There are three common theories out there which different people use to interpret Revelation and the prophecies contained therein. But which one
is right? Can we be certain about which is the correct way to interpret end time Bible prophecy? We can. But many people will try and tell you
that it doesn't matter HOW you interpret Revelation, as long as you 'believe in Jesus'. Well if that is the case, then we may aswell throw out
large chunks of the Bible. But we know that ALL scripture is given for a reason and it has been given 'by divine inspiration' .... so that we
may know the TRUTH, as Jesus said, 'the truth shall set you free'.
PRETERISM - This is the belief that the apostle John wrote Revelation as a book containing a very brief view of history, describing events that would end by AD 70, with
the destruction of Jerusalem. People who hold to this view believe John is describing the challenges of the early church in overcoming the
Antichrist power of pagan Rome and the influence of Judaism.
Now the problem with this view is it teaches that God has had no prophetic message for His people during the past 2000 years, and still has no
message for His people today living in the last days, even though we are living in a more spiritually perilous time than ever before! And the fact
that the last couple of chapters of Revelation describe the second coming and New Jerusalem throws this view into doubt straight away.
Also, what about the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. The prophecies in this book span from
Daniel's day until the second coming of Christ described in Daniel 12. So are we to believe that Daniel would give a continuous prophetic
message for God's people all throughout history until the end, but Revelation would only give us a VERY SHORT message that ended in AD70? This
just doesn't make sense.
FUTURISM - This is the belief that John wrote primarily about events that have yet to occur, even in our day. Including the future rise
of the Antichrist. Futurism is the interpretation put forth by the popular Left Behind series and is supported by the majority of mainstream
Protestant Christians. Interestingly, this theory was first put forth by a Roman Catholic Jesuit, Francisco Ribera in the late 1500's. And there
is very good reason for this view to come about. And that is because of the great Protestant reformation just beginning in the 1500's, which exposed the
Papal Church of Rome as the main Bible antichrist system. So this theory of futurism was invented by the Jesuits to divert people's minds from
seeing that the Roman Church is the antichrist and that great whore which Revelation describes. Preterism also does the same job and was invented
for the same reason.
Now one of the problems with this view is similar to the problem with Preterism. This view teaches that God had no prophetic message for His people
during the past 2000 years! And that Revelation covers only a small portion of time, during the very end. Whereas Preterism teaches that it covers
a very small portion of time during the beginning of the church. Now again, we can throw this view into doubt with the fact that the seven letters
to the churches at the beginning of Revelation were letters to the churches in John's day. Also, look at the amazing events that have happened during the past 2000 years:
1. The birth of a Paganized Christianity through Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church. 2. The time of spiritual darkness during the dark ages
where the Papacy locked away the scriptures. 3. The awful Papal inquisitions which saw millions of God's true people tortured and murdered by the
Roman Church. 4. And the rise of the great Protestant reformation. Now according to the above two views of Preterism and Futurism. God did not
give any prophetic message to His people about these massive events! Sorry, but that just does not make sense at all.
HISTORICISM - This is the belief that John was writing future history as it would unfold from his day to the end of time, detailing
the events of the church and major world powers all the way through to the second coming of Christ. Interestingly, this is the view that most
of the great Protestant reformers used in their teachings.
Now while each of the above views all have their arguments, only one is logically and spiritually consistent, and that is the HISTORICISM view.
Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Spurgeon all held to the historicism view and they all (including many other reformers) believed that the antichrist
had already risen back in their day (Roman Catholic Church).
Think about it. How could we come to any logical conclusion with the identity of the beasts and the whore without any historical evidence to back
up the descriptions found in Revelation? That is the only way to truly identify them.
Have a good think about this also. We know for a FACT that Revelation begins describing the early church in John's day with the seven letters to
the churches from Christ Jesus. These letters would have had a literal application to the churches back then. And we know for a FACT that Revelation
ends with the second coming of Christ Jesus and the description of the New Jerusalem. So what about everything in between? Basic logic tells us
that this would include the past 2000 years of history. Do you see this? Revelation begins with the early church and ends with the second coming.
So the prophecies in between HAVE to apply to the time in between, making the historicism view the correct one.