Home
What's New
Cults
Escaping the Cult
Apologetics
Current Trends
Bible Doctrines
Bible Explanations
Ecumenism
Emergent church
Prophecy
Latter Rain
Word Faith
Popular Teachers
Pentecostal Issues
Trinity / Deity
World  Religions
New Age Movement
Book Reviews
Testimonies
Web Directory
Tracts for witnessing
Books
Audio 
Video
Web Search
The Persecuted Church

 

For printing  our articles please copy the web page by highlighting  the text first - then click copy in the browser-  paste the article into a word  program on your computer. When the text is transferred into word, click to save or print.      

 

 

 

 

                            

 

Why the tribulation did not happen in 70 AD!

According to preterism, there will be no rapture, there is no coming Tribulation, there is no coming Antichrist, or a mark of the beast. Why? Because they already took place.

Preterism has two basic camps; Full preterism Partial preterism

Adherents to full Preterism believe that all Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled, partial believe only a few things are left to be fulfilled. Tribulation events that are in the Book of Revelation; Jesus’ second coming (Matt. 24 and in Revelation 19) have taken place in the generation of the people living at the time of 70 AD.

Preterists make full use of hermeneutical gymnastics with double twists to avoid the reality: that Israel has come back into the land and the very enemies the Bible mentions are all there ready to fulfill Bible prophecies that we were told by the prophets would take place in the latter days. With stubborn and insistent denial of these facts they continue to hold to an outdated prophetic model. On the other hand, there are prophetic Bible teachers that have distorted the future view of prophecy, determining what is written is now fulfilled by the news when there are only a few similarities; they are just as wrong.

Over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament Jesus fulfilled literally, 30 of them on the day he died. So we have the Bibles interpretation of how prophecy is completed, to change this is to ignore the word the way it was written.

What I want us to look at is the prophecies of the tribulation and whether or not they were fulfilled the way the Bible explains it. Oftentimes it is not the weight of lengthy explanations that justifies ones position as valid. We should consider what is missing just as important to the equation. Bible prophecy is specific and can only be fulfilled when all the elements within are present and have taken place - the way it is written. If not then we cannot claim it has taken place.

So lets begin with the basis for this view of prophecy.

Rev 1:9: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation”

According to Preterism Rev.1:9 John is saying he is their brother with them in THE GREAT Tribulation; but this is not what it states.

Tribulation - Greek – thlipsis: pressure (literally or figuratively):

afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.

Great - Greek - megas

[including the prolonged forms, feminine megale, plural megaloi, etc.; compare also 3176, 3187]; big (literally or figuratively, in a very wide application): (+fear) exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, + (be) sore (afraid), strong, X to years.

Jesus often used the word tribulation. Except for the fact that each time Jesus described the Tribulation it had a qualification, Jesus adds the word great (Greek-megas) to mean exceeding or large. Which intensifies the meaning. In its context, the whole earth and its environment will be afflicted and become a pressure cooker; we are promised it will be the last of its kind and it will end only by His coming to earth.

Preterists take the position that John wrote Revelation prior to 70 AD, which they claim is the tribulation. If John’s mention of tribulation means the great tribulation, then they were in it before 70 AD., even at the time Jesus was teaching them.

John 16:33: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Rom 5:3: And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

Rom 12:12: “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

2 Cor 1:3-4: “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.”

1Thes 3:4 “For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.”

Acts 20:23 "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

Acts 14:22 continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

Obviously there are not many great tribulations, these are referring to trials.

Rev. 3:10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” The whole world will be involved in this trial not just secluded to Israel. This would be the Great Tribulation.

Matt 24:21: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

We have to look at the word and the Bibles DESCRIPTION of this great tribulation to understand the difference between tribulation that comes to all saints and the tribulation that will be God’s judgment of wrath on the earth.

Now lets read again Rev 1:9: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

If Revelation was written after 70 Ad as most date it, John is saying Jesus has not come yet, Preterists insist he has.

Matt 24:22: "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.” How? By his coming to stop it. Jesus is telling us the great tribulation is not going to go on indefinitely, it is going to end. It is Jesus who stops the tribulation from continuing by coming back to earth and destroys the armies of the world gathered against him. This did not happen as foretold. The Lord Jesus did not return during the battle of Armageddon because the battle never occurred the way it was written.

If Jesus said the time of Jacob’s trouble would be the greatest tribulation, Hitler’s Holocaust killed far more Jews and people worldwide than Nero did. (approx 40 million)

This time period is also called by Jeremiah (who announced the new covenant through Israel) as the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Jer 30:7-11: “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.'For it shall come to pass in that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; foreigners shall no more enslave them. But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished.’”

Notice they are set free, that foreigners shall no more enslave them, i.e. the Romans then, the “time of the gentiles would end.” Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel returns to the land not is scattered (as in 70 AD). David will be king over Israel and the nations will be punished. Hardly what took place in the Roman invasion.

Zechariah 14:2 “...I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem,” This gathering of “all the nations of the earth” (Zech. 12:3) against Jerusalem has never occurred. The battle ends the Tribulation period, commonly referred to as the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14, 16)

We are told in 2 Thessalonians (and elsewhere) that the antichrist and a tribulation come before Christ returns to rule with a rod of iron. The mystery of lawlessness seen in 2 Thessalonians is no longer restrained in the Tribulation, this allows the man of lawlessness to come forward. When the Lord comes back he is removed, and lawlessness ends. Has this actually happened? We see more lawlessness today then in any time from Jesus day.

What did not happen in 70 AD proves that Preterism is false.

According to Preterism there is no increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead, a Christianization of the world. The Great Apostasy would have had to have happened in the first century while the apostles were still alive building the church and completely end in 70 AD., while John continued to live.

1 Tim. 4:1: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith.” These are the same latter days mentioned in Micah 4:1 “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established on the top of the mountains.” The difference is that 1 Tim. 4 precedes Micah 4.

It is unacceptable to hold that an apostasy was completed before 70 AD, when the church had just begun to increase and spread to other regions besides Israel. Neither do we see the house of the Lord established in Israel where it supposed to be for all nations to be part of. In Acts 2:17 Peter teaches that “the last days” began in their present time period but it does not end with 70 AD. It began with Pentecost and ends Jesus’ return, setting things in order as He exercises judgments and establishes his Messianic kingdom that will be the only government throughout the earth.

We see the very opposite of this taking place.

In the tribulation there are 144,000 Jews anointed for their tribulation ministry.

The 144,000 Jewish evangelists come from every tribe (has never happened the way it is described) neither did the result of their preaching: Rev. 7:9-10 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" V.13 -14 “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Notice that they are saved from ALL NATIONS, (not just the Roman province). Jews never went out during the Roman armies invasion and saved an innumerable amount of people.

Understand; because there are some similarities in events does not mean a prophecy was fulfilled. But there are no events that fit these Scriptures. For example lets say Mary was with Child but the child was not born in Bethlehem but in some other city, could this prophecy then be fulfilled? No, because it has to contain all the elements necessary to point to it and say “this has been completed.” Lets say a man named Jesus did miracles in Israel but never went to the cross, died or resurrected, would he be the same Jesus in Scripture, would he be have fulfilled the prophecies, no!

Peace treaty

It is Israel’s signing of a peace treaty that commences the tribulation. Of course Preterists have to change this obvious scripture to have an alternate meaning to add another brick in the wall to build their argument. Some say that Daniel 9 refers to Jesus’ covenant which is a terrible interpretation.

Dan. 9:27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” The word for covenant is beriyth, which is the same Hebrew word for covenant elsewhere. The word end, or desist is shabat, which we all can recognize as the word for rest or desist, to stop from working. Notice he confirmed the covenant then stops it form the time period it is supposed to last. Again similar phrases do not always have the same meaning.

Why are all the nations partnering to bring Israel to sign a peace treaty today? Peace summits are continually taking place, but this all means nothing to a Preterist who has made up their mind.

The whole world is wanting to see this peace treaty made, the bible says 1Thess. 5:2-3 “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”

Were the roman armies a thief in the night? This sudden destruction is that they enter the tribulation period which no one will escape. This is why Jesus in the parable of the fig tree says for us to watch and pray (Luke 21:35-36)

The world will see this covenant as the means to bring an end to war and have safety in the Middle East, but it will instead bring the worst nightmare to the world.

The rebuilt temple

In the year 68 A.D. the Roman armies began their assault on Jerusalem that lasted approx. two years. In the year 70 A.D. the Romans were finally able to breach the walls and the second temple was burned and destroyed. Many fled (the Christians), Israel was scattered and those who stayed were taken captive by Rome.

The Lord Jesus said: “And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” The destruction of Jerusalem that dispersed its inhabitants (Matt. 23:38, Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-24) did not end the times of the Gentiles but escalated it. Jerusalem has been under gentile control ever since, even in our modern day Israel captured Jerusalem and portions of their former land in war. Is all of Israel saved? Did Jerusalem stop being trampled by Gentiles? No - then Christ did not come as Preterists claim.

The building of the temple for the tribulation is given in Isaiah 66:1-6. This passage speaks of another temple which God does not endorse. God authorized both Solomon's Temple and the second temple that was rebuilt by Herod. This is the temple of the Great Tribulation period when Israel is regathered into its land, which the false messiah will desecrate with the ultimate blasphemy.

Isaiah 66 begins with a protest from God, who states that the temple Israel builds at this time is not acceptable, God will not come and reside in it (v. 1) as He resided in the former temple. What God requires is not a new house but faith in the Messiah (v. 2). He will not accept their sacrifices (v. 3) and the building of this temple. They are not listening to God's Word (v. 4 which points to Christ), they are to come to God by faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel 9:27 speaks of a breaking of the covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (a political leader) in the middle of the tribulation. The result of the breaking of this lying covenant is that their sacrifices will cease; which results in what the bible calls the “abomination of desolation.” Jesus speaks of this event in Mt.24:15 telling those to flee immediately when this occurs. This has not occurred. Why did Jesus warn them to escape Jerusalem if he is to be judging them? All the judgments of God were literal, Noah, Sodom and Gommorah, Egypt so there is no rationale to change the judgments in Revelation as anything but literal.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [speaking of the Great Tribulation] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, v.4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” NKJV

Preterists claim Nero is the antichrist. Hardly a suitable man for what the Bible describes as a false benevolent world dictator. Nero did not visit the city of Jerusalem. Nero was certainly a type of him to come but the events did not fulfill Bible prophecy as they we written. Nero blamed the great Roman fire of 64 A.D. on the Christians and initiated a major persecution, which certainly gave him this evil notoriety.

He did not sign a Covenant (of death Isa.28:14-22) that starts the Tribulation; seven years – known as the 70th week.

People did not flee Jerusalem because of him going into the temple declaring himself to be God - he did not walk into the temple after 3 ˝ years of the covenant was signed (Dan.9:27) and declare himself God or have everyone worship his image or have it speak (2 Thess. 2:4). Again if prophecy is not completed the way it was written then it was not fulfilled. It never happened.

To a Preterist any apostate teacher or its religious system can be called ‘antichrist;’ they claim the word does not describe some individual dictator. REALLY?

John says there is a spirit of antichrist working (1 Jn.2:21; 4:1-4) and there were many antichrists that have come (1 John 2:15-18), even in his day but that there is one (singular) coming, called man of sin, the man of lawlessness. The Antichrist is a he, a single human being that will stand in a literal temple rebuilt in Israel that will call himself God and cause an abomination that makes desolate. It was not Herod’s temple that the antichrist declared himself to be God?

The abomination of desolation is the Antichrist taking over the worship of the Jewish temple by sitting down in the Holy place, declaring himself to be God. There is no seat in the holy place because priests had to stand to do their ministry. The antichrist is accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles, and exactly when did Nero do signs and wonders to deceive, to convince people to follow him? Even the elect? (2 Thess.2:9; Rev.13:14).

For one to claim Nero was the man of sin they must also concede the restraint was taken away and lawlessness abounded like Paul describes. The Bible says the lawless one, the Antichrist is ruling and is brought to an end by Christ’s coming. How did Nero die? Nero took his own life, he committed suicide, June 68 A.D. two years before 70 A.D. when Preterists say Christ came. Oops.

According to the majority of Preterists the antichrist was Nero. Was he destroyed by the word that came out of the Lords mouth at his coming to earth? Jesus destroys Him and all the armies when He comes again, it is to be bloodbath, unlike any other. Was Nero or Titus army destroyed by Jesus? There was no Armageddon, at least not the way the Bible describes it.

This can hardly be a fulfillment of the Scripture 2 Thess. 2:8-9: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.

When Jesus comes he destroys the armies of the world and Satan’s man is the first casualty. When did this happen? Instead, the Preterist says that Jesus returned to judge Israel by the Roman army which is flat out absurd. Jesus did not ever say because of his coming Israel would be destroyed and none saved, he said the opposite because of his promises, his covenant to Israel. If her does not keep his covenant to them then those grafted into the covenant will also be rejected.

Not only does the time not match the 1260 days 3˝ years but none of the descriptions are close. Even if one does not hold to a 70th week -the interpretation of days, it still does not match the Bibles description.

The False Prophet is to make an image of the Antichrist and stands it up in the Holy of Holies (Rev. 12:13-17; Dan.12:11), which begins the last half of the Tribulation.

Revelation 13 tells us the mark is the name of the beast, the number of his name and the number of a man, which equals six hundred and sixty six.

Many Preterists claim Caesar Nero's name in Hebrew gematria equals 666…

               C a e  s   a    r          N  e   r   o

                  1    60 1  200        50    200     = 512

Nero’s number does not add up to 666 in Hebrew nor the Latin numerals made up long after, nor did Nero ever force everyone to have this number on their hand or forehead for commerce (to buy or sell). Nor were they tormented by demonic forces by taking this number. There is so much that Preterists have changed the Scripture on because of their prophetic system and yet they accept that Nero did this! Again an absurd claim by a flawed approach to Bible prophecy. Preterism is a theological abnormality.

The Abomination that makes desolation

Dan 9:27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."

The one signs the covenant also stops it, Daniel gives us further details into this event.

Dan 11:31: “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.”

Dan 12:11: "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

Three times Daniel speaks of the sacrifices being ended and an abomination that makes desolate. And it is they who will be desolate. (The abomination is directly related to the daily sacrifices and they are directly related to the temple which can only be built in Jerusalem which is in Israel.

Jesus refers to Daniel "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.” (Matt 24:15-17)

They leave Jerusalem in the middle of the tribulation, not the end (Dan 9:27). So Preterism’s timing of 70 AD does not fit. Matthew 24:15 refers to Revelation 12; the woman, Israel, is fleeing to a place the Bible calls the wilderness. From passages such as Micah 2:12, this wilderness is in the land of Edom, the city of Petra. In 70 AD they fled to a different place then what the Bible says. They fled to Pela in 70 AD not to Petra (Bozrah) in southern Jordan.

Preterists point to Luke 21 as the absolute conclusion to prove their points, lets examine it carefully. "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written" (Luke 21:20-22 RSV)

Desolation Gr. eremosis - making desolate, a desolation. The same word can be used for different meanings and applications; context matters. Jesus often repeated the same statements more than once and applied it in different ways. Luke 21 is speaking of the desolation of the city by armies, Matthew 24 is speaking of the desolation of the holy place. It is a desecration. It is the abomination that has them flee. Though there are some similarities there are also some unique parts. The fact that Bible prophecy has repetitive patterns and similarities has to be taken into consideration. For example: Daniel 8:13-14 “Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?" And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” This same subject of sacrifices and transgression of desolation is given to Daniel more than once, but they all do not apply to the same event in time. This took place by the Syrian ruler Antiochus in 167 BC. He took the Jewish temple and desecrated the temple by an unclean sacrifice (this is remembered as Channukah). It was literal and the next desecration would be just as literal.

Notice what Luke says in Lk.21:24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Jesus is speaking of the same city of his people he ministered in. I say this because many Preterists allegorize Jerusalem into a spiritual subject instead of the city it has always been.

Are the Gentile still trampling on Jerusalem? Of course. In 70 AD Jews nor Romans did not see what is said next:

v.27-28 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

According to Preterists it would better read your destruction draws near. Coming with a cloud is referring to Jesus said He coming back the same way He left, (Acts 1:11) visibly, with glory and power and to save Israel, not destroy her. There is something repulsive that underlines the preterist viewpoint in their interpretation that is always applied to Israel’s rejection.

In 70 AD Israel is not saved (we will look at this in the 2nd coming and millennium.)

These following Scriptures from Daniel describe a different scenario, than what we have read in Daniel 8. Dan. 11:30-31 "For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. "And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.”

Dan. 12:11: "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

These sacrifices are stopped in the middle of the tribulation which means they had to already be going on in the temple during the tribulation. Which means the Tribulation Temple was rebuilt during the first half of the tribulation, for It is in the middle of the tribulation he puts a stop to them. It is this sign of abomination that occurs inside the Temple that Jesus warns them to flee.

Mark 13:14: "So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

If Jesus is to cause the desolation or is the desolation as some preterists have told me, ask yourself, why would he warn them to leave to be safe?

Pt. 2 The Tribulation according to the Book of Revelation

© 2009 No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format- the way it appears. Articles can be reproduced in portions for ones personal use. Any other use is to have the permission of  Let Us Reason Ministries first. Thank You.

We always appreciate hearing  from those of you that have benefited by the articles on our website. We love hearing the testimonies and praise reports. We are here to help those who have questions on Bible doctrine, new teachings and movements.  Unfortunately we cannot answer every email. Our time is valuable just as yours is, please keep in mind, we only have time to answer sincere inquiries from those who need help. For those who have another point of view, we will answer emails that want to engage in authentic dialogue, not in arguments. We will use discretion in answering any letters. 

  Let Us Reason Ministries

We thank you for your support in our ministry