Sunday, July 15, 2012

Then the 70s happened

I decided to read some Philip Schaff.  I copied and pasted sentences from what I read.  I commented some and wrote a conclusion.  Then I realized, I don't really want to edit them.  It's Sunday.  I've had no nap.  I have not gone home because I'm meeting old friends near my church.  I have to pack when I get home.  So here is what I wrote unedited:  it is as chaotic as the destruction of Jerusalem that it depicts.  Enjoy.

"And as He went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto Him, Master, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! And Jesus said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down."—Mark 13:1,2.

There is scarcely another period in history so full of vice, corruption, and disaster as the six years between the Neronian persecution and the destruction of Jerusalem.”  Even the Pagans thought it was horrible.

” The hour of the "great tribulation" and fearful judgment drew near. The prophecy of the Lord approached its literal fulfilment: Jerusalem was razed to the ground, the temple burned, and not one stone was left upon another.”

Jerusalem suffered seven years of siege.  

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.” Matthew 24:9-11

Philip Schaff mentions corruption grew among the Romans who governed Jerusalem.  Assassins called “sicarians” organized the crime in Judaea. 

At last, in the month of May, a.d. 66, under the last procurator, Gessius Florus (from 65 onward), a wicked and cruel tyrant who, as Josephus says, was placed as a hangman over evil-doers, an organized rebellion broke out against the Romans, but it the same time a terrible civil war also between different parties of the revolters themselves, especially between the Zealots, and the Moderates, or the Radicals and Conservatives.”

The Zealots have been wanting to take Israel back from Roman occupation since Jesus walked the earth.  Now, they also revolted against Jerusalem and caused kind of a civil war among all the assassins of Jerusalem.  False Christs came to save the people who only preached hot gas. 

“To defy Rome in that age, without a single ally, was to defy the world in arms; but religious fanaticism, inspired by the recollection of the heroic achievements of the Maccabees, blinded the Jews against the inevitable failure of this mad and desperate revolt.”

Nero heard about the rebellions and sent Vespasian to take care of things.  Nero then killed himself.  Vespasian’s son, Titus, judged the Jerusalem war.  The siege in Jerusalem was so bad that mothers would eat their babies.  The Zealots, however, would not give in despite negotiations from Titus and their starving brethren.  They even killed those who would surrender. 

July of 70 -- “The daily sacrifices ceased July 17th, because the hands were all needed for defense. The last and the bloodiest sacrifice at the altar of burnt offerings was the slaughter of thousands of Jews who had crowded around it.”

At first, Titus wanted to save the temple, but his soldiers raged out of control and set it on fire.  On August 10, 70, the Temple crumbled, fulfilling God’s promise that one stone would not be left on another.  Even the Romans and Jews saw this a God’s judgment.

Both Jew and Gentile wanted to save the Temple, but the Jews had rejected the Messiah sent by God, so Jesus died, resurrected, and ascended to heaven.  As he sat on his throne, Judaism began to wane.  This ended in the spread of Christianity, the corruption of the Jews, and the destruction of the temple and its sacrifices.  Jesus was the final sacrifice that made his elect righteous before God permanently.  They needed no more sacrifices then and need none now.  To show this, he destroyed the Temple so obviously that even the pagans had to admit that it was God’s destruction.

Shortly before this, Revelation had been completed, sealing everything God spoke to humans.  Hebrews was written around that time to comfort the Christians who saw the destruction of everything they knew.  The author of Hebrews encouraged them that Jesus is better than Moses, that he is our permanent high priest who stands before the Father to intercede for us.  Though their foundations crumbled, they had Christ to stand on, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

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