This Revelation Timeline Decoded post reviews a video by Joel Richardson of FAI STUDIOS, called ‘THE BOOK OF REVELATION // Session 20: The Sign of the Coming of the Son of Man.’
Video Description: MARANATHA Global Bible Study // The Book Of Revelation. Session 20: The Sign of the Coming of the Son of Man – Joel Richardson
Let me start by saying that the historical fulfillment of the 70th week of Daniel 9 from 27-34 AD, Messiah’s Olivet Discourse which describes events leading to the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD, and most of prophecies in Revelation during the last 1,900 years; validates the authority of Scripture and the deity of Messiah. Joel’s futuristic explanations serve to hide those proofs.
The Protestant Reformers and great theologians of the 16th-19th centuries all taught the historical fulfillment of prophecy. It’s only during the few centuries that the futuristic deceptions have taken hold as the enemy has deceived even the very elect.
The concept of a future 70th week of Daniel 9, in which a one-man antichrist appears and most of Revelation is fulfilled, is a deception from the enemy. I know that sounds crazy since most people teach these concepts, but the enemy has worked hard to mislead the end-times saints so that even the very elect are deceived. I pray that you will seek truth, not to defend a belief.
Please understand that I declare these things not because I think that I know it all, and I’m not saying that everything that Joel Richardson teaches is false. He seems to be very sincere in his beliefs and His love for Messiah. What I’m showing is that what he teaches about prophecy fulfillment is false, because it’s based on the futuristic model that was created by the enemy to deceive the end-times saints.
I don’t proclaim this for my sake, because this isn’t about me. You can dismiss what I’m saying and defend your beliefs, but now you’re accountable and I’ve fulfilled my role as the watchman blowing the trumpet.
Joel Richardson connects the sixth seal of Revelation to Messiah’s Olivet Discourse.
In this video he’s talking about Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
In his last video, Joel covered the sixth seal of Revelation, which says, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
He’s talking about Messiah’s Olivet Discourse, as he’s relating it to the same event. Matthew 24:29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
On the surface they may seem to point to the same event, but they’re not. In my Joel Richardson Revelation Sixth Seal Video Review post, I show that the Bible uses the symbolism of the sun, moon and stars, to point to leadership systems. The sixth seal of Revelation is pointing to political upheaval in the Roman Empire, which took place in the fourth century.
Messiah’s Olivet Discourse describes events which led to the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD, during which the Jewish leadership system was removed from power. The High Priest (sun), Sanhedrin (moon) and Jewish priests (stars) were either killed or taken prisoner.
So Joel’s connection of the sixth seal and Messiah’s Olivet Discourse is not only invalid, and both of those prophecies have already been fulfilled and are not yet future.
Joel Richardson says that Old Testament Jews would understand what ‘coming on the clouds‘ means.
It’s amazing to me that Joel makes that declaration, but then doesn’t give the correct definition from the Old Testament that the Jews would understand!
Read Isaiah 19, and you see that the Heavenly Father comes riding on a swift cloud of judgment.
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. Isaiah 19:1
In Zephaniah 1, the ‘dark, gloomy day of clouds’ refers to Yahweh’s wrath against His people for their sins.
I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants
of Jerusalem. Zephaniah 1:4
That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. Zephaniah 1:15-18
Jeremiah 4:12-13 points to the Father’s clouds of judgment coming against the House of Judah, when He used the Babylonians to desolate the temple and city and take the Jews captive.
Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them. Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us!
For we are spoiled.
Ezekiel 30:1-4 describes the clouds of judgment coming against the Egyptians.
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
Messiah is pointing to the judgment of the Jewish nation for continuing in their rebellion against the Heavenly Father, for rejecting His Son and delivering Him up to be killed, and for persecution Messiah’s saints. The coming of the Son of Man is speaking about Messiah returning vicariously through the Roman army.
The Jewish High Priest said that it’s better that one man (Messiah) die than for the nation to be desolated by the Romans. But the very opposite happened! Because they delivered Messiah up to be killed, Messiah caused the Roman army to desolate Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish nation.
Messiah’s Olivet Discourse is directly connected with the 70th week of Daniel 9 prophecy, as it declares that because of the abominations of the people (the Jews in delivering Messiah up to be ‘cut off,’ killed) that Jerusalem and the temple would be desolated.
Read Matthew 23 and you see that Messiah rebuked the Jews for their rebellion against the Father and for seeking to kill Him. And He proclaimed that judgment would come upon them in that generation. And it did, during the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD, during which 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem from famine, pestilence, infighting, suicide, evisceration, crucifixion and by the Roman sword.
Joel Richardson says that the sign of Son of man in heaven may be a pillar in the sky.
In Matthew 26:63-64, Messiah told the High Priest that he would see Him come in the clouds of heaven, meaning in judgment.
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
When we take Messiah at His Word, that the Jewish High Priest would see Him coming in the clouds of heaven, we understand that Matthew 24:30 is pointing to an event in that generation, just like Messiah declared.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:30 isn’t referring to Messiah’s second advent in the first century. It’s referring to Him coming in power, in judgment, to desolate the Jews. Applying His statements to the end times takes His words out of context, as He told His disciples and the High Priest that they would see these things happen.
Then just three verses later, Messiah said in Matthew 24:34, Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
To reinforce that, after berating the Jewish leaders and casting woes on them in Matthew 23, He said in verses 35-36 that they would be judged in their generation.
That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
And within a Biblical generation of forty years, history proves the disciples and the High Priest did see Him come in power and glory when He caused the Roman army to desolate Jerusalem, the temple, and the Jewish leadership system.
The Jewish leaders were always asking Messiah to give them a ‘sign‘ to prove His power and glory. The Greek word for sign is semeion, which John often uses to refer to Messiah’s miracles; the word itself denotes a token of identification or verification.
He gave them the sign of rising again after they had delivered Him up to be killed, with the analogy of Him being the temple.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19
Then He judged the Jewish leaders, and He gave them the sign of destroying their magnificent temple and desolating Jerusalem, which proved His power and glory.
The word ‘tribes‘ is referring to the people of the land of Judea. Some from the House of Israel had regathered in the northern region of Galilee, where Messiah spent most of His time. Hence, all tribes of the House of Israel witnessed the desolation of the Jewish nation and Messiah coming in power and glory.
The Greek word for ‘earth, ‘the Greek word ‘ge,’ which does not mean the whole earth, but rather it means a ‘country or land.’ In this context, the land of Judea. It’s the same word used in Matthew 2:20.
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land (ge) of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.
The people of the land of Judea truly did mourn when they saw the power of Messiah commanding the mighty army which was coming against them. The tribes of Israel all looked to Jerusalem as their spiritual capital city. Having Jerusalem and the glorious temple destroyed brought them great grief.
Here’s a summary of the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse:
Matthew records that Messiah pointed to “this generation” ten times. In the final time, Messiah said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”Matthew 24:34
The nine previous mentions are pointing to the Jews who opposed Messiah. Are we to believe that the tenth time that He described “this generation,” that He is pointing to the end times? No!
The context of Messiah’s Olivet Discourse is the desolation of the temple that He was just in when He rebuked the Jews and said, “Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”
Messiah proclaimed that all of the things that He described would take place in that generation, so we need to take Him at His Word, and look to see how those things were fulfilled in the first century.
The context of the Olivet Discourse is that Messiah had just rebuked the Jewish leaders, who would kill Him and His disciples, and He said that all of the righteous blood that they shed would come upon on them, in that generation. “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” Matthew 23:36
Then Messiah proclaimed that the temple would be desolated, which caused His disciples to ask about the sign of these things (the judgment of the Jews and the desolation of the temple) which were about to happen, that would fulfill Daniel 9:26-27; and the desolation of Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish nation.
Jewish historian Josephus documented the fulfillment. Wars occurred around Judea, in the Roman Empire. There were times of famine and pestilence, and earthquakes. The disciples were delivered up to councils, all but John was killed. Many false prophets rose up during this time (Bar-Jesus, Simon Magus). Paul proclaims that the Gospel was preached all over the world (Romans 1:8, 10:15-19, 16:25-26, Colossians 1:4-6, 23)
The abomination of desolation is defined in Luke 20:20-21, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains.“
In Spring of 66 AD, Josephus says that an army with chariots, gathered in the clouds above Judea, a sign to flee. Then in fall of 66 AD, Cestius and his army came into Jerusalem to capture it, and then suddenly left.
The Jewish rebels chased after the Romans, and this gave the saints the opportunity to flee Jerusalem.
Messiah said to flee Judea, which only existed until 132 AD. He said to not come down from the housetop, a typical design of Judea house. He said to pray that it doesn’t happen on the Sabbath, when the Jewish priests would have shut the city gates, keeping them in. All of those things isolate the prophecy to that generation.
Messiah said to flee the mountains, to escape the coming judgment of the Jewish nation. It’s documented that the saints fled to the mountains of Pella after seeing the abomination of desolation, to escape the time of tribulation. Josephus documented the horror of the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD, when 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem from famine, pestilence, infighting, suicide, crucifixion and the Roman sword.
During the time of great tribulation from 66-70 AD, hundreds of thousands of Jews died during the civil war in Jerusalem between three rival factions. They slit each other throats and tortured each other. They slew the High Priest and his temple guards. Hundreds of thousands of bodies were stacked in Jerusalem or thrown over the city wall into the valleys around it. Jews that tried to escape were tortured and crucified outside the city, so many that the trees around Jerusalem were filled with multiple bodies. Thousands swallowed gold coins to protect their wealth and they tried to escape, but were caught and disemboweled. Then hundreds of thousands were killed the Roman sword and 97,000 taken captive and sold as cheap slaves.
The sun, moon and stars being darkened, symbolizes the Jewish leadership system being removed from power. Isaiah 13:9-10 gives us example of this, as applying to the fall of Babylonian leadership.
Messiah coming in power and glory point to His judgment of the Jewish nation. Messiah told the High Priest that he would see Him come in power. Was Messiah mistaken? No.
The angels gathering the elect is referring to the church leaders calling an assembly of the saints who had fled Judea and escaped to the mountains as Messiah told them. Jerusalem lay in ruins and they were gathered together. Some stayed in the mountains, some returned to Jerusalem to minister there and others went out into the Roman Empire, to preach the Gospel.
All of this is proven out in detail, with a verse by verse explanation and the witness of Josephus in my book.
We need to take Messiah at His Word and look at how the things that He described were about the Jewish nation, for their punishment of continuing their rebellion against the Father, for delivering Messiah up to be killed, and for persecuting His disciples.
The Olivet Discourse is directed related to the 70th Week of Daniel 9, which says that the city and temple will be desolated because of the abominations of the Jews.
If you’re seeking for truth, and not to defend a belief, this book will prove out the fulfillment of Messiah’s Olivet Discourse. It will help you see that it’s not about the end times so that you’re not misled about the fulfillment of Revelation, as we await Messiah’s promised return.