The book of Revelation
The prevailing view that the book of Revelation refers to the end of the world and the end of the human history, is based on extra-biblical sources, such as the Mayan predictions, the astrologer Nostradamus, Pheebo Apollo along with his priestesses Sibyls, and other futurists.
The end of the world is reproduced for centuries by self-proclaimed churches of Christ, self-appointed prophets, the media, and in conjunction with the ignorance of the Scriptures, many Christians and non-Christians live with the fear of an imminent end, completely ignoring the “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” [Philip. 4:4]
In order to understand the book of Revelation as well as the other letters of the Apostles, we need to know the time of writing, the recipients, the customs of that time, the prevailing religious and political conditions, and especially the teaching they received from the Lord Jesus Christ, with a mandate to preach it “to all the creation” which they fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem [Mark 16:20, Rom. 16:26].
Having that knowledge, and believing what we read, not what we hear, we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free [John, 8:32].
The purpose of the Revelation
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He signified sending by his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.” [Rev. 1:1-2]
John’s message to his contemporaries was:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” [Rev. 1:1-3]
The purpose of the Revelation was for God to show to his servants [not the world in general], what had to be done soon, quickly. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; because the time in which these events would occur was close [near].
“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” [Amos, 3:7]
Unlike Daniel to whom God said “seal the book” [Dan. 12:4], God said to John:
“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy. Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” [Rev. 22:10-12]
A simple mind realizes that what Jesus Christ showed to John did not concern future generations, and what He prophetically revealed would not happen after two, maybe three thousand years. Jesus showed to his servants what would happen immediately in their time, without omitting control, incitement, and consolation.
“To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” [Rev. 2:7], “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death” [Rev. 2:11], “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” [Rev. 2:17], “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” [Rev.2:26], “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” [Rev. 3:5], “I come quickly: hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” [Rev. 3:11], “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” [Rev. 3:21], and the fact that John sees the woman, the great harlot, “being drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” [Rev. 17:6], reveal situations that concerned John's contemporaries.
In addition, the verse “and it was said to them [to the slaughtered for the word of God and the testimony they had, who cried for judgment and vengeance] that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” [Rev. 6:9-11], does not allow us to imply future events.
Τime of writing
In the first century, the dominant kingdom in the Mediterranean Basin was the Roman one, a multinational and polytheistic empire, as Daniel had prophesied. At that time, Revelation was written, and all the events in the New Testament took place, with Judea being a province of the Roman state. The time of writing is before 70 AD. and not in 96 AD. as erroneously spread in the 2nd century by Irenaeus.
According to Epiphanius of Constantia of Cyprus (today's Salamis), John was on Patmos in the time of Claudius Caesar, who is either Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanic (41-54 AD), or Nero Claudius (54-68 A.D.). (Saint Epiphanius of Constantia of Cyprus - Against heresies eighty, book 2 p. 909 "Panarios")
Also, Theophylaktos of Bulgaria also states that it was written 32 years after the "ascension" of "Christ": "Or they wrote in Patmos the island in exile, after thirty-two years of the ascension of Christ" (P. G 123, 1133, "Comments to the gospel of John»)
Other evidence of the time of writing
“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne ……” [Rev. 1:4]
The Christians of the first century lived in anticipation of the immediate coming of Jesus Christ [Second Coming] and the desolation / fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish Temple [Luk. 22:20].
Those of the fleshly Israel [biological descendants of Abraham] that did not recognize Jesus nor understand the utterances of the prophets, expelled the children of the promise, the Spiritual Israel, as the apostle Paul wrote.
“Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” [Gal. 4:28-30]
“Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.” [II Thes. 1:4-7]
Those Jews who denied Christ became enemies of the cross. Being sons of the murderers of the prophets, they filled up their sins by killing Jesus Christ, the leader of life, and persecuting the children of the promise and so the wrath of God came upon them to the end [I Thes. 2:15-16, Matt. 23:29-33].
The Lord Jesus Christ had asked the high priests and the elders:
“When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” [Mat. 21:33-41]
So, John was “partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus” and when he wrote the Revelation Jesus was going to come. He was the Coming One, and hence the desolation of Jerusalem and the judgment upon the disrespectful ones of the fleshly Israel was imminent. So, the time for writing was before 70 AD, during the reign of Nero, who was the sixth Caesar of Rome with Julius being the first one, "five have fallen, one is" [Rev. 17:10], not 96 AD, as it was spread in the second century.
[Revelation, 11:2b] “And they will trample the holy city for forty-two months” also affirms that the Jerusalem of below existed at the time of writing.
Place of writing
John said: “I was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” [Rev. 1:9]
The simple past of the verb to be [I was] allows us to say that maybe the place where he wrote what he saw was a different one than Patmos.
John does not support what was spread in the second century about the cave and his exile; he attests the following: “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” [Rev. 1:9-11]
“I, John, your brother” The fact that he had been active in Asia and was known to the brothers there is a given, as well as the fact that he was well aware of their situation, being himself also a "companion in tribulation." The references in the Acts to Mysia and Troy and in Colossians to Hierapolis also point to other Christian communities in Asia. So, the choice of the seven, due to geographic location and population, would facilitate the spread further. Another fact is that John was an apostle of the circumcision as well as Peter and James was [Gal. 2:9], that means the members of the seven churches in Asia were Jewish Christians.
“I was on the island called Patmos”. John went voluntarily to Patmos for the apostolic mission, on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, and over there he saw what he wrote later.
The vision of the Lord’s Day and the two women
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.” If he wanted to write about a day of the week, he would write, on the first day of the week [Greek txt: τη μια των σαββάτων (Mark, 16:2)]. But what he says to the seven churches is that he was in the Spirit and saw what would happen on the day that the children of promise were waiting for, on the day of the Lord the great and magnificent day [Acts, 2:20, II Tim. 1:12].
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” [Titus, 2:13]
On the Day of the [redemption of the sons of God (Luke, 21:28, Philip. 3:21)] on the Day of fulfilling the written judgments in the Old Testament, for the transgressors of the Covenant and murderers of the prophets and saints [Mat. 23:31-36], on the Day of burning [Rev. 17:16, Ezek. 15:6] and stoning [catapults of the Romans] of the Harlot Jerusalem.
“How has the faithful city Sion, [once] full of judgement, become a harlot! wherein righteousness lodged, but now murderers.” [Is. 1:21 LXXE, read also Ezekiel chap. 16]
On the Day the century of the Mosaic Law ended, on the Day the Jerusalem of below, “And I saw the woman being drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:6, Mat. 23:37] was desolated and the new Jerusalem the bride, the Lamb’s wife reigned [Rev. 21:9].
“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem [Old Covenant] for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free [New Covenant] and she is our mother.” [Gal. 4:22-26]
"Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this." [Rev. 1:19]
That you have seen
“As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” [Rev. 1:19-20]
Those that are
a) The spiritual state of the churches.
b) The problems they were facing from the disobedient and false teachers Jews.
“I know your tribulation and your poverty but you are rich and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer.” [Rev. 2:9-10]
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” [Rev. 2:20]
“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.” [Rev. 2:6, 14-15]
“Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.” [Rev. 3:9]
Those that are to take place after this
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” [that is, afterwards]. [Rev. 4:1]
a) The opening of the book and the dissolution of its seven seals [Rev. 4:5].
b) The background of the Roman Empire, “And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.” [Rev. 13:2b]
c) The seven last plagues with which the wrath of God was executed upon the disrespectful ones of the Jews [Rev. 15:1].
d) “The judgment of the great prostitute who was seated on many waters” the woman who was carried by the beast of the sea [she was not carried by the Almighty Lord Jesus] .[Rev. 17:1,7]
Editor’s Note: The Jews retained their identity as a Theocratic Jewish nation with the tolerance of the Roman Empire, which also appointed the high priests and the kings. The fear of the Jewish priesthood was that the people would believe in Jesus Christ and the Romans would come and "take away both our place and nation." [John 11:48]
e) And the other woman the Bride, the wife of the Lamb, the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God [Rev. 21:9-10].
The beast of the sea associate of God in the desolation of Jerusalem
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, [he did not have the mind of Christ] and a mouth speaking great things.” [Dan. 7:7-8]
The spirit of God likened the kingdoms of the nations to beasts, as opposed to the fleshly people of Israel, whom He likened to sheep and flock of His pasture.
“Then he led out his people [from Egypt] like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.” [Ps. 78:52]
“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones.” [Jer. 50:17]
The fourth beast
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.” [Rev. 13:1-2]
This is the Roman Empire, the troops of which God calls them His own. “The king [God] was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” [Mat. 22:7]
Looking into the language of the Scripture, we read in Hosea what he says to the northern ten-tribe kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim) when he delivers them to the Assyrian.
“But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt, you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.” [Hos. 13:4-8]
And here he tells them that he will be to them like a lion, like a leopard, and like a bear. God himself joins the Assyrian troops against them.
And Zechariah, in [14:1-3], prophesies as follows:
“Behold, the days of the Lord come, and thy spoils shall be divided in thee. And I will gather all the Gentiles to Jerusalem to war, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the rest of my people shall not be utterly cut off from the city. And the Lord shall go forth, and fight with those Gentiles as when he fought in the day of war.”
1) Fight with. Greek text: παρατάξεται εν
παρατάξεται: passive voice – future – third person of the verb:
παρατάσσω = I deploy my troops
εν = in: The word “εν” is not an adversative word as it is
misinterpreted in some bible translations
2) As when he fought. Creek text: καθώς ημέρα παρατάξεως αυτού
Καθώς = as ημέρα = day παρατάξεως: noun/female/singular/genitive case = a placing in line of battle αυτού = his
So Zechariah said: And the Lord will deploy his troops and join the nations against Jerusalem, as when he does on a day of battle.
The worship of the beast and its emperors
The passages in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation do not refer to future events about the end of the history of the world, but refer to historical events that took place in the first Jewish-Roman war. The rebel Jews had to repent in practice by giving worship and honor to the Beast of the sea, which was the Roman Empire. For more read the article “Αntichrist.”
The worship of Rome and its emperors was acts of recognition and submission to the Roman authority. The worship of the goddess Rome, as a supreme power, gave her the title of the protector and benefactor. The idea of worshiping Rome originated from the Greeks and had political expediency, aiming at Roman favor. In conjunction with the emperor's worship, it secured peace, economic prosperity, and socio-cultural prospects in the cities of the Roman sovereignty.
For historical data look at the book of Steven J. Friesen “Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John. Reading Revelation in the Ruins. Oxford 2001.”
The enemies of God
The message of the New Testament was the reconciliation with God and that :
“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” [Heb. 8:12, II Cor. 5:18-21]
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” [Rom. 5:10]
To the Jews who received this message, the apostle Peter writes: “For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” [I Peter to Hebrews, 2:25]
The rest of the Jews, who refused the reconciliation with God, became enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18) and God treated them exactly as enemies.
“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” [Luk. 19:27]
“But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.” [Is. 63:10]
“He has bent his bow like an enemy, with his right hand set like a foe; and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire.” [Lam. 2:4]
The righteous wrath of God on the disrespectful ones among the Jews in 70 A.D. was executed by the Roman troops
God had warned Israel
God had warned the fleshly Israel. In Leviticus [26:21-33] He said:
“Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold [LXXE: seven plagues] for your sins. And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted …… and I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute ions, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy ……… you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters …….. and I will scatter you among the nations …… and your land shall be a desolation …. [see also Jer. 7:34].
“But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Is. 1:20]
These words were told to Abraham's biological descendants who were the recipients of the Old Testament, and were fulfilled through their dispersion by the Assyrians and Babylonians, and by the executed wrath of God in Revelation.
 The seven plagues
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.” [Rev. 15:1]
 The sword
“And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, [the land of Israel] so that people should slay one another [civil war] and he was given a great sword.” [Rev. 6:4]
“Now, there were disorders and civil wars in every city, and those that were at quiet from the Romans turned their weapons against each other. There was also a tough controversy between those who wanted war and those who wanted peace. The Roman generals urged Vespasian not to delay, saying that the divine providence was on their side by setting their enemies (the Jews) at variance against each other. There was no part of Judea that wasn't in a miserable condition, including its capital city.” [Jos. War of Jews Bk. IV, chap. III 2, chap. VI 2, chap. VI 2]
 I will send pestilence
“And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” [Rev. 6:8]
“No part of the city (Jerusalem) was empty, every corner had its corpse, victim of the pestilence or the rebellion.” [Jos. War of Jews Bk. VI, chap. VII 2]
“And said, I will turn away my face from them, and will show what shall happen to them in the last days; for it is a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faith. They have provoked me to jealousy with [that which is] not God, they have exasperated me with their idols; and I will provoke them to jealousy with them that are no nation, I will anger them with a nation void of understanding. For a fire has been kindled out of my wrath, it shall burn to hell below; it shall devour the land, and the fruits of it; it shall set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will gather evils upon them, and will fight with my weapons against them. [Greek txt: adds > I will spend my arrows on them. See also ESV2011]. [They shall be] consumed with hunger and the devouring of birds, and there shall be irremediable destruction: I will send forth against them the teeth of wild beasts, with the rage of [serpents] creeping on the ground.” [Deut. 32:20-24 LXXE]
That word was also fulfilled
 Turn away my face from them
“See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” [Mat. 23:38-39]
“He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Here refers to the preaching of the gospel. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” [Mat. 10:40]
"I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ." (Rom. 15:29)
 The last days
“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 and of the end of the age?” [Mat. 24:2]
Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost
“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven ……….. But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh [New Covenant] and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. [Acts 2:14-18, see also Joel 2:28-32].
Jewish people were living the last days of the Mosaic Low and the wrath of God was coming upon the Jewish rejectors of Jesus Christ.
 Perverse generation
“They have sinned, not [pleasing] him; spotted children, a froward and perverse generation.” [Deut. 32:5 LXXE].
“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me.” [Mat. 17:17]
“That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” [Philip. 2:15]
“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved [because the wrath was coming] from this perverse generation.” [Darby 2:44]
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” [Mat. 3:7]
 The arrows
“And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow [to launch the arrows of the wrath of God] and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.” [Rev. 6:2]
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war ………… and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” [Rev. 19:11-16]
 The famine – hunger
“When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales[a] [Grk txt: Ζυγός = Yoke] in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart[b] [Grk txt: Χοίνιξ = Choenix] of wheat for a denarius[c], and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine.” [Rev. 6:5-6]
A period of hunger (famine) is described here during the siege of the Jerusalem of below by Titus, as Josephus writes:
“Many secretly sold their possessions for one measure of wheat, if they belonged to the wealthier class, of barley if they were poorer. Then, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses; some ate the corn without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they were in, and others baked bread of it, to the degree that necessity and fear dictated to them.” [Jewish Wars BK. Ε, chap. X:2]
Here the terms of the description [for Rev. 6:5-6] clearly identify the historical time in which the shown ones took place.
The dictionary of the ancient Greek language by Liddell and Scott says:
a) Pair of scales [Grk txt: Ζυγός - Yoke = the phalanx of the yoke (of the scale), the iron one, that is, the horizontal one, the one that connects and holds the two scales at its ends].
b) Quart [Grk txt: Χοίνιξ - Choenix = a capacity measure of dry products equal to 315 drams. A choenix of wheat was the daily food of a soldier (or at least the daily food of a slave)].
[Ezek. 45:10 LXXE] «Ye shall have a just balance [Grk txt: Ζυγός - Yoke] and a just measure, and a just choenix for measure».
c) Denarius = a Roman coin equal to one drachma.
All of the above were in use in the first century A.D.
 Food for carrion birds
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds [Grk txt: όρνεα = vultures] that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great” [Rev. 19:17-18].
Jeremiah also prophesied: “And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste” [7:34].
That word was also fulfilled in Revelation
“And the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” [Rev.18:23]
The Jews agreed to suffer the consequences of their actions
“Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say to him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil has he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it.
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” [Mat. 27:22-25]
“And there followed him a great company of [Jewish] people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” [Luk. 23:27-30, Hos. 10:8]
That word was given to the women of Jerusalem (Jewish women) and concerned them and their children and was fulfilled in Revelation.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” [Rev. 6:15-17]
The land of Israel
When God brought the fleshly Israel to the land of promise, he set the limits of their residence and said to them:
“This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.” [Nu. 34:12]
So, each time God spoke to them through the prophets, He had as a point of reference this land of Israel, the Holy Land, not the dry land that God called Earth. (Gen. 1:9-10)
“And say to the people of the land, Τhus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it.” [Ez. 12:19]
“He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men …….. None remained, except the poorest people of the land ……….. and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.” [II Ki. 24:14-15]
“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.” [Nu. 35:34]
“And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination ………. The priests did not say, Where is the LORD?” [Jer. 2:7-8].
“Like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom.” [Jer. 3:2].
“Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, “Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!” [Jer. 4:5]
“Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.” [Jer. 6:19]
“And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.” [Jer. 7:34, Rev. 18:23].
“O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!” [Jer. 22:29]
The judgment of the Great Harlot
“How has the faithful city Sion, [once] full of judgement, become a harlot! wherein righteousness lodged, but now murderers.” [Is. 1:21, LXXE]
“Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who detest justice and make crooked all that is straight, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity.” [Micah, 3:9-10]
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:1-6]
The great harlot who sits on many waters, is the woman who sits on the beast; and it is “the great city,” the powerful city of Babylon that murders the prophets and the martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 17:18).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” [Mat. 23:37]
“The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son.” [I Pet. 5:13]
Babylon, where the apostle Peter wrote from, was the Babylon of Egypt, today's Cairo, where many Jews lived. Today, there is a Patriarchal Monastery there. For historical data look at the book of Peter Sheehan “Babylon of Egypt.”
In Revelation, the great city is spiritually called as Sodom and Egypt, and that's Jerusalem "where their Lord was crucified" (11:8), which is also spiritually called as Babylon.
“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.” [Rev. 11:8]
The origin of the Jews
The Jews were of Chaldean origin. Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldeans. Babylon was the Chaldean Empire. With the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar reached its climax. The last king of Babylon, Balthazar, was also Chaldean (Gen. 15:7, Ez. 5:12, Dan. 5:30, Jer. 40:9).
That's why Jerusalem is spiritually called Egypt
Ezekiel (23:1-4) attests the following:
“Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.”
That's why Jerusalem is spiritually called Babylon
Ezekiel (23:4-17) attests the following:
"Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, [house of Israel, ten tribes] and Oholibah is Jerusalem [house of Juda, two tribes]. Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors ……………………… Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea [her motherland]. And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust ……”
That's why Jerusalem is spiritually called Sodom
“For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter; [Deut. 32:32]. Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats” [Isaiah 1:10-11].
The spirit of God calls the rulers of Jews, rulers of Sodom, and the Jewish people, people of Gomorrah.
The Alas of the Lord were for the Jerusalem
“They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.” And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth ………. The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!” [Rev. 18:10-16]
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” (James 5:1-5)
Come out of her my people
As in times of war the involved countries withdraw their embassies on either side, so the Lord Jesus withdrew his ambassadors from Jerusalem “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” [II Cor. 5:20]
“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, [the children of promise – the ambassadors] lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” [Rev. 18:4-5]
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.” [Luk. 21:20-23]
The time of God's vengeance had arrived
“Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people's land.” [Deut. 32:43]
“When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.” [Is. 4:4]
“For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.” [Is. 26:21]
“Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.” [Luk. 21:23]
The slaughtered saints cried for vengeance
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” [Rev. 6:9-10]
That word was also fulfilled
“Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.” [Luk. 11:49-51]
“And I saw the woman, [being] drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” [Rev. 17:6]
God opened the ark of the covenant (the Old one with the written judgments) and responded to the screams of the slaughtered saints according to what was written.
“Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” [Rev. 11:19]
“And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste. Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!” Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more; and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” [Rev. 18:19-24]
“The dead shall rise, and they that are in the tombs shall be raised, and they that are in the earth shall rejoice: for the dew from thee is healing to them: but the land of the ungodly shall perish.” [Is. 26:19 LXXE]
“After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” [Rev. 19:1-2]
Israel the vineyard
These are the words the Lord addressed to the people of Israel through Jeremiah:
“Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?” [2:21]
Similarly through Hosea:
“Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars and destroy their pillars.” [10:1-2]
Similarly in Psalms:
“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.” [80:8]
“Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine.” [80:14]
Similarly in Isaiah:
“Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!” [5:1-7]
The grape harvest
“Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe. So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” [Rev. 14:17-19]
With the internationalization of the gospel of Christ and the fulfillment of God's wrath in 70 A.D. against Jerusalem, the Old Testament was completed. Today we live in the endless century of the New Testament of the grace through Jesus Christ.
“For God so [Grk txt: thus] loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” [John, 3:16-19]
The judgment in the New Testament is that those who do not love the light of Jesus Christ, the true God (I John, 5:20) remain in darkness.
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