Would there be an ultimate tribulation after AD70?

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There are some who teach that the tribulation that happened in the Jewish wars in AD70 could not have been the great tribulation.

They argue that there are greater tribulations such as the Hitler’s treatment to the Jews during the Holocaust and therefore we await a world wide holocaust.

Let’s take a sample of such argument. One of the such arguments is to say:

Matthew 24:21
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

They argue as such since the Nazi holocaust killed more Jews then the tribulation in AD70 is less a tribulation as compared to Hitler’s. Hence we should now await a greater one.

They as such accuse us of having perform mental gymnastics to accept the great tribulation as has happened in AD70.

One of the most fundamental understandings of scripture is to read things in context. The verse as such must be read in context with the whole discourse and not in isolation. To do so is to do the very things they accuse us of doing. Mental gymnastics.

Let’s read the thing in context.

Matthew 24:1-2

​Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

The conversation started with the prediction of the destruction of the temple. The temple was also described as “heaven and earth” as it was where heaven met earth, the place where God meets man. This thought is prevalent in the whole passage. It is the central thought of the whole discourse.

See it being echoed here.

Matthew 24:34-35
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Heaven and earth will pass away referring to the destruction of the temple.

Note Jesus makes another observation “this generation” meaning his generation. It will happen within 40 years from the time he said it.

Hence. We know of two things. It has to do with the passing away of the temple. It was within his generation.

Let’s continue.

Matthew 24:3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

We must understand here the NIV translates this verse as “end of the age” where as the KJV “end of the world”. This is where the confusion begins.

The Bible does not say that the world will end but that it evolves from age to age.

Hence Jesus wasn’t speaking about the end of the world but the “end of an age”. To be more precise. It was the end of the age of the Law. After all Jesus said this.

Matthew 5:18
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Again note “heaven and earth” is the temple. When the temple is destroyed the Law will disappear referring to the end of the age of the Old Covenant. Note the refrain of “heaven and earth” passing here.

Hence people mistakenly think Jesus is speaking about the end of the world. He wasn’t. He was speaking the end of an age. So these words cannot be taken to mean the end of the world which these people seem to suggest.

Let’s continue.

Matthew 24:10-12
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

They argue there is a great apostasy in the church.

It is pertinent to point out the “faith” here is not the Christian faith but the Jewish faith. The Christian faith had yet to exists. This actual refers to the Jews betraying their faith in seeking for refuge under Rome when Rome held Jerusalem in siege.

As the siege continue many gave us defending the temple and their city and gave up their brothers to the Romans in exchange of food and shelter. The apostasy here is about the Jews giving up their faith. Not Christians giving up their faith. This is one of the greatest errors futurists make.

Let’s go on.

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Please note the words to the “whole world” is qualified by the words as a testimony to all nations. It does not say that Jesus will come again when the Gospel is preach to the last country.

Let me share with you the fulfil of this. It says that it is as a testimony to all nations.

Colossians 1:4-6
because we have HEARD of YOUR faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the WHOLE WORLD—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.

So it was something fulfilled even in Paul’s time. Not our time. It’s about not the gospel but the testimony of the same. Hence we “heard of your faith” through out the “whole world”.

Shall we move on?

Matthew 24:15-18
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

It is pertinent here Josephus in his book the Jewish War speaks about this.

He speaks about how the Jews were killing themselves and the Romans and the temple was filled with the blood of Jews, animals and Gentiles then.

Also Jesus said these events will happen in Judea. Not the whole earth. The agenda of Matthew 24 is also exposed here. Leave Jerusalem as soon as possible.

That’s what Hebrews 10-13 is about too. Leave Jerusalem. The writer tells his listeners to go outside as Jerusalem is not your home.

Hebrews 11:10
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:16
Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 13:12-14
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Leave Jerusalem for Jerusalem
Judea was about to be destroyed.

It’s Jerusalem. AD70. Not a Nazi concentration camp in Poland.

Let’s go on.

Matthew 24:19
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!

Let me read a note to you from
Josephus about this account of a nursing mother in AD70.

“Josephus relates that there was a Mary, daughter of Eleazar originally from the village of Bethezuba in the district of Perea, east of the Jordan River, who had previously fled to Jerusalem.

Distinguished in family and fortune, her property, treasures and food had been plundered by the Jewish defenders of the city during the siege.

Famine was “eating her heart out, and rage consuming her still faster”. Maddened by hunger she took the infant at her breast and said to him: “Poor little mite! In war, famine, and civil strife why should I keep you alive?

With the Romans there is only slavery and that only if alive when they come; but famine is forestalling slavery, and the partisans are crueler than either.

Come you must be food for me, to the partisans an avenging spirit, and to the world a tale, the only thing left to fill up the measure of Jewish misery”.

And in “defiance to all natural feeling” she killed her son, then roasted him and ate one half, hiding the rest.

Almost immediately the rebels appeared (“sniffing the unholy smell”) and threatened to kill her on the spot unless she revealed what she had prepared.

As she uncovered what was left of the child she offered them a share.

They left her in horror and the “entire city could not stop thinking of this crime and abomination.”

This happened in AD70 in the siege of Jerusalem.

We finally come to the text my learned friends refer to.

Matthew 24:21

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Now ask yourself a question. It is right to take this text and say that it is not about what happen in AD70 but in the future?!!!!

Only a person who chooses to proof text his views would do that. That shows no respect of the scriptures whatsoever. So please do not accuse us of teaching half truths when you don’t respect the verse in its context.

The tribulation Jesus spoke about was what happened at the Jewish war. The tribulation was great not because of how many people died. But how they died.

There is an account of Jews would were cut open alive as they tried to leave the city by carrying coins by swallowing them. Their stomachs were sliced open evils they were alive.

When Titus found this out he ordered an immediate stop to this. Instead he had them crucified. There were approximate 500 crucifixion in a month.

Let’s move on.

Matthew 24:29

“Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

A careful student of scripture would realise this is not about the actual solar system. Jesus was referring to Joel 2.

Joel 2:31
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

See it?

Let’s read the verse just before it.

Joel 2:28-31

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

When were these words fulfilled? At Pentecost.

Acts 2:16-21
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Notice it was fulfilled just days after Jesus’s resurrection within his generation and some future generation?

We then have this verse.

Matthew 24:31
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

As such we think this is the rapture.

It is not. Firstly the trumpet sounding is clearly prophesied in Joel 2. Hence it is clearly again about the time of the apostles and the Roman invasion.

Joel 2:1

​Blow the TRUMPET in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—

Now concerning the elect. Let’s get one thing straight. It is not the Gentiles the Angels are collecting. They are Jews!!!

Revelation 7:2-4
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God.

He called out in a loud voice to the FOUR angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.”

12000 from each tribe. Jews!

So again these Jews were saved during that tribulation. Not any future ones. Note the four winds in Matthew corresponds with four Angels.

So we close with this.

Matthew 24:34-35
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

As stated earlier, it bears reference to the time the temple was destroyed. During the Jewish Wars when Nero declared hell on earth to the Christians and eventually the Jews.

So when we read of the greatest tribulation, it must be read in context. Of course there may have been more Jews dying, the period longer.

But the Germans did not bring about the disappearance of a nation. Israel disappeared after AD70. Jews spread all over the world. They lost their homeland.

It could have lasted as long as that of the Nazi holocaust. However remember what Jesus said.

Matthew 24:22
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Personally. This are my thoughts.

The tribulation is called the great tribulation not because it was a global one or that many people died. It was great because it ended the Old Covenant.

It was the greatest because people were ushered into the New Covenant of grace. It brought an end to the
Old Jerusalem and made us temples of the New Jerusalem.

Peace.

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