One of the fundamental principles of Biblical interpretation, is to let the Bible interpret the Bible, as opposed to attempting to interpret the Bible, whether it be Revelation or Matthew 24, with the New York Times or Fox News.
In other words, you don’t look at current events and then try to find them in the symbolism in Revelation. It’s specious and chronologically arrogant, assuming as it must, that we are, as one pulp fiction writer called it, “the terminal generation.”
The symbols and figures of speech used in Revelation, and other parts of the New Testament, were known to the Jews and had often been used in the Old Testament. This is true of the image of God “coming with the clouds.”
The judgment that happened within a generation of Jesus’ crucifixion was Jesus’ judgment on Israel. Matt. 23:34-39. That judgment resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D., at which time “those who pierced Him” and “all the tribes of the land” (of Israel) witnessed the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in His judgment, which was executed before their eyes. Rev. 1:7.
This is the same theme of Matthew 24, which I’ll blog on tomorrow. GS