IHOP's View of the End Times
I. End Times Perspective
- We do not ask anyone to quickly accept our views, rather we urge all involved with us to think for themselves as they search the Scripture. Truth is never hurt by careful scrutiny but rather it is confirmed. We encourage all in our spiritual family to boldly challenge the ideas that are being taught at IHOP about the End Times. We urge all to refuse any ideas that they cannot personally see in Scripture. The Bereans searched the Scriptures to see if the things that Paul said were so (Acts 17:10–11).
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
- IHOP’s most controversial point about the End Times is the belief that the Church will go through the Tribulation. We will go through it in great victory and power. The popular pre-tribulation rapture view teaches the Church will be raptured to avoid the great end-time revival and crisis, which is NOT biblical. The Bible clearly teaches the Church will be raptured—that is not the issue. The issue lies in timing. The Church will be raptured at the end of the Tribulation, rather than at its beginning. We honor the godliness of many who hold the pre-tribulation Rapture view, but see it as a serious mistake, which will leave many unprepared for the coming pressure. We disagree with the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine in a spirit of love and not with a spirit of debate. The reality of the Rapture and the Great Tribulation is too weighty of a subject to reduce its importance by having an argumentative spirit.
- We study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns is the most written about generation in Scripture. Over 100 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme. Scripture gives significant divine info about the End Times. Jesus spoke more about the last generation of natural history than the generation that He was born in. Why? To prepare the Bride to be victorious in love and power during the most dramatic time in world history.
- We believe the Lord may return within the lifetime of some people who are alive now. We do not know if the events leading to His return will begin in five years or fifty years. We assume that it is closer to fifty years than five years. We do not know because Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour. However, Scripture requires those in the generation the Lord returns, to know the prophetic signs and to respond appropriately.
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near––at the doors! (Matthew 24:32–33)
- Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability of the prophetic signs of the End Times (Matthew 24:32–34; Luke 21:25–29; 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–11).
There will be signs in the sun … And in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations … Men's hearts failing them from fear…for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power … Now when these things begin to happen, look up (have a heavenly perspective) and lift up your heads (be encouraged in faith), because your redemption draws near… (Luke 21:25–28)
Concerning the times and the seasons, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night … But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day... Therefore … Let us watch... (1 Thessalonians 5:1–6)
- God promised to give prophetic signs in the generation that the Lord returns as an expression of His mercy, so people may make the necessary preparations for what is coming. These prophetic signs serve the Church like a weather station that signals trouble before it comes, so people can prepare and save lives. The example of the Southeast Asia Tsunami caused by the Sumatra earthquake on December 26, 2004 illustrates this. Most of those who died could have been saved simply by knowing an hour earlier that the tsunami was coming.
- Jesus rebuked Israel for being unable to read the prophetic signs at Jesus’ first coming (Matthew 16:3). Jesus taught that Israel came under judgment for being unresponsive to God because they did not know the time of their visitation from God.
For days will come … When your enemies will … Level you, and your children to the ground … Because you did not know the time of your visitation. (Luke 19:43–44)
- The principle of God’s love in judgment: God uses the least severe means to reach the greatest number of people at the deepest level of love without violating anyone’s free will in training the future rulers of the Earth. The purpose of God's judgments is to remove all that hinders love so that multitudes would be saved and grow mature in love.
II. Four Common lies related to end-time prophecy
- The first common lie is that end-time prophecy is not relevant, but is only for the curious. Gaining understanding about the End Times is a key to preparing the Church to be victorious in the greatest time of pressure ever seen in history. It provides us with a compass in the storm. Having understanding about the End Times will be an issue life or death to many in that hour.
- The second common lie is most end-time prophecy is to be interpreted symbolically instead of taken literally. The events and numbers in Revelation are to be understood in their plain meaning (literal) unless the Scripture specifically indicates that they are symbolic as in Revelation 1:20, 5:6, 11:8, 12:1, 3, 9 and 17:7, 9.
- The third common lie is end-time prophecies are impossible to understand except only by scholars. The Scriptures on the End Times were written to be understood by all. The majority of people throughout history have been uneducated peasants. The Scripture was written for their edification, not only for scholars.
- The fourth common lie of end-time prophecy is that the Church in every generation believed they were the final generation. It is true that small numbers (probably less than one percent) of many generations thought they were at the end. Only in the generation of the early apostles was there a universal sense among the majority of God’s people in a long-term way that they would see the return of Jesus. This is beginning to happen again in the Body of Christ across the Earth for only the second time in history.
III. Apostolic Pre-Millennialism
- We use the term apostolic as an adjective to describe the vision, values and perseverance (in persecution) of the New Testament Church, as raised up under the leadership of the first century apostles. In other words, Apostolic Christianity embraces a New Testament lifestyle. (Note: we are not using the term as a noun, thus referring to modern day apostles).
- Apostolic eschatology speaks of a view of the End Times that reflects the vision, power and lifestyle of the New Testament Apostolic Church. Apostolic eschatology will equip believers for apostolic (New Testament) lifestyles and perspectives in the midst of the coming great revival and persecution. I refer to apostolic eschatology as “Apostolic Pre-Millennialism.” This view calls the Church to victory, wholeheartedness and relevance.
- Apostolic Christianity or New Testament Christianity will emerge in the End Times as the Spirit raises up a victorious Church that operates in unprecedented unity, intimacy and maturity (Ephesians 4:13) which includes a significant release of the Holy Spirit’s gifts, fruit and wisdom (Ephesians 4:13, 5:27; Matthew 16:18, 22:37; John 17:21–26; Revelation 19:7, 12:11 and 15:2).
A victorious Church attains to unity, intimacy and maturity resulting in the greatest revival in history as it is led by the five–fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11–13, 5:27). The praying end-time Church will walk in power and revelation as it is used by the Holy Spirit to bring in the great end-time ingathering of souls (Revelation 7:9).
He gave … Apostles, some prophets … Eequipping of the saints … Till we ALL come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge [intimacy] of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the … Stature of the fullness of Christ [maturity]. (Ephesians 4:11–13)
- A wholehearted Church walks in “Sermon on the Mount lifestyles” of self-denial and serving, giving, blessing, praying and fasting as seen in the New Testament Church (Matthew 5–7). This discipleship lifestyle of “happy holiness” will be energized by bridal intimacy and an ever-deepening experience with Jesus as the Bridegroom God (Revelation 22:17). In the End Times, the Church will be purified in the context of the great revival and pressure resulting in the separation of true believers from compromising ones.
That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
- A relevant Church understands the value of our present labors in three ways. First, in seeing how they benefit people now in winning the lost, preparing the Church as end-time forerunner messengers, and releasing God’s justice (judgments) against evil by intercessory worship (Psalm 149:6–9). Second, seeing the continuity of our labors now to our life in the age-to-come. In other words, some of our present impact in society (releasing justice in legislation, education, technology, scientific advancements, etc) will have continuity in the Millennium by continuing after Jesus returns. Third, in seeing how our current labors of love will impact our personal eternal rewards and ministry assignment in the Millennial Kingdom.
IV. What is Apostolic Christianity?
- It is Church centered. Jesus is building a Church that will openly triumph over the all the powers of Hell (Matthew 16:18). The New Testament presents salvation in context to the Church as a spiritual family that walks out love, which honors all its members (i.e. gender, age, ethnic, economic, etc)
- It results in wholeheartedness as it embraces holiness and discipleship. In other words, the fasted lifestyle is described in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). It resists the “pleasure seeking Western church culture” that results in “lazy friendly churches” who refuse self-denial and commitment. Apostolic Christianity receives God’s blessing (prosperity) as a means to increase God’s Kingdom rather than to live as “consumer Christians” who use most of their resources to live extravagantly.
- Its ministries flow from intimacy with God. Our ministries can only operate in fullness as we flow from a foundation of intimacy with fasting and prayer (intercession, worship, intimacy with the Bridegroom God) that contends (fights) for the release of the Spirit’s power (Revelation 22:17; Jude 3).
- It possesses a missionary spirit. Our inheritance is to be effective in the harvest and to make an impact on society (Cultural Mandate) with righteousness and justice in social institutions (government, economics, education, technology, media, etc). There is continuity of some of our labors in the Millennial Kingdom.
- It embraces persecution as a part of spiritual warfare (Colossians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 11–12)
- It engages in God’s purpose for Israel. The salvation of Israel is a foundational aspect of God’s end-time drama. Jews and Gentile believers will come together as One New Man (Ephesians 2:15) with a profound unity that matures in context to the unique dynamics of the End Times. Israel will be provoked to jealousy (Romans 11:11, 14) by an anointed apostolic Church that stands with them in context to anti–Semitism and persecution. The end-time falling away will be related to this (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
- It will be led by the apostolic ministry. God will restore the five–fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11–13; Revelation 18:20).
V. The Millennial Kingdom
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
- The Millennium is a literal 1,000-year period in which Jesus will rule the whole world from Jerusalem in righteousness, peace and prosperity (Revelation 20:1–6). The result will be unprecedented blessing for the whole Earth as Jesus restores the agriculture, atmosphere and animal life, etc.
- At this time, the Kingdom of God is openly manifest worldwide affecting every sphere of life (political, economic, spiritual, educational, agricultural, family, media, arts, technology, athletics, environment, social institutions, etc). This period of worldwide blessing is initiated by Jesus' Second Coming and binds Satan (Revelation 20:1–6; Isaiah 2:1–4, 9:6–9, 11:1–16, 51:1–8, 60–62, 65:17–25; Psalm 2:6–12, 110:1–7; Deuteronomy 8, 28; Matthew 5:5, 6:10, 17:11, 19:28, 28:19; Acts 1:6 and 3:21).
- Jesus as King of kings, will personally govern a worldwide Kingdom from Jerusalem in partnership with resurrected saints who rule with Him in establishing a biblically based, social order (Revelation 2:26–27, 3:21, 5:10, 20:4–6, 22:5; Matthew 19:28, 20:21–23, 25:23; Luke 19:17–19, 22:29–30; 1 Corinthians 6:2–3, 2 Timothy 2:12 and Romans 8:17).
VI. End Times (Eschatology)—Why does it even matter?
- Ideas have consequences. God gave us information about the End Times to describe what the Church attains to before and after Jesus' Coming. Our view of the End Times affects our ministry focus, prayer life and lifestyle. Wrong views hinder our ministry focus and thus, effectiveness. Everyone has a view of the End Times. Most have not clarified their views.
- Often people accept one of three extremes.
- First, being too negative in thinking the Great Tribulation will be so bad that nothing will change for good. This view leads people to draw back from seeking to change society. They say, “Why should we exert effort to bring change if the change will not last?
- Second, being too positive in thinking that most of society will be transformed before Jesus returns. This view ignores what Scripture says about the coming pressures and the necessity of Jesus’ personal return to establish the fullness of the Kingdom. Hope–filled desire is important, however, it must be tempered by Scripture and not humanistic optimism. We must be loyal to God’s wisdom in Scripture. Exaggerated optimism often ignores or explains away the negative specific details of end-time prophecy.
- Third, being too vague assuming that it is impossible to know what the Scripture says about the End Times. Thus, they ignore the subject and let the future take care of itself without preparing for it. Many assume nothing dramatic will happen (2 Peter 3:3).
VII. Three approaches to end-time prophecy (as related to the Millennium)
- Pre-Millennialism teaches that Jesus returns BEFORE (pre-) His 1,000-year rule on Earth. This is the only view that interprets end-time prophecy in a literal or face value way.
- A-Millennialism means “No-Millennium.” This view teaches that Jesus’ 1,000-year reign is not a literal earthly reign, but rather it is a spiritual victory over sin in the heart of the believer. Millennial prophecies are interpreted as currently being fulfilled in the Church’s war against sin.
- Post-Millennialism teaches that Jesus will come back AFTER (post-) the Millennium. This view teaches that the Church establishes the Millennial Kingdom by fully Christianizing the whole world before Jesus returns. This is idealism and optimism that goes beyond Scripture.
VIII. A-Millennial view of the Kingdom of God
- The strength of this view is its focus on the spiritual triumph of the Church over sin and Satan before the Lord returns.
- The weaknesses of this view are found in usually interpreting most end-time prophecy as symbolic or figurative (instead of literal) and in embracing replacement theology (the Church replaces Israel as heir to Israel’s prophetic promises).
- Most A-millennialists and Post-Millennialists have the preterist view of the End Times. Preterism is a term referred to in many eschatology books. A preterist is one with interest in the past. A preterit is a verb tense that describes a past action or condition (a verb in the preterit form).
- Preterists usually do not believe in an end-time Tribulation nor interpret the Book of Revelation in a literal way. Preterism sees most of the prophecies of the book of Revelation (Tribulation, Armageddon, Antichrist, False Prophet, etc) as being completely fulfilled in an earthly way when Israel was at war with Rome (AD 66–70) and seeing them as partly symbolic (as a picture of spiritual conflict throughout church history). Israel’s war with the Roman Empire led to over one million Jews being killed and Jerusalem and its Temple being destroyed under General Titus in AD 70.
- A-millennialists see the prophecies of Matthew 24 and Luke 21, as being completely fulfilled in AD 70. It is true that the events of AD 70 were a partial fulfillment of these prophecies. However, they were meant to be understood also as a significant prophetic foreshadowing of end-time events.
- Most A-millennialists are what I call eschatological cessationalists that do not believe the power of God will be manifest in the events related to the Great Tribulation and the establishing of the Millennium. Preterists have a domesticated eschatology that reduces most of the literal manifestations of God’s power and judgments in Revelation to symbolism. Preteritists also approach many Old Testament prophecies by either spiritualizing them (seeing them as symbolic) or simply ignoring them (without even attempting to see their fulfillment in AD 70).
Jesus answered and said to them (Sadducees), "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)
- A-millennialists usually limit the Kingdom of God on the Earth as being mostly in the heart of a believer. Most A-millennialists do not emphasize a large ingathering of souls in the End Times nor the restoration of the five–fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11–13), nor the gifts of the Spirit.
- A-millennialism is mostly held by those with reformed theology. A-millennialists through history believed in a Great Tribulation with a literal Antichrist. However, today most A-millennialists reject this. Also, those with this view usually lack a strong emphasis on the Cultural Mandate to impact society. A-millennialists and Post-Millennialists believe in the victorious Church yet in different degrees and emphases.
IX. Post-Millennial view of the Kingdom of God
- The strength of this view is found in their zeal for the Cultural Mandate or for transforming society and its laws (political, economic, education, media, arts, etc).
- The weakness of this view has similarities with A-millennialists in usually interpreting most end-time prophecy as symbolic instead of literal and in embracing replacement theology. Most Post-Millennialists have the preterist view of Revelation, which sees most of its prophecies and Matthew 24 and Luke 21 as being fulfilled in Israel’s war with Rome (AD 66–70), instead of being understood as a partial fulfillment and also a prophetic foreshadowing of end-time events.
- Jesus first endured the cross and so will His Church before the fullness of God’s promise is released on Earth. Peter rebuked Jesus for choosing the cross. Jesus rebuked him for being filled with humanistic thinking that was inspired by Satan. Peter’s mindset is still in the Church today.
Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem … And be killed … Peter … Began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You … This shall not happen to You!" He said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me … The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father … Then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:20–27)
- The zealots of Jesus' day made the same mistake in expecting Israel’s Messianic Kingdom on Earth to be established without the Messiah dying. They were offended at the idea of the cross being necessary. The same offense with the cross is true today with many Post-Millennialists, who are expecting the Church to usher in the fullness of God’s Kingdom on Eearth without being purified by the eschatological dimensions of the cross in the Tribulation (Daniel 11:33–35, 12:10).
- Some refuse the plain teaching of Scripture that the whole human race and all creation will endure the birth pangs that usher in the age to come. We must refuse all theological systems that claim more compassion and optimism (victory) than God’s plan that requires the Tribulation.
- Post-Millennialism is an overly optimistic eschatology. It was most popular during the Victorian Age (approximately 1840–1900) when the Holy Spirit was focusing on restoring in the Church the truths of social action and human rights. Many believers thought things would just get better and better until Jesus returned. However, the reality of two world wars in the 20th century caused Post-Millennialism to fall out of favor worldwide. For example, Wheaton College was founded with Post-Millennial views, but switched to Pre-millennialism after the two world wars clearly contradicted Post-Millennial optimism. Some Post-Millennialists believed in a literal 1,000-year reign of the Spirit in the Church before Jesus’ Second Coming. The distinction between A-millennialism and Post-Millennialism is not as clear in history as some suggest. A-millennial and Post-Millennial camps differ on the measure and way that the Church takes over society. In the 1600s, the consensus of the Puritans believed in Israel's salvation (yet without being restored to their land). Most Puritans were Post-Millennial. Both A-millennial and Post-Millennial theologians claim Jonathan Edwards.
X. The Pre-Millennial view of the Kingdom of God
- Pre-Millennialists believe that Jesus will return to rule the Earth for a Millennium (1,000 years). The strength of this view is found in its literal interpretation of end-time prophecy.
- Three views of Pre-Millennialism:
- Dispensational Pre–Millennialism (pre-tribulation rapture)
- Historic (classic) Pre–Millennialism (post-tribulation rapture). Pre-Wrath or Mid–Tribulation have similar strengths and weaknesses as this position.
- Apostolic Pre-Millennialism combines the biblical strengths of the other eschatological positions. It understands the End Times from the perspective of the values, vision and power of the New Testament Church in the midst of world crisis and persecution.
XI. Dispensational Pre-Millennialism
- This is the most popular eschatology today. It is called dispensational because they teach that God has related differently to His people in seven different dispensations or seasons of history. The different dispensations speak of different stages in God’s plan of salvation through history.
- The strength of this view is found in its literal interpretation of end-time prophecy and in embracing God’s purpose for Israel in the End Times.
- The weakness of this view is its error that Jesus will rapture the Church before the Tribulation. Thus, it is a dangerous deception hindering the effectiveness of the gospel in several ways.
- First, it undermines the need to urgently prepare the Church for the hardship and persecution of the Great Tribulation. It does not see the role of Gentile believers to provoke Israel to jealousy and salvation by standing with them in persecution while functioning as an anointed apostolic Church. Most with this view see Israel's salvation as the responsibility of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 sealed Israelites (Revelation 7, 11).
- Second, with its doctrine of immanency (Jesus returning any moment), some do not emphasize the need for a long-term plan for their life or ministry, nor a commitment to impact society. Thus, those with this view usually neglect the Cultural Mandate.
- Third, it often minimizes the certainty of the end-time ingathering of souls (Revelation 7:9).
- Summary: it neglects to prepare the Church for persecution and to stand with Israel during the Great Tribulation. Also, it is not actively seeking breakthroughs in transforming society and it minimizes the certainty of the end-time harvest. Thus, it is an overly pessimistic eschatology.
- The common response is escapism (why bother if we will soon be raptured) along with fatalism and defeatism (society cannot be effectively changed). This view usually sees the Church's mandate as being like a life-raft limited to delivering people from drowning (preaching only salvation) while abdicating the rest of society to the devil with its overly pessimistic future.
- This view can lead to a lazy disengagement (complacency), instead of urgency to be prepared in prayer with fasting as we seek for spiritual breakthroughs in the Kingdom. Note: some Dispensational Pre-Millennial churches are very active in soul winning.
XII. Historic (Classic) Pre-Millennialism
- The strength of this view is found in its literal interpretation of end-time prophecy, in preparing the Church for future persecution and in our responsibility to provoke Israel to salvation.
- The weakness of this view is found in lacking the assurance of a victorious Church functioning in her bridal identity (Revelation 22:17), a large end-time ingathering of souls, and the Cultural Mandate. Therefore, it does not usually emphasize intimacy with God, the need for night and day intercession, or the certainty of an end-time victorious Church. A few with this view do see a measure of victory in the Church.
- Historic (classic) Pre-millennialism (post–tribulation) has similar strengths and weaknesses as Pre–Wrath or Mid–Tribulation Pre-millennialism. (J. O. Bengel wrote a classic book on Historic Pre–Millennialism as did George Ladd).
XIII. Three common objections to Apostolic Pre-Millennialism
- Some claim that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer Who is removed when the Church is raptured. Paul prophesied that someone and something who restrains the Antichrist from being revealed would be removed (2 Thessalonians 2:6–8). Paul described the restrainer of the increase of sin and the release of the Antichrist as a “what” (neuter gender in 2:6) and as a “He” (masculine gender in 2:7). Paul taught that governing authorities are appointed by God to restrain evil (Romans 13:1–4). I believe the restraining force that is removed is a combination of a “what,” which I believe to be the existence of national governments that will not allow that Antichrist’s one-world government to emerge, and a “He,” which I believe to be God and His sovereign decree to bring the ten nation confederation into unity with the Antichrist (Revelation 17:17; Daniel 7:9–12, 19–27).
- Some claim that Christians will not go through the Great Tribulation because “we are not appointed unto wrath” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). It is true, the Church is not appointed to wrath. The wrath of God in the Great Tribulation is released by the praying Church (Revelation 8:3–4) to destroy the Antichrist’s empire. The Church will receive supernatural provision, direction and protection. The saints will have a protective seal given by God (Revelation 7:2–3, 9:4 and 14:1).
- Some claim that Jesus may return at any minute (referred to as immanency) instead of after specific prophetic signs that must be discerned by the Church. They say we are not to know these prophetic signs because Jesus said that “no one knows the day or the hour” (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44, 50 and 25:13). These prophetic signs must be discerned. This will be an issue of life and death (Luke 19:43–44). The Scripture requires those in the generation the Lord returns to know it and prepare accordingly. Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability of the prophetic signs of the End Times (Matthew 24:32–34; Luke 21:25–29; 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–11).
XIV. Apostolic Pre-Millennialism: Confronting five deceptions in the Church
- “Lazy-friendly” spiritual culture that is currently seducing the Western church by its casual view of compromise and a false view of eternal security that does not depend on vibrant faith. All have an eschatology, even if it is simply to be happy and have an easy life. This view of the future is the most popular one and will please many people, be very popular and will make one many friends, however, we desire to be an oracle of God not man pleasers.
- Replacement theology that denies Israel’s place in God’s purpose.
- Pre-tribulation Rapture that leaves the Church unprepared.
- Prayer-less cessationism that believes that the gifts of the Spirit and the five–fold ministry have ceased, therefore, they do not contend in prayer with fasting for the their full release.
- Symbolic interpretation of most end-time prophecy that significantly reduces, dismisses, or ignores the literal, future events in the end-time drama. This approach to Scripture fuels a scoffing spirit of unbelief and hardness of heart (2 Peter 3:3; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:25, 38).
XV. The Great Tribulation was not fulfilled in AD 70 (Matthew 24:21)
Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" ... 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. Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved (physically spared); but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:15, 21–22)
- Jesus prophesied that the Great Tribulation would be the most severe time in history. It will surpass all other times of crisis. Some seek to minimize this prophecy by reducing it to symbolism or by seeing it as being fulfilled in AD 70. The Great Tribulation will be so severe that God shortened it to three and a half years to keep the entire human race from being physically killed.
- The events of AD 70, were a prophetic foreshadowing of the Tribulation. Yet, they did not fulfill most of scriptural details of the Tribulation. The Tribulation will threaten the life of every human being (Matthew 24:22) and will not occur until after the abomination of desolation, which is described in Revelation 13. The scriptural details of the Great Tribulation require a talking image, the mark of the Beast, a healed head wound, mandatory worship of the Antichrist worldwide and a False Prophet. Nothing close to this happened in the Jewish Revolt against Rome (AD 66–73). In this crisis, Jerusalem and the Second Temple were destroyed in AD 70. Then in AD 132–135, the Jews revolted against Rome again, resulting in 500,000 Jews being killed and 1000 villages being destroyed. In World War II, fifty million died, which far surpassed the one million deaths (AD 70). Neither AD 70 nor WWII came close to threatening the existence of the human race as the Great Tribulation will. Neither of these terrible times are the worst time in history and neither involved the Abomination of Desolation in the Jerusalem Temple (Revelation 13:14–17). The fifty million babies aborted each year worldwide overshadows both AD 70 and WWII.