(5) 1 . Luke (the accepted author of Acts) makes no mention of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. This would be most remarkable if Acts was written after this date, especially because Luke is, throughout Acts, centrally interested in events which occur in Jerusalem. In fact, Luke makes no mention of the war that broke out between the Jews and the Romans in AD 66 which led to the fall of Jerusalem, though throughout his work he is concerned with Roman-Jewish relations. For example, he mentions the minor skirmish which occurred between these two in AD 44. But how could he them pass up the much more significant war which occurred 22 years later, a war which resulted in the destruction of the Jewish temple and the sacking of all Jerusalem?
What really drives home this point is the fact that Jesus in Luke’s gospel, prophesies that Jerusalem would fall (Luke 21). It is, I think, most unlikely to suppose that Luke missed this opportunity to show how this prophecy was fulfilled–especially when on considers that one of the reasons Luke wrote Acts in the first place was to show how the working of the Spirit in the early church carries on and fulfills the ministry of Jesus!
In fact, all the Gospels record Jesus prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem. Now, liberal scholars who don’t believe anything supernatural can occur argue that this shows that the Gospels must be written after the fall of Jerusalem (a main reason they date the Gospels late). The Gospel authors thus supposedly put into Jesus mouth a prophecy He never made. But what’s interesting to observe here is that in all the Gospels the fall of Jerusalem is connected closely with the end of the world (Luke 21; Matt 24, Mark 13). This raises problem for interpreters because, obviously, the world didn’t end when Jerusalem fell (don’t worry, there is an answer to that). But the problem in the text raises an even more serious problem for the liberal view. For if the Gospel authors were fabricating a prophecy of Jesus about Jerusalem after the fact, they certainly wouldn’t have fabricated a connection between it and something they knew did not occur, namely, the end of the world! Do you see the point?
So I conclude that the prophecy of Jesus concerning the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 had to have been written prior to AD 70. Luke would have mentioned it being fulfilled in Acts, and none of the authors would have connected it with the world ending if, in fact, it had been written (fabricated) after this date.
2. Acts makes no mention of Nero’s persecution of Christians in the mid 60’s. In fact, Luke’s view of the Roman government is positively irenic. This requires us to place the document at a time when the Roman government was not hostile to Christians, a time prior to Nero.
(2) The Sadducees were intimately associated with the government and especially with the Temple, which they ran until its destruction in A.D. 70.
(2) Though the Pharisees were not very numerous they were accepted as the representatives of the masses, even by those who did not submit to their discipline.
(2) It was they (the Pharisees) who enabled Judaism to survive the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and even the total disruption of the Jewish people in A.D. 135.
(1) The “coming” of Matthew 24: 3 refers to the coming of Jesus in judgment upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
(1) The only proximate eschatological event that fits the “end of the age” framework is the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
(1) John Owen maintained that the “passing of heaven and earth” in 2 Pet 3: 5-7 had reference, “not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state” in A.D. 70.
(12) Moses had foretold this very thing, and in due course Christ sojourned in this life, and the teaching of the new covenant was borne to all nations, and at once the Romans besieged Jerusalem, and destroyed it and the Temple there. At once the whole of the Mosaic law was abolished, with all that remained of the old covenant, and the curse passed over to those who became lawbreakers, because they obeyed Moses’ law, when its time had gone by, and still clung ardently to it, for at that very moment the perfect teaching for the new Law was introduced in its place.
(14) If any one compares the words of our Saviour with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly divine and marvelously strange.
(14) It is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of our Saviour in which he foretold these very events. His words are as follows: “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” The historian, reckoning the whole number of the slain, says that eleven hundred thousand persons perished by famine and sword, and that the rest of the rioters and robbers, being betrayed by each other after the taking of the city, were slain. But the tallest of the youths and those that were distinguished for beauty were preserved for the triumph. Of the rest of the multitude, those that were over seventeen years of age were sent as prisoners to labor in the works of Egypt, while still more were scattered through the provinces to meet their death in the theaters by the sword and by beasts. Those under seventeen years of age were carried away to be sold as slaves, and of these alone the number reached ninety thousand. These things took place in this manner in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the holy evangelists, who give the very words which be uttered, when, as if addressing Jerusalem herself, he said: “If thou hadst known, even thou, in this day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a rampart about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee and thy children even with the ground.” And then, as if speaking concerning the people, he says, “For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” And again: “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
(15) When, then, we see what was of old foretold for the nations fulfilled in our own day, and when the lamentation and wailing that was predicted for the Jews, and the burning of the Temple and its utter desolation, can also be seen even now to have occurred according to the prediction, surely we must also agree that the King who was prophesied, the Christ of God, has come, since the signs of His coming have been shewn in each instance I have treated to have been clearly fulfilled.
(16) “And the people of the governor that cometh will destroy the city and the holy place.” Meaning that the city and the Holy Place are not only to be ruined by the leader to come, whom I have identified in my interpretation, but also by his people. And you would not be far wrong in saying, too, that the Roman general and his army are meant by the words before us, where I think the camps of the Roman rulers are meant, who governed the nation from that time, and who destroyed the city of Jerusalem itself, and its ancient venerable Temple. For they were cut off by them as by a flood, and were at once involved in destruction until the war was concluded, so that the prophecy was fulfilled and they suffered utter desolation (400) after their plot against our Saviour, which was followed by their extreme sufferings during the siege. You will find an accurate account of it in the history of Josephus.
(17) And all this prophecy of what would result their insolence against the Christ has been clearly proved to have taken place after their plot against our Savior. For it was not before it, but afterwards from that day to this that God turned their feasts into morning, despoiled them of their famous mother-city, and destroyed the holy Temple therein when Titus and Vespasian were Emperors of Rome, so that they could no longer go up to keep their feasts and sacred meetings. I need not say that a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord has overtaken them all, in return for their rejection of the Word of God; since with one voice they refused Him, so He refuses them.
(1) He personally returned to the earth immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
(1) It also follows that the Kingdom of God predicted by prophets and psalmists, and 1860 years ago confidently declared by John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, to be already at hand, was established in Heaven over the earth in 70 A.D., the devil bound, and no longer permitted to be “the prince (or ruler) of this world.”
(4) The testimony of history demonstrates that the Lord Jesus clearly foresaw the events which would precede and accompany the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
(4) The separation between Him and them would end, not by their following Him into the spirit-world when they died, but by His own return to them; for He declared that He would come back to fetch away from earth these same sorrowing friends (I will receive you unto Myself [Jn 14:3]) in order that where He was they might be also! This promise has a significance for us in modern times, reminding us of the heavenly home which has been in existence since 70 AD, and to which if we are found faithful we shall have an entrance richly and abundant administered to us at death.
(7) At the time of the Second Advent in 70 AD only a certain number of persons then alive upon the earth looked upon their Redeemer and King.
(13) That John lived until the time of the Advent in 70 AD and yet survived it, is rendered fairly certain (1) by the traditions which state that he died in Asia Minor the beginning of the second century; (2) by the evidence which identifies him with the author of the fourth gospel and dates that book after the destruction of Jerusalem.
(14) By definitely connecting the abomination of desolation and the season of unparalleled distress with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, our Lord has for ever settled for us the date of the end of the “seventy weeks” mentioned in Daniel ix.24.
(14) In 70 AD believing Jews recovered more than had been lost before. The earthly Canaan, the earthly Jerusalem, the earthly temple, gave place to the heavenly. The throne of David was more than restored in the establishment of the heavenly Kingdom of David’s greater Son.
(15) In the same way, although it cannot be proved from history that the Lord Jesus personally and visibly returned to the earth at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, yet relying on His solemn teaching we may be morally certain that He did so return. The past Second Advent is the key to the understanding of the whole New Testament. In the light of this one event a world of mystery vanishes and a new world of truth stands revealed.
(15) The parable of the Sheep and the Goats must therefore refer not to the world wide judgment, still future but to the spiritual Judgment of the Jews, which followed the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
(20) Let us therefore thankfully accept the fact that, at the coming of the Kingdom of God in 70 AD, the devil was dethroned and placed under complete restraint; and that for the last eighteen hundred years (a part, only of that exceeding long period which in accordance with the usage of everyday life is spoken of in a general way as “a thousand years”) he at any rate has been deprived of all power to tempt and injure the human race.
(21) Saints of the highest rank who had previously left the earth and had remained in Paradise (the outer court or garden of heaven) until the coming of the Kingdom of God in 70 AD passed with Christ at the second advent through the veil into the most holy place– the innermost sanctuary of heaven itself.
(21) John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, all agreed in solely proclaiming that the Kingdom was at hand; and we confidently believe that it was established in heaven over the earth in 70 AD.
(23) Since the Kingdom is already in existence, having been established in heaven in 70 AD the probability is that ever since it has been receiving constant accessions to its numbers by the transference from earth at death of really saintly and consecrated believers the crown of glory hereafter being the reverse side of the cross truly and manfully carried here for Christ and having no possible existence in separation therefrom.
(1) But He also opened to them all things which were about to happen, which Peter and Paul preached at Rome; and also said that it was about to come to pass, that after a short time God would send against them a king who would subdue the Jews, and level their cities to the ground, and besiege the people themselves, worn out with hunger and thirst. Then it should come to pass that they should feed on the bodies of their own children, and consume one another. Lastly, that they should be taken captive, and come into the hands of their enemies, and should see their wives most cruelly harassed before their eyes, their virgins ravished and polluted, their sons torn in pieces, their little ones dashed to the ground; and lastly, everything laid waste with fire and sword, the captives banished for ever from their own lands, because they had exulted over the well-beloved and most approved Son of God. And so, after their decease, when Nero had put them to death, Vespasian destroyed the name and nation of the Jews, and did all things which they had foretold as about to come to pass.
(2) Also Zechariah says: “And they shall look on me whom they pierced.” Amos thus speaks of the obscuring of the sun: “In that day, saith the Lord, the sun shall go down at noon, and the clear day shall be dark; and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and your songs into lamentation.” Jeremiah also speaks of the city of Jerusalem, in which He suffered: “Her sun is gone down while it was yet day; she hath been confounded and reviled, and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword.” Nor were these things spoken in vain. For after a short time the Emperor Vespasian subdued the Jews, and laid waste their lands with the sword and fire, besieged and reduced them by famine, overthrew Jerusalem, led the captives in triumph, and prohibited the others who were left from ever returning to their native land. And these things were done by God on account of that crucifixion of Christ, as He before declared this to Solomon in their Scriptures, saying, “And Israel shall be for perdition and a reproach to the people, and this house shall be desolate; and every one that shall pass by shall be astonished, and shall say, Why hath God done these evils to this land, and to this house? And they shall say, Because they forsook the Lord their God, and persecuted their. King, who was dearly beloved by God, and crucified Him with great degradation, therefore hath God brought upon them these evils.” For what would they not deserve who put to death their Lord, who had come for their salvation?
(14) I challenge anyone to prove my statement untrue if I say that the entire Jewish nation was destroyed less than one whole generation later on account of these sufferings which they inflicted on Jesus. For it was, I believe, forty-two years from the time when they crucified Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem.
(15) Wherefore, when He was avenged, Jerusalem was compassed with armies, and its desolation was near (Luke 21:22), and their house was taken away from it, and “the daughter of Zion was left as a booth in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a besieged city.” (Is 1.8) And, about the same time, I think, the husband wrote out a bill of divorcement to his former wife, and gave it into her hands, and sent her away from his own house, and the bond of her who came from the Gentiles has been cancelled about which the Apostle Says, “Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances, which was contrary to us, and He hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;” (Col 2:14) for Paul also and others became proselytes of Israel for her who came from the Gentiles.