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Gerald Grett wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Where in Revelation does it talk about the Battle of Jerusalem and what takes place next?


  { Where in Revelation does it talk about the Battle of Jerusalem and what takes place next? }

John replied:

Hi Gerald,

I can't recall chapter and verse right now but Revelation repeats various themes and battles and so forth. Much of it is symbolic of the ongoing struggle of our spiritual warfare that has been going on since the foundation of time. On a mystical level, the battle is already over and the end is being revealed to us just as the past, or rather our past, is revealed to us. This is apocalyptic literature. It's not prophesy in classical sense of the term. Apocalypse means unveiling, as though a curtain is opening and we are seeing what is in eternity in our time. It's is much more like Daniel and even Ezekiel, than say Isaiah or Jeremiah. Like John's Gospel, Revelation also draws heavily from one of the twelve minor prophets called Zachariah . . . which has a lot of quotes and boiler plate language.

To understand or even remotely understand Revelation, you need to understand the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all have small apocalypses coming from the words of Jesus. They are sermons from Jesus about the end of an age. It's referring to the destruction of Jerusalem which Jesus said would come within that generation and indeed it did . . . in 70 A.D. The temple was destroyed. The sacrificial system was done away with. We also see shades of this in Hebrews Chapter 13. In Chapter 12 there is discussion of the New Testament worship, verses Old Covenant worship . . . and in Chapter 13, we see the author of Hebrews say he is getting the heck out dodge because the you-know-what is going to hit the fan.

So now we go to the Gospel of John, and John doesn't have such a sermon or any chapters describing this destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, coming from the mouth of Jesus. Well, the same author or one his scribes recorded Revelation and there we see Jesus tell him to record these things because they are about to happen.

Now for centuries most scholars believed that Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D., but over the last 150 years, that majority opinion has changed and they date it at circa 90 A.D. I'm a believer in the old school opinion on this one. I think It predates 70 A.D. and Revelation is simply John or his scribe recording an expounded version of the sermon of Christ on the coming destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

So on one level, it is in our past. The Temple is gone. The battle happened the last week of seven years which Daniel talks about in chapter 9 and was fulfilled prior to 70 A.D. when God brought down Judgment on the house of Israel for rejecting the Messiah. Jerusalem, which is also a city on seven hills, is called Sodom, Babylon, or the Whore of Babylon — the city where Revelation says our Lord was also crucified — is destroyed.

The so-called tribulation that Protestants call that seven year period is over and done with and we have entered a spiritual millennium awaiting the Second Coming of Christ yet the word coming parousia in the Greek is also a military term that means when the general comes back and doesn't find the conquered city in order, he brings down judgment.

So that's what happened when Christ came and was crucified in 33 A.D. He fought the battle against Satan. Satan was defeated and in 70 A.D., we have this coming or Parousia that brings judgement down on the Temple and Israel. At this point, we see the Church finally separating Herself from the womb of Israel . . . in full. Notice it's about 40 years. That's the biblical number that means something. It takes 40 weeks roughly for human gestation. Christ came, planted the see of His Church in Israel, and in 70 A.D., the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, the Universal Church cut the umbilical chord and would no longer be considered a sect of Judaism which, for all intents and purposes, no longer would exist in the form of the sacrificial temple system.

Now that doesn't preclude other symbolic fulfillment throughout human history but trying to figure out what comes out next is a waste of time. We are to be eternally vigilant and preach the Gospel. Yes, by all means, know the seasons and times, the signs of the times but don't be setting dates and trying to impose modern events into biblical constructs.

Revelation is primarily a book that reveals the Divine Liturgy taking place in Heaven. The battle for Jerusalem is symbolic for the battle for salvation . . . which took place on Calvary and is made present to us at every single Mass or Divine Liturgy. Likewise, it is the same Divine Liturgy taking place in Heaven. (It should be noted the victory of Easter Sunday and Resurrection is emphasized more in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Liturgies.)

It is:

  • the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • the Last Supper
  • the Passover
  • the Consummation of Christ's marriage to the Church
  • His Bride
  • the New Jerusalem, and finally
  • Jesus, the Lamb of God, that was slain before the foundation the of the world and time itself.

    all rolled up into one!

So if you want to see the Revelation, go to Mass next Sunday.

Read the Lamb's Supper by Dr. Scott Hahn and get his tape audio series on the Book of Revelation.

God Bless,


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