And what group is this
that are perishing, and why?
They are the
group that God hasn't made Christian
yet. The closed minded individuals
God has determined that still must suffer through the pains of life as
their specific characters are formulated. These are the closed minded
1:21,23,25; 2:14; 3:19;
17:18,32; 1Corinthians 1:24)-having
little or no interest in things spiritual. They are perishing because they
don't yet have the life of the Son -John
5:37-40; 10:10; 20:31.
3:31 "Envy thou not the oppressor-(original
Hebrew: 'a man of violence and/or unjust gain' )-and
choose none of his ways." The last thing on
an oppressor's mind is life after death -Job
15:20 "The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days-(or
'is pained daily' – but, being wicked, doesn't seek a way from it and learns
to live with it)-and
the number of years is hidden to the oppressor-(he
always thinks in the now, seeing only his life as an immediate concern)."
God looks after oppressors -Psalms
72:4. Oppression of others occurs because what they have is eagerly
desired, looked to instead of to God, the Great Sustainer -Proverbs
Christ in charge:
11:9 "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for
the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover
9:6-7 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the
government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon
the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish
it with judgment and with justice from henceforth-(the
Kingdom will start off on Earth clean)-even
for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
14:9 "And the LORD shall be king over all
the earth. In that day shall there be one LORD and his name one." Not
one of the associated events of Zechariah chapter 14 occurred at the first
coming of Christ.
The world-shaking events
of around 70 A.D.:
in 70 A.D.?-by Edward E. Stevens
"No other persecution (including all the Roman ones)
ever threatened the existence of Christ’s followers like this Jewish one
did. Tertullian even said that
the Roman persecutions helped the church grow (“seed of the Kingdom,” Apologies).
(Book II, chapter 25 and Book III, chapters 5-8) shows that the Jewish
persecution was the real threat. And it was empire-wide. There were Jewish
communities scattered all over the Roman empire, and Jews who had become
Christians on that first Pentecost went back to their communities with
the gospel. It didn’t take long for the Christians to make their presence
and their difference known. A strong persecution immediately ensued. Paul’s
letters and the book of Acts show this constant struggle going on. It got
worse as time progressed. When it became known that Gentiles could be saved
without circumcision and Law-keeping, and that the temple-sacrifices were
no longer binding, the Jewish leaders were incensed. They would stop at
nothing to put down this new “blasphemy”.
"All that they stood for was being
trampled under foot by the Christians. This was the persecution which ultimately
escalated into the "great tribulation" in which several of the apostles
were martyred and exiled. Josephus
pinpoints its beginning in AD 63 when Festus died and Ananus II was installed
as high priest. The Jews were without a Roman governor for three months.
Ananus II took advantage of this opportunity to arrest "James
and some of his companions." It was during this three and a half year "great
tribulation" (c. A.D. 63-66) that
James, Paul and Peter
suffered martyrdom, and apostle John
was exiled to the island of Patmos,
where he wrote the book
of Revelation. According to Peter who wrote at this very time, Satan
had been released and was "prowling about like a
roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" -1Peter
5:8. Peter knew that his martyrdom
1:14) since Satan was released and the tribulation was underway. This
"tribulation" fell first on the Christians, (1Peter
4:17) and immediately provoked Christ to descend with His angels in
A.D. 66 to begin the outpouring of wrath and judgment upon the Jewish nation
for three and a half years (A.D. 66-70). In the opening chapter of Revelation,
John says, "I, John, your brother and fellow partaker
in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was
on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony
24:22, Jesus says that unless that "tribulation”was stopped, none of
the "elect" would have been left to tell the story! The destruction of
Jerusalem in A.D. 70 put a stop to this threat. It weakened the Jewish
people so much that they couldn’t be a threat to the church any longer.
They had to concern themselves with their own survival. And, it completely
stopped the sacrifices. This was a tremendous help to the Christians. Revelation
promised a speedy relief to all this. ....."