CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
My introduction explains why I wrote my book. I compare my book to some widely-read interpretations available to English speaking readers. I explain why I do not believe these interpretations. I mention the work of J. Massyngberde Ford who, along with other Biblical scholars, saw evidence that some of the early visions in Revelation originated in the preaching of John the Baptist. The Evangelist, being a disciple of the Baptist, would have been familiar with the Baptist's preaching and may have incorporated those visions into the Evangelist's own composition of the Book of Revelation.
CHAPTER TWO: THE BAPTIST'S VISION OF GOD AND CHRIST
I describe the vision of the throne and twenty-four kings. I interpret it as a vision of God that explains God's nature. The vision includes a lamb that represents the Son's human incarnation. I propose that this vision could easily have come from John the Baptist. The Baptist could have used this vision to explain the lamb's relationship with God. The lamb, of course, is Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER THREE: THE WORD UNLEASHES THE FOUR HORSEMEN
Rev. 6 describes the lamb opening the sealed book, releasing the famous four horsemen when the first four seals are broken, then, when the fifth seal is opened, John sees a vision of those who were slain because they bore witness to Christ. When the sixth seal is opened, John sees the heavens and earth in turmoil for "The great day of the Lord is come." When the seventh and last seal is opened, John hears a voice saying "It is done!" However, John sees the following visions before the seventh seal is opened.
I propose that these seven seals depict the covenant God made with all of us when God gave us free will. Free will, the honor of obeying without compulsion, but also the ability to disobey when we are commanded to obey, carries a big price. If we disobey, our disobedience compromises the happiness and security God wanted all persons God created to experience. The release of the four horsemen symbolizes the consequences of what happens if disobedience is the way we exercise our freedom.
If we prefer to take what we want rather than serve God, our personal ambition comes forth, like the white horse, in conquest and tyranny, as we try to impose our personal will on others. Our victims, not willing to obey God, are hardly likely to obey us. Their resistance leads to conflict and war, the red horse. The results of this struggle are ruin and famine, the pale green horse, and death, the black horse. Such are the immediate risks of granting humans free will, but there are more. Many will die, and all will suffer if humans abuse free will, and God will punish the wrongdoers. The fifth seals shows a vision of the victims. The sixth seal shows a vision of the heavens and earth in turmoil because of disobedience. With the seventh seal, which comes after the following visions, John hears God's verdict "It is done!"
I propose that the seven seals portray the whole course of the covenant with God for the gift of free will. We all must obey for everybody to enjoy the happiness and security God wants to give all of us. If any of us disobey, the consequences depicted by the four horsemen affect all of us. And God will not tolerate our disobedience forever. Some day God will decree: "It is done!" Historical events show that this is exactly what happened to the nation of Judea.
CHAPTER FOUR: SEPARATING BELIEVERS FROM UNBELIEVERS
There are two intermediary visions in Revelation, chap, 7, one showing the elect being marked, the second showing the elect with others. I interpret the elect as first and second century Judeans who respond to the Messiah's call and accept baptism during the years A.D. 27 to 42. I interpret the others as first and second century Gentiles who also accept baptism during the years A.D. 35 to 67. Both groups join to form a new group, the Church. I support this by citing sufficient historical events to show how the early Church grew, first from Judeans, then from Gentiles.
CHAPTER FIVE: THE FOUR WINDS: TRIBULATION FOR JUDEA
I interpret the first four trumpets (the four winds) as Judea's tribulation now that the Church is firmly established. This tribulation stems from four sources that develop as the Judeans decide whether they can believe the apostle's testimony that Christ rose, and, if they cannot believe, what will they do with the Judeans who do believe. The winds blow with greater and greater intensity until Judea decides to withdraw all privileges from Christians, thereby exposing Christians to the necessity of complying with the Imperial Cult. Then the Judeans stumble into war with Rome.
In this chapter, I describe the careers of Caligula and Herod Agrippa I. I also describe the revolt of A.D. 46, the riots of A.D. 50, and the activity of the Sicarri. Herod Agrippa tries to avert war, but fails. I describe the final spark that led to war, the Sicarri storming Masada, the defeat of the Roman occupying army by Simon bar Giora, and the formation of the Jewish independent government. Now the four winds give way to the three woes, which will bring disaster and the utter inability of Judea to hinder the work of the Church.
CHAPTER SIX: THE FIRST WOE: CIVIL WAR IN JUDEA.
The first woe starts in A.D. 66 with the terror imposed by the Zealots during the initial break with Rome. I quote Josephus to provide an eyewitness account of the progress of this struggle. The non-Zealots revolt against the Zealots, who then invite the Idumeans to subdue the non-Zealots. I describe John of Gischala's climb to power. While Vespacian, with a new Roman army, conquered most of Judea except Jerusalem, Gischala fought a Judean civil war inside Jerusalem.
I describe the halt of the Roman offensive when Nero died and the political turmoil that followed. The Judeans, instead of driving the Romans out, continued their civil war as Simon Bar Giora tries to overthrow Gischala. Both sides burn all the grain in Jerusalem to starve the other side. Rome stabilizes when the army makes Vespasian emperor. Jerusalem is now out of food. What the Judeans did to themselves can compare to ravaging locusts. In John's vision, locusts tormented, but did not kill, those not marked with the Lord's sign.
CHAPTER SEVEN: THE SECOND WOE: WAR WITH ROME.
Revelation, chap. 9, describes an army camped outside Jerusalem. I compare this to the reorganized Roman army's siege of Jerusalem, providing many historical details. When the city falls, the Romans torch the Temple. Many Judeans die during the assault. Many survivors are sold as slaves. The Roman army demolishes the city. Jerusalem will remain uninhabited for seventy years. The Temple will never be rebuilt. This siege is the historical fulfillment of the army unleashed against the unbelievers.
CHAPTER EIGHT: GLIMPSES OF THE TEMPLE SITE.
I change my pace now that I have brought the reader to the Temple's destruction. God told John to measure the Temple. I now explain the Temple's importance to the Jewish people. I also give the reader a "bird's eye" view of Jerusalem. This will help clarify the strategies of the siege and war I just described. I did this using a literary structure similar to the structure of Revelation. I describe seven grand views of the Temple site, each at different times. However, instead of visions in the sky seen by a person on the ground, the reader sees views of the ground from a vantage point in the sky.
My first scene is the morning Jesus was born. I describe the Temple's location relative to the city's walls, valleys, the high hills, and the main buildings. I then describe the sacrifice that morning, pointing out its prophetic relationship to the career of Jesus Christ.
The scene changes. Now the reader views the Temple site during King David's time. David recently offended God by taking a census. God gave David a choice of punishments for his arrogance. David chose a contagious disease. As we look down on the city, David, looking up, sees an angel with sword unsheathed. David then hears God tell the angel to halt the punishment. David never forgot the spot where God showed mercy. His son later built the Temple there.
The scene changes again. We watch Abraham approach to make the sacrifice God asked. We watch him place Isaac upon the rock. At the last minute, God provides a substitute. The substitute is a symbol of Jesus Christ, God's own Son, the son whose sacrifice God really will accept.
The scene changes again, this time A.D. 638. I trace Abraham's offspring to show that eventually they all worshiped the God Abraham worshiped, not only the Jews, but the Arabs as well. I describe Islam. I compare Islam to Judaism and Christianity. They are different religions, but all three worship the God Abraham worshiped. One hundred years after Islam's inception, the Moslems conquered two empires that were too strong to conquer each other. They then take control of Jerusalem and the Temple site.
The scene changes again. It is now December 17, 1917. The world is at war. The Ottoman Turks control the city. As we look down, they look up at British war planes flying over the Temple site. The Turks realize that if they resist the British they risk damage to the holy shrines. They decide to let the city fall peacefully. This marks the end of Moslem control of the Holy Land. I quote Scriptures concerning the fifty-year jubilee. Moses told the twelve tribes they were not to lose possession of their land. Every fifty years, all land shall revert to the original owners. I then cite historical events of the next fifty years starting in 1917 when Britain promised to help the Jews regain their ancestral homeland. I end in 1967 when the Jews, against incredible odds, regain the Temple site and most of Palestine during the Six-day War.
The scene changes again. It is now centuries earlier, the day Jesus died. We can see him on the cross, hear what he is saying, watch people react to him. I again describe the relationship the Messiah has with God. I also describe the Church, the Eucharist, and Christ's Mystical Body.
CHAPTER NINE: WARNING OF A FINAL WAR WITH ROME.
I propose that the third woe predicts the defeat of Bar Kochba and the mass exile of Judeans in A.D. 131-4. This war will destroy Judea as a nation and Judea's ability to oppose the Church. It will also fulfill the warning to Judea of the seventh woe: "It is done!"
CHAPTER TEN: JUDEA GIVES BIRTH TO THE CHURCH.
While the unbelieving tread the fatal path toward war, the believing Judeans see who Christ is and accept baptism. Israel is the Lord's spouse. This vision of the woman with child is Israel (or its remnant, Judea) giving birth to the Church. The dragon represents Satan trying to destroy the newly-formed Church. I describe the Israelites, their relationship to the Church, and the role Satan and the fallen angels play in our human lives. Satan intends to destroy the woman and all her children. To seek help, Satan goes to the Mediterranean and summons the sea beast.
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE SEA BEAST: THE ROMAN EMPIRE
The sea beast is the Roman Empire. The vision describes it as a living beast with seven heads, showing the seven divine caesars that have ruled the Empire. I then describe the pagan god Roma and the "divine" Nero and much of Roman history, quoting Suetonius and Tacitus.
CHAPTER TWELVE: A NEW CAESAR SPEAKS FOR THE EMPIRE
The sea beast is the Empire; the land beast is the man who will become the next divine head, the eighth head, of the sea beast. The same spirit that motivates the sea beast will motivate this man, and this man will speak like the dragon. This man is Domitian, Vespasian's second son. Domitian will exercise all the first beast's power. He will use that power to force people within the Empire to again worship the first beast.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: JESUS WITH THOSE WHO BELIEVE HIM.
This vision, the lamb with the elect, shows Jesus, the lamb, with 144,000 souls who have followed him. These are the first ones redeemed, the Judeans who recognized Christ. They were faithful to him unto death and have entered his heavenly gathering. The identification of the 144,000 is a prominent feature of the more popular Protestant interpretations. Hal Lindsey, for example, holds them to be Jews who will convert during the future tribulation. Many Protestant interpretations still do. I think this is not true and leads to cults and sects.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE VIALS: JUDEA'S GREAT TRIBULATION
Time has run out for Judea. The Lord is already there. He had been knocking at the door. Those Judeans who respond will become the Lord's betrothed, the Lord's spouse. Those who fail to respond, who do not recognize their day of visitation, will live the warnings John predicted. I discuss historical events between the years 70 through 131. I cover Trajan's offer to rebuild the Temple, the war under Trajan, and Hadrian's attempt to bring peace. I then cover Bar Kochba's rise to power, gathering information from many sources. I describe how this final war took shape. I carry the historical account to Bar Kochba's last stand at Bethar.
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THIRD WOE DONE: JUDEA'S FINAL DEMISE
When the Romans stormed Bethar, they killed most of the city's population. I then cover the survivor's retreat to the Wadi Murabbaat caves and Hadrian's rebuilding of Jerusalem into a pagan city. The Judean nation was then dismantled; the survivors exiled. So effective was this final conquest and dispersal that even as late as 1856 only 10,500 Jews resided in their ancestral homeland. This is the fulfillment for Judea of the seventh seal: "It is done!"
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: WHY JUDEA WAS BROUGHT DOWN
This concludes Judea's downfall and the start of the end-times, which is really the times of the Gentiles. I compare historical events to Biblical verses to show how they correspond to each other.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: THE CHURCH UP TO SATAN'S RELAESE
I describe the early Church's persecution by Rome, then its acceptance by Rome. Christianity (really Catholicism) becomes the officially recognized religion of the Empire. All pagan religions are outlawed. This is the beginning of the Christian Political Empire. It was made up of human beings in this life. Naturally, it was not perfect. The Catholic Roman Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire (Christendom) that succeeded it, lasted approximately one thousand years until the Reformation.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE CHURCH AFTER SATAN'S RELEASE
I discuss the events leading to the Reformation, attributing them to the release of Satan to deceive the nations. Widespread laxity and scandal by the clergy lead to disillusionment by the ordinary people, who finally had enough and dismantled the Church and the political Empire, Christendom. Unfortunately, they spread different Christian sects, each with their own understanding of what Christ taught, and they argued with other sects that believed differently, thereby discrediting the Christian message for those not minded to accept Christ. Non-Christian beliefs sprang up, a return to pagan beliefs, and the new-age concepts, which are accepted today, was the result. Today, not a single nation, as a nation, embraces Christianity, only individual members of the nations do. The nations, today, tell us that we are in the Post-Christian era.
CHAPTER NINETEEN: BIBLIOGRAPHY
To show that I didn't make this up by myself, I list one hundred sixty-one references I consulted while writing this book.