priest and was considered the first and most wise among the Sadducees and Jeshua followed his position. Ananus led the people to rise up against the evil Zealots. The tyrants 39 had already taken the Temple and had made a fortress of the house of God to defend themselves against the people. It served as their habitation and meeting place.

In the midst of the tensions, the rest of the priests wanting to exert their authority, arrested Jacob, brother of the Lord Jesus Christ and several of his Christian partners. They formulated a false accusation against them as law breakers and were sentenced to death by stoning, near the Temple. 40





Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Matthew 24:9-11





“Another form of deceit was mixed in with all the evil and it would cause even more pain than everything done before. The tyrants decided to test the fear felt by the people as well as their strength by choosing the High Priest by the luck of the draw. They chose a rustic and rude man called Phannias. They dressed him with the clothing of the High Priest and would tell him what to do. They considered this evil act to be a game and a joke.” 41 “All of the other priests would look from afar and when they saw how they mocked the law, they could hardly hold back their tears and would cry out among each other at the sight of the honor of their priesthood and sacred items being ridiculed and mocked.” 42



“Unable to stand up to the affronts of the tyrants, Ananus and Jeshua organized the people to defeat the tyrants. Inconsolable, they would say: “Now if you have tyranny in so great a degree walled in, and see your enemies over your heads, to what purpose is it to take counsel? Perhaps you wait for the Romans, that they may protect our holy places: our matters then brought to that pass? And are we come to that degree of misery, that our enemies themselves are expected to pity us?” 43



John, who was known for being deceitful, provoked the people against Ananus and Jeshua by spreading the rumor that Ananus wanted to give up the people to the Romans.

Many believed in this treachery, which falsely accused the pontiff, and decided to secretly send ambassadors with a letter to their neighbors to the south, the Idumeans. The letter asked the Idumeans to defend them against Ananus and the Romans.

The Idumeans were ferocious and cruel Jews in war and men of great arrogance that deeply hated the Romans. When they read the demands in the letter, they became infuriated and armed themselves and declaring war. They recruited almost twenty thousand men with four captains and immediately arrived in Jerusalem.

Ananus and Jeshua, not knowing of the ambassadors, were surprised by the arrival of the armed Idumeans. However, being familiar with John and his tricks, they understood what they were doing there.





4. The Arrival of the Idumeans

Jeshua the Priest called out to them from one of the towers next to the wall saying, “For you have come to assist the vilest of men, and this with so great alacrity. These men who have invited you, every one of them would be found to have deserved ten thousand deaths; for the very rascality and off scouring of the whole country, who have spent in debauchery their own substance, and, by way of trial beforehand, have madly plundered the neighboring villages and cities, in the upshut of all, have privately run together into this holy city. They are robbers, who by their prodigious wickedness have profaned this most sacred floor, and who are to be now seen drinking themselves drunk in the sanctuary, and expending the spoils of those whom they have slaughtered upon their insatiable bellies. I cannot find good cause for why you have come against a group of people that have always been your friends, in favor of such thieves. 44



“ You may, if you please, come into the city, though not in the way of war, and take a view of the marks still remaining of what I now say, and may see the houses that have been depopulated by their rapacious hands, with those wives and families that are in black, mourning for their slaughtered relations; as also you may hear the groans and lamentations all over the city; for there is nobody but had tasted of the incursions of these profane wretches, who have proceeded to that degree of madness that everything they have stolen from other cities as well as this one, the head of all Judea, has been taken to the Temple, the venerable place to the entire universe, honored by foreigners that came from all over the world just to see it. It is now stepped on and destroyed by the evil doers that have been born amongst us.” 45



Having said this and many other things, he tried to persuade them. They also closed the doors of the city so they would not enter.

Furious because they had rejected them and closed the city, the Idumeans decided to camp around the walls to defend the homeland and the Temple. Their exalted arrogance and bad temper would find no rest. They would not stand the insult thrown at them, and fearing the great strength of the Zealots, they regretted having gone.

They did not want to go back home, out of embarrassment. That is how twenty thousand men remained in the valley of Jehoshaphat next to the walls.

Having said these things, the Idumeans agreed to stay. Jeshua returned, saddened that they did not listen to reason or consent to something moderate.





5. The Cold, The Storm and The Earthquake

“As they lay all night before the walls, though in a very bad encampment; for there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continued lightnings, terrible thunderings and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.” 46



“Now the opinion of the Idumeans and that of the city was one and the same. The Idumeans thought that God was angry at their taking arms and that they would not scape punishment for their making war against their metropolis.” 47



“Seeing the cold and the great storm intensifying, the Zealots decided to help the Idumeans since they believed it would be to their advantage to have so many people on their side. Even if helping them implied placing themselves in danger, they decided to do it anyway.”



“Having taken advantage of the guards falling asleep due to the cold, as well as the loud sound caused by the storm and thunder, they secretly left the Temple and went to the wall of the city and made use of the saws of the Temple to open the door where the Idumeans were.”



“At first there came a fear among the Idumeans themselves, which disturbed them as imagining that Ananus and his party were coming to attack them, so they took arms, but when they realized it was the Zealots, they went in little by little.”



“Once they finally entered, the Zealots dared to all come out of the Temple and blended in with the Idumeans to come against the guards.” “They killed some of the ones that had been sleeping, but the people woke up due to the screaming of the guards.”



“The people thought the Zealots wanted to hurt them, but when they saw that the Idumeans had joined with them, they fainted.”



“The young people in the city armed themselves and furiously rallied against them, resisting the attack. The screams of the people and the women were deafening and the Idumeans cried out as well. The storm caused the screams to be heard even louder. No one dared to assist another, they only returned the terrible echo of wailing and lamenting their misfortunes.”



“The Idumeans forgave no one because they were cruel by nature in killing and the storm and the cold angered them. They considered those that had kept them outside of the city suffering, their enemies.”



“Many who placed their relatives before them and begged them to have reverence towards the Temple, were killed. They had no way to escape and the assassins never backed down.” 48



“Due to the confusion and not knowing what they were doing, they killed each other with much more cruelty. So much so that the outer temple overflowing with blood; and that day, as it came on, they saw eight thousand five hundred men’s dead bodies there.”



“The rage of the Idumeans was not satisfied by these slaughters; but they now betook themselves to the city and plundered every house and slew everyone they met.”



“Not satisfied with all the deaths, they sought to find the priests and High Priests and they placed all their effort into it. When they found them, they were cut them to pieces. They would stand on their bodies and mock and ridicule the friendship and love of Ananus towards the people and what Jeshua, the Priest had spoken to them from the wall.”



“They showed their impious cruelty by throwing them out without a burial, knowing how important proper burials were to the Jews and how they would even bury the evildoers after sunset.” 49





6. The Death of Anano and Jeshua in the middle of the City





“I don’t believe I would err in saying that Anano’s death was the beginning of the destruction of the city and that the day the walls were destroyed so were the hearts of the people when they saw the pontiff and governor of everyone’s well-being as well as Jeshua, higher than all the other priests, beheaded in the middle of the city.”



“I cannot but think that God had doomed this city to destruction as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge His sanctuary by fire, that He cut off these their great defenders and well wishers, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the public worship… were cast out naked, and seem to be the food of dogs and wild beasts. I cannot but imagine that virtue itself groaned at these men’s case, and lamented that she was here conquered by wickedness. And this at last was the end of Ananus and Jeshua.” 50



When I read this I could not stop thinking about the passage of the two witnesses. It could have been these two priests or not. Josephus generally testified from Titus’ camp, outside of the city, so three days could have gone by without him testifying. There is no record of anyone writing from within the city, only Josephus, when he managed to enter.

Among so many deaths and hatred among one another, communication and writing was probably not very easy.





And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations (The Jews of the nations who were trapped inside the city) 51 will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.

And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.(the territory) 52



Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Revelation 11:8-13





7. The Return of the Idumeans and the cruelty of the Zealots

“Now after these were slain (Ananus and Jeshua), the Zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals, and cut their throats; wherever they were found, they would be killed.” 53



“The people were so terrified and in so much pain that none dared to cry in public or bury a single body no matter how close the relationship was. The prisoners would cry in secret fearing being heard by the guards. They would cry among each other and would secretly understand each other because if those that cried were heard, in that same moment they were punished and killed.”



“Only in the night, they would take some dust and throw it upon their bodies; and even some that were the most ready to expose themselves to danger would do it in the day time: and there were twelve thousand of the better sort and noble men who perished in this manner.”



“The Idumeans regretted going to Jerusalem and being deceived by the schemes of the Zealots.” 54





The Horrors within The City and The Exit of Jesus´Disciples





1. The Gold that was stolen

“There were Syrians and Arabs in Jerusalem. They wanted to take the gold they had, and fearing the rebels would steal it, they would swallow it and remove it from their own excrement.”



“Someone described this and it became well known throughout the camp that those that escaped were full of gold. So they threatened them saying they would open up their stomachs, but the covetousness was such that the Jews opened up the insides of two thousand men.” 55



“It was God who condemned the whole nation, and turned every course that was taken for their preservation to their destruction. These barbarians would go out, and meet those that ran away before anyone saw them, and looking about them to see that no Roman spied them, they dissected them and pulled this polluted money out of their bowels which money was still found in few of them, while yet a great many were destroyed by the bare hope there was of thus getting by them.” 56





2. The Sacrilege committed in The Temple and the number of dead in the City

“With nothing left to take in the city, John committed a sacrilege and began to sack the Temple and robbed many things and consecrated vessels used for divine service.”



“The Roman Emperors had always honored the Temple and had gifted many ornaments for it.”



“Then a Jew (among the Zealots) that sacked and destroyed the Temple would tell his partners, without fear, that they should make use of the sacred things and that those who fought for the honor of God and the temple should be fed and sustained by the riches of the temple.

They figured it was a licit thing to pour out the oil that the priests stored for their sacrifices and drink the sacred wine. He then distributed this among the people and they anointed themselves with oil and drank without apprehension.” 57





The grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests mourn, who minister to the Lord. The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.

Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land 58 into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Joel 1: 9-10 & 14-15

3. God gives His believers a way out

There were two clear occasions, according to history in which God gave the new Church the opportunity to escape just as Jesus had predicted to His disciples.

The first one was during the first siege in Jerusalem in November of 66 A.D., led by the Roman General Cestius. 59



He had been sent by Nero to appease the first revolts that broke out in Caesarea, but he had also been instructed to take all of Judea. He attacked several cities, interrupted the Feast of the Tabernacles and while setting fire to the suburbs, he entered Jerusalem.

He took the high city and camped out in front of the royal palace. At the time, many of Jesus’ disciples were trapped by the siege in the zone of the Temple, being surrounded by Romans that were stationed next to the walls.

The providence of God intervened then. Josephus says of Cestius:

“Had Cestius forced the entry into the fortresses, the city would have fallen and the war would have ended, but the prefect of the camp, the tyrant Prisco, was bribed to prolong the war by Gessius Florus, (District Attorney in Judea) and he diverted the attempt.” 60



“If he had only persisted in continuing the siege, he would have taken the city, but be it as it may Cestius suddenly called back his troops and left the city with no justification.”



“The disciples that were more alert took advantage of this withdrawal to leave the city and found refuge in Mount Pella.” 61



The second opportunity came two years later in 68 A.D.. Rome had returned to surround Jerusalem and General Vespasian abandoned the siege to attend the Emperor Nero’s funeral in Alexandria. This is the other sign, the Christians who were filled with the Holy Spirit took advantage of, to flee from the city. They knew the Romans would return at any moment, so obeying the instructions of their Teacher, they fled to the mountains. Many other Jewish people who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, had grown cold and missed the opportunity to escape.



Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

Matthew 24:15-18



The abomination of desolation referred to all the horrors and sacrileges that were committed inside the temple. Aside from this, the Romans had hung and imperial eagle in the main door of the Temple. 62



The Israel that was filled with the Spirit of God was protected by their Lord, but the lukewarm and idle died in the siege.

The doors to escape had been closed and only a horrible expectation of the Judgment was left.

Jesus, referring to Israel, who His ministry was devoted to, made an analogy of the ten virgins. Five of them were prudent and the others were not.

Jesus was the Son of God that came to unite His spirit with His bride. This bride was first and foremost Jewish, and would enjoy salvation with the foreign believers (inside the city) as well as God’s protection during the siege.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’



But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’



“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Matthew 25:10-13



This prophecy is directly related to the judgment that would come in 70 A.D. Jesus warns them that not everyone would be ready and the judgment that would suddenly come, required that they be attentive to the Holy Spirit. (Lamps full of oil)

From the end of Matthew chapter 23 to the end of chapter 25, Jesus is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment that would bring the end. He is not speaking of the marriage blessing in itself, but of the importance of being prepared.

This parable is parallel to the passage in Revelation 19 where we see the spiritual union of Jesus with His people as a wedding. This takes place by being filled with the Spirit of God and participating in the Lord’s Supper. After this union, Jesus comes with His armies and His saints to step on the wine of the evil of Jerusalem and put an end to the Mosaic age.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”



Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:9 & 11-16



Note that the title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords is linked to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and His Coming on a Horse to bring the judgment upon His vineyard . If this word were for the future, as it is believed traditionally, then this suggests that Jesus is not King of Kings or Lord of Lords yet. He descended with His armies in His majestic presence (parousia) during the judgment of 70 A.D., as we will see later.

I will speak in more detail regarding the meaning of the Wedding of the Lamb in the Question Section of this book.





4. The Army of Simon Bar Giora

After Nero’s death in 68 A.D. there was a great amount of instability in Rome. Four emperors came about during the following year, so the wall surrounding Jerusalem was less protected.

The Jewish did not take advantage of this time to be strengthened, but on the contrary, they fought among themselves.

While John and the Zealots occupied the Temple in Jerusalem, there arose another war in Jerusalem.

“There was a son of Giora, one Simon, by birth of Gerasa, a young man, not so cunning indeed as John [of Gisehala], who had already seized upon the city, but superior in strength of body and courage; on which account, when he had been driven away from that Acrabatene toparchy, which he once had, by Ananus the high priest, he came to those robbers who had seized upon Masada. At the first they suspected him, and only permitted him to come with the women he brought with him into the lower part of the fortress, while they dwelt in the upper part of it themselves. However, his manner so well agreed with theirs, and he seemed so trusty a man, that he went out with them, and ravaged and destroyed the country with them about Masada; yet when he persuaded them to undertake greater things, he could not prevail with them so to do; for as they were accustomed to dwell in that citadel, they were afraid of going far from that which was their hiding-place; but he affecting to tyrannize, and being fond of greatness, when he had heard of the death of Ananus, he left them, and went into the mountainous part of the country. So he proclaimed liberty to those in slavery, and a reward to those already free, and got together a set of wicked men from all quarters.”



“And as he had now a strong body of men about him, he overran the villages that lay in the mountainous country, and when there were still more and more that came to him, he ventured to go down into the lower parts of the country, and since he was now become formidable to the cities, many of the men of power were corrupted by him; so that his army was no longer composed of slaves and robbers, but a great many of the populace were obedient to him as to their king. He then overran the Acrabattene toparchy, and the places that reached as far as the Great Idumea; for he built a wall at a certain village called Nain, and made use of that as a fortress for his own party's security; and at the valley called Paran, he enlarged many of the caves, and many others he found ready for his purpose; these he made use of as repositories for his treasures, and receptacles for his prey, and therein he laid up the fruits that he had got by rapine; and many of his partisans had their dwelling in them; and he made no secret of it that he was exercising his men beforehand, and making preparations for the assault of Jerusalem.”



“Whereupon the zealots, out of the dread they were in of his attacking them, and being willing to prevent one that was growing up to oppose them, went out against him with their weapons. Simon met them, and joining battle with them, slew a considerable number of them, and drove the rest before him into the city, but durst not trust so much upon his forces as to make an assault upon the walls; but he resolved first to subdue Idumea, and as he had now twenty thousand ar