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The Olivet Discourse

    

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 103

January 17, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 1

The Olivet Discourse by Jesus is found in Luke, Mark, and Matthew. I have read hundreds of expositions of the discourse by many different men. I can truthfully say, without reservations or hesitation, that many positions are held on the discourse and wide differences do indeed exist between them. Some believe it was all fulfilled by 70 A.D., some say most of it was fulfilled by 70 A.D., and some say most of it is yet to be fulfilled. Some say it only applies to the Jews, and some say it applies to both Jew and Gentile. In this exposition I will attempt to weave a pattern based on all three discourses, with the account of Luke serving as the basic document to explain Matthew and Mark’s accounts.

Matthew 24:1, 2 – And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. [2] And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

His statement shocked the first church members to the depths of their souls. They had been required from their teens to annually come to this temple for the three Feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. It represented all that was holy to them, and many times they had met as a local church in its courtyards to worship God in the presence of their head, Jesus Christ. So, it is very easy to understand why, as soon as they were alone, they would be certain to ask him to elaborate on his shocking proclamation. They asked him a three-part question.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Question Number 1 – When shall these things be? When will the temple be leveled?

Question Number 2 – And what shall be the sign of thy coming? What things can we look for to let us know that you are soon to establish your kingdom?

Question Number 3 – And what shall be the sign of the end of the world (this age)? What things can we look for to let us know this age of Gentile domination is drawing to a close?

Christ began by telling them of two common things that would precede the leveling of the Temple Mount. They were to see many claiming to be the Messiah who could deliver them from the Romans, and there would be many rumors of wars within, and all around the periphery of, the borders of the great Roman Empire. This is precisely what happened from his crucifixion to 135 A.D., by which time Hadrian had placed the final touches on the prior leveling of the Temple Mount and the city of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.

Matthew 24:4-6 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [6] And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, BUT THE END IS NOT YET.

Mark 13:7 – And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; BUT THE END SHALL NOT BE YET.

Luke 21:9 – But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; BUT THE END IS NOT BY AND BY.

Jesus clearly told them not to use these two things as the signs that were to mark his answers to questions two and three. These things would mark the period up to the last gasp of Jerusalem as a Jewish city, when it was given a new Roman name by Hadrian. Referring to question three, he stated very clearly: “but the end (of the age) is not yet, but the end (of the age) shall not be yet, but the end (of the age) is not by and by.” And even though he told them, and us, not to use these two things to mark his coming and the end of this age of the Gentiles, they are the very things we have repeatedly used right up to the present time. We have always had false messiahs and rumors of wars in all the ages since the cross and, while Scripture indicates false messiahs are to increase in the last times, they should not be used to teach that the coming of Jesus and the end of this Gentile age is rapidly approaching. So, just what should we use? I will cover this in the next article, Lord willing.


 

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 104

January 24, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 2

In Part 1, an exposition of Matthew 24:1-6, Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 was given. The exposition revealed that the disciples asked Jesus three specific questions involving events associated with the establishment of his kingdom on the earth. They were: (1) When will Herod’s temple be leveled?, (2) What things can we look for to let us know your kingdom is soon going to be established?, and (3) What things can we look for to let us know the present age of Gentile domination is drawing to a close? He began by first addressing the signs that would precede the leveling of the temple of Herod. He stated in Matthew 24:5,6, Mark 13:6,7, and Luke 21:8,9 that two things could be expected to draw their attention before the destruction of Herod’s temple: (1) Many would come claiming to be the promised Messiah, and (2) There would be many wars throughout the Roman empire, both internal, and around the vast expanse of its long borders. History confirms that is precisely what happened during the time frame before the destruction of the temple. Jesus was very clear in his instructions for them to NOT use these two things as the signs that would precede the other two questions they had asked, as he stated: “but the end (of the age) is not yet, but the end (of the age) shall not be yet, but the end (of the age) is not by and by.” So, having given them a partial answer to question one, which he will answer more completely later in the discourse, he launches into his answer to question two. How can I be sure he starts a new discourse in the next verse?

Luke 21:9, 10 – But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. [10] THEN SAID HE unto them, Nation shall RISE AGAINST nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

The English words “THEN SAID HE” are “TOTE ELEGEN.” TOTE ELEGEN points to a new beginning in discourse, which has the effect of dissociating the repeated mention of the previous disturbances (From the Expositor’s Greek Testament, Volume 1, Edited by W. Robertson Nicoll, M.A., LL.D.) Simply stated, it amounted to Jesus saying, now that I have told you what would precede the temple destruction, I will answer your second question, the question “And what shall be the sign of thy coming,” or “What things can we look for to let us know you are soon to establish your kingdom?”

It is very tempting, and only natural, to assume that the “wars” predicted in Luke 21:9, and “Nation shall rise against Nation” in 21:10, are one and the same, but I assure you, that is not the case for three reasons. First, to begin the new discourse, he says “TOTE ELEGEN.” Secondly, he has just advised them not to use “wars and commotions” except for a sign the temple was about to be leveled. And, last of all, because of the two Koine Greek words translated as “RISE” and “AGAINST.”

The root word used for RISE is EGEIRO, and it means to come to life, to rise from sleep, or to come into existence. It is used in the phrases taken from the following Scriptures.

Matthew 14:2 – He is RISEN from the dead.

Matthew 16:21 – And be RAISED again the third day.

Matthew 27:52 – And many bodies of the saints which slept AROSE.

Matthew 27:63 – After three days I will RISE again.

Matthew 27:64 – He is RISEN from the dead.

Matthew 28:6 – He is not here: for he is RISEN, as he said.

Matthew 3:9 – God is able of these stones to RAISE up children unto Abraham.

The word used for AGAINST is EPI, and it simply means “UPON” or “ON.” One of the first things I learned in seminary was the use of the Greek prepositions. They were all placed in positions relative to a cube, and the position of EPI was “ON” or “UPON” the top pf the cube. If a thing is “UPON” another thing, it is certainly resting “AGAINST” it, but the inference that the two objects are fighting “AGAINST” one another is not valid. EPI in the New Testament in the accusative is translated as UPON or ON some 219 times, as opposed to 33 times for AGAINST. Jesus would not advise them to disregard wars as a sign of his coming in one breath, and then tell them to do the opposite in the next, and indeed he did not, because he used TOTE ELEGEN to mark the beginning of a new discourse. He is answering the second question in verse 10, and advises that shortly before his second coming many new nations would come to life, rising one upon another, and ever increasing in number. Before the Great War I, the world consisted of vast colonial empires, and very few individual nations existed. Shortly before World War II, and much more rapidly after Japan’s surrender, new nations began to come to life like weeds across the earth, rising in number one upon another with the end of the colonial empires. When the United Nations began in 1945, some 51 nations became charter members. By 1989, as new nations were born one upon another, it had more than tripled to 160, and now the number of nations on the earth has reached 200. False Messiahs rose before Jesus, were here in the lifetime of Jesus, and have been numerous up to the present. There have been 24 that presented themselves to the nation of Israel since the crucifixion. I realize that in the last days they are to increase in number, but they have always been with us. Also, the worldwide wars and commotions reached an all-time record high of 25 in 1987, but have steadily declined since the drop in communist influence in the developing countries. I tracked war declines until 1993, at which time worldwide wars had declined to 10, but the number of nations has been steadily increasing since the end of World War I. The “EPI” in the Olivet discourse applies to nation rising upon nation as they increase in number, not to an increase in the number of wars.

Lord willing, in Part 3, I will be giving additional proof of what has been put forward in this article. So if you have reservations about the conclusions drawn in this article, hold your fire until you read Part 3.


 

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 105

January 31, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 3

In Part I, an exposition of Matthew 24:1-6, Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 was given. In Part 2, a thorough exposition of Luke 21:10 was given as it related to its disassociation from 21:9, because by the use of “tote elegen” for “then said he,” it indicated that a new subject was being introduced, so that the “wars” of verse 9 are not related to “nation shall rise against nation” in verse 10.

Luke 21:9, 10 – But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. [10] Then said he (tote elegen) unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

In Part 2, a case was made to show the root word “egeiro,” translated as “rise” in verse 10, means to “come to life, to rise from sleep, or to come into existence.” And I showed numerous Scriptures where it was used in order to make that point. A case was also made to show that the word “against” is “epi,” and that its basic meaning is “on” or “upon.” So the claim was made that “Nation shall rise (egeiro) against (epi) does not in any way refer to war, but rather the ever increasing number of nations that have come to life in the last 53 years, rising one upon another from the 51 charter members of the United Nations in 1945 to 160 by 1989, and now at 200 in 2003. Nothing like this has ever happened in history. But I promised, at the close of part 2, to provide additional proof that “Nation shall rise against nation” does not refer to increasing wars, but rather to an increasing rise in the number of new nations every coming to life, and raising one upon another. And I will proceed to present additional proof at this time.

Immediately after Matthew and Mark list the signs that give the answer to the second question they asked him, which was, “And what shall be the sign of thy coming,” Jesus gives the general name for the four things he has listed in the expression, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Matthew 24:7, 8 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diver’s places. [8] All these are the beginning of SORROWS (ODIN).

The God-Breathed word for SORROWS is ODIN. You may look in any Greek Lexicon from any time period, and you will always find this listed centrally as the definition for ODIN – “The pains a woman suffers in the travail of childbirth, a woman’s birth pains.” The disciples knew quite well what ODIN meant. When the Olivet Discourse was written, they had no hospitals, no painkillers, and midwives delivered the babies. If a baby was lodged sideways in the womb, no one knew how to remove the baby through the stomach, and the mother and child died. The pain of normal childbirth is painful enough, but these men had listened to the shrill dying cries of women that traveled for great distances. They knew what ODIN meant. When true labor pains begin, the first pain hurts, but the next hurts a little more, the next more and closer to its precedent, and harder and closer, and harder and closer, and harder and closer, until finally the baby arrives. This is the manner the occurrence of the four things he listed as SORROWS would follow as signs his second coming was drawing near.

The four things he associated with the “sorrows” that are to be signs that his coming is drawing near are: (1) Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, (2) Earthquakes, (3) Pestilences, and (4) Famines.

Luke 21:10, 11 - Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Luke did not refer to them as the “beginning of sorrows” because he added “fearful sights and great signs,” which are not a part of the time of sorrows, but rather a part of Christ’s answer to the third question. They will mark the end of the world (the Gentile age), and are associated with the 2nd Advent of Christ at Armageddon. I will be showing why this is the case in future expositions of the Olivet Discourse.

The number of new nations coming to life, and rising one upon another, started to increase like a woman’s birth pains at the end of World War II. Earthquakes started to follow the birth pains pattern in 1967. The pestilences began to follow the pattern in 1980. Famines began to follow the pattern in the early eighties, and dramatically increased after 1993. I will deal with each one of these separately, Lord willing, in future parts of the Olivet Discourse, but Part 4 will deal with Luke 21:12 to 17, and I promise you will find it interesting.

   
   

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 106

February 7, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 4

In Parts 1 through 3, an exposition was given that covered Mark 13:1-8, Matthew 24:1-8, and Luke 21:5-11. It was established that Luke 21:10,11 referred to the second question that the disciples had asked Jesus about coming events in Matthew 24:3, that being “and what shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Luke 21:10, 11 – Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

It was established in Parts 1 through 3 that this verse contains four signs that will be occurring before Christ returns for the saved. Now, please note carefully the first four words in the verse that follows Luke 21:11.

Luke 21:12 – BUT BEFORE ALL THESE, they shall lay their hands on YOU, and persecute YOU, delivering YOU up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

Jesus returns to answering the disciple’s first question, “when shall these things be,” that is to say, when will the temple be leveled?” He had given them two things already that would be occurring in Luke 21:8, 9 during their lifetimes before the temple was finally leveled. Then he changed the discourse in Luke 21:10 by using TOTE ELEGON (Then said he), and gave them the answer to their second question regarding his coming. But in verse 12 he goes back to answering their first question, and begins to tell them what is going to happen to them personally before the temple is leveled. He literally tells them, BUT BEFORE ALL THESE, that is to say, BEFORE THESE THINGS I JUST TOLD YOU THAT WOULD BE OCCURRING AS SIGNS TO LET YOU KNOW MY COMING IS NEAR, HERE IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU AS MY DISCIPLES. And what he states in Luke 21:12 to 17 is precisely what did happen to them to fulfill this prophecy, and thereby answer their first question. This is not the first time Jesus had warned them what would be happening to them after his departure. He had warned them before he ever sent them out alone on their first assignment in Matthew 10:17-22. Let’s compare this with Luke 21:12 to 17.

Matthew 10:17-22 – But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their SYNAGOGUES; [18] And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. [19] But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. [20] For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. [21] And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. [22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:

Luke 21:12-17 – But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the SYNAGOGUES, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. [13] And it shall turn to you for a testimony. [14] Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: [15] For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. [16] And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. [17] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

Luke 21:12-17 was fulfilled during the lives of the disciples right up to the leveling of Herod’s temple in 70 A.D. The account of their persecution is vividly portrayed in the book of Acts. It is precisely what Jesus foretold would happen to them long before the increase of the number of nations, earthquakes, famines, and pestilences. To those who believe Luke 21:12-17 has yet to be fulfilled, please note that the subjects of these verses are delivered up to SYNAGOGUES, and I have yet to read a commentary indicating that today’s believers are going to be carried by Jews to be tried in their synagogues. They will be under more persecution than true believers in the tribulation period.

The answer to question number 1 has already been fulfilled, and I will continue to elaborate on it, and on question 2, in Part 5.



PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 107

February 14, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 5

In parts 1 through 4, an exposition was given that covered Mark 13:1-8, Matthew 24:1-8, and Luke 21:5-17. Part 4 completed Luke 21:12-17 as an answer to the first of three questions the disciples asked Jesus, which are found in Matthew 24:3, the first question being, “when shall these things be?” They wanted to know what signs would be occurring from that time until the temple was leveled.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Part 4 ended with Luke 21:17, so Part 5 will continue to answer this first question, beginning with Luke 21:18, which we know cannot be referring to physical hair, because of Luke 21:16.

Luke 21:16 – And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

If some of them were to be put to death, then Luke 21:18 must refer to an application of the maintenance of their spiritual being.

Luke 21:18 – But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

After having advised the disciples of all the trials and tribulations they were going to experience before the temple was leveled in 21:12-17, he then assures them they will not be separated from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Even the smallest part of each one of them would forever be preserved, even down to their hair follicles.

Romans 8:36-39 – As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He had advised them earlier not to be afraid of those who could kill their bodies, but to fear God who was the keeper of their souls. He also told them that they were much more valuable than the smallest of creatures offered in temple sacrifices, the sparrow. And since he kept track of even the smallest sacrifice offered they, being more valuable, would have their souls preserved through all tribulations by his power. And, even if they suffered physical death, not one spiritual hair of their being would ever be forgotten or forsaken.

Luke 12:4-8 - I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. [5] But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. [6] Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? [7] But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. [8] Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:

All but Judas had repented of their sins, and confessed him as Messiah, so he assured them that not one of them, who would go through this time of great testing, would have his soul perish from his presence.

II Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

He then tells them, in essence and in context, in your endurance of all the trials I have just described, let your faith in me take possession, or take control, of your souls. Let your born again Spirit control your soul, in patient endurance, through all these trials

Luke 21:19 – In your PATIENCE POSSESS ye your SOULS.

The word used for PATIENCE is HEPOMONE, which means the act of ENDURANCE. POSSESS is KTAOMAI. SOULS is PSUCHE, which is frequently translated as LIFE. In their ENDURANCE, through all these trials, they were to spiritually POSSESS their souls. This is the process of spiritual growth in faith by a soul kept by God, as it grows by the trials it endures – more on this in Part 6.



PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 108

February 21, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 6

Part 5 ended with a promise to continue the exposition of the answer that Jesus gave his disciples, concerning the events that they would personally experience from the time they asked the question, until the actual leveling of the temple mount. It was a time period of some 40 years, and the book of Acts validates that all the things found in Luke 21:12-19, did indeed come to pass exactly as Jesus had predicted.

Luke 21:19 – In your PATIENCE POSSESS ye your SOULS.

The word used for PATIENCE is HEPOMONE, which means “the act of ENDURANCE.” It is through trials and tribulation that our faith grows, and a growing faith is one in which the SOUL learns more and more to following the direction of the Spirit of Christ, which dwells alongside it to make up the heart of a saved man or woman. The word HEPOMONE is translated as ENDURE in II Thessalonians 1:4.

II Thessalonians 1:3-5 – We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; [4] So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye ENDURE: [5] Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted WORTHY of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

This is the process of spiritual growth in faith by a SOUL kept by God, as it grows by the trials it ENDURES.

I Peter 1:5-7 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

By ENDURING through the trials and tests of the period up to the time of their physical deaths, or the leveling of the temple mount, they were to POSSESS, or gain control, of their saved souls by faith through the spirit in the promises Christ had made them. This would assure them of the reward of the crown of life at the appearing of Jesus Christ. The word HEPOMONE is also translated as ENDURETH in James 1:12.

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man that ENDURETH temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

The word KTAOMAI is used for POSSESS in Luke 21:19, and it is also used for POSSESS in I Thessalonians 4:4.

I Thessalonians 4:2-4 – For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. [3] For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: [4] That every one of you should know how to POSSESS his vessel in sanctification and honor;

Here, the word POSSESS is used to refer to the post-salvation spiritual growth by a SOUL eternally kept by God as it grows through the trials it ENDURES. It is to gain control of its vessel, its physical body, in the abstaining from immoral acts in it, through obeying the Spirit of Christ that dwells alongside it in the body. Likewise, in Luke 21:19, in the disciple’s ENDURANCE through all the trials of 21:12 to 18, they were to practice the same thing. They were to spiritually grow by the trials and tests they experienced, gaining more and more control of their flesh through their souls growing confidence in Christ, who indwelled them.

The word for SOULS is PSUCHE, and PSUCHE is quite often translated as LIFE. That is the case in the following verses, which refer not to the new birth experience of the SOUL, or LIFE, but to the post-salvation acts of it. My SOUL is saved, and is definitely going to heaven. But I have a LIFE to live in my present LIFE. If I do not live it for Christ, I do not lose my salvation, but I do lose all the rewards I could have received, had I lived it by ENDURING in the faith.

Luke 9:23,24 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [24] For whosoever will save his LIFE shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his LIFE for my sake, the same shall save it.

If the disciples had saved their physical lives by denying him in failing to ENDURE through the trials before the leveling of the temple, they would have lost the rewards they had waiting for them. But if they ENDURED, they would be rewarded for having POSSESSED their SOULS during their time of testing.

Lord willing, I will continue beginning with Luke 17:20 in Part 7.



PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 109

February 28, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 7

In Parts 1 through 6, an exposition was given that covered Mark 13:1-8, Matthew 24:1-8, and Luke 21:5 to 19. Part 6 completed Luke 21:12-19 as an answer to the first of three questions the disciples asked Jesus, which are found in Matthew 24:3, the first question being, “when shall these things be?” They wanted to know what signs would be occurring from that time until the temple was leveled.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Part 6 ended with the exposition of Luke 21:19, so Part 7 will continue to answer this first question, beginning with Luke 21:20.

Luke 21:20 – And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

There were actually two surroundings of Jerusalem by Roman troops in the Jewish War. The first occurred in response to Menahem’s breaking open of Herod’s armory on Masada, after which he quickly distributed its weaponry to his fellow Jerusalem citizens and the wilderness bandits of Masada. The events that transpired after that are fully described in the account of the JEWISH WARS by Josephus, the great historian of the time. All of this culminated in the slaughter of the Jewish colony in Caesarea, capital city of the Governor, with more than 20,000 suffering death in the brutal slaughter. This event marked the true beginning of the Jewish War. The Jews, in response to this carnage, began their war against Rome. The Roman general Cestius Gallas was commissioned by Rome to put down the Jewish rebellion. He enjoyed great success in city after city, until he came to Jerusalem. After having put down the rebellion in areas north and west of Jerusalem, he came to set up his camp in a place called Gibeon, six miles from Jerusalem. Eventually, after several skirmishes, Cestius surrounded Jerusalem, and set his camp headquarters on Mt. Scopus. His troops kept the city surrounded for some time, thinking the Jews would surrender. Then, and even today, military strategists are amazed he did not attack the city, rather than surrounding it for some time. They say he could have almost walked into the city and the Jews would have capitulated. But suddenly he withdrew from around the city and headed north. When the Jews saw this, they took courage, and viciously attacked the rear flanks of his retreating army. The Jewish losses were negligible, but the Romans and their allies lost 5,300 infantrymen and 480 cavalrymen to death. The surrounding of the city, and the battle, occurred in 66 A.D., and incurred the wrath of the Emperor of Rome. Nero dispatched the Roman general Vespasian to Israel to put down the Jewish rebellion. Vespasian’s march across Syria and northern Israel is not pertinent to this exposition, so I will not list its events. He eventually smashed Jericho and all the smaller cities around Jerusalem, and would have gone against Jerusalem, but was recalled to Rome and declared Emperor in 69 A.D., leaving his son Titus in change of the Roman legions in Israel. Titus surrounded Jerusalem, and began his siege against it in March of 70 A.D., capturing the Fortress Antonia in July, firing Herod’s Temple in August, and desolating the entire city in September. The desolations of the Jewish War ended with Mesada’s fall to the Romans in 73 A.D., which had been in Jewish hands since being conquered in 66 A.D. by insurgents. So, when Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D., Vaspasian was the Emperor of Rome and his son Titus, as a Prince of Rome, came in like a flood and desolated the city, and until the end of the war desolations continued across southern Israel.

Luke 21:21 – Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

After the first surrounding of Jerusalem by Cestius, Josephus indicates that “many of the most imminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink.” It is quite likely that many believers left the city when he withdrew, and never returned, taking it as a fulfillment of the warning in Luke 21:20. When Titus came some four years later to surround it for the second time, some have written that very few believers were to be found in the city, since they believed the first surrounding was the sign of warning the city would soon be made desolate. However, since the siege began at the time of Passover, few believers would have been in the city. But there is no question that after Jerusalem was surrounded by Titus, it was made desolate some seven months later, and I am convinced this is the desolation that Jesus spoke of in Luke 21:20. In modern day terminology they were advised “to get out o’ town and head fo de hills, and don’t u’ cum bak no moe, no moe.”

       
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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 110

March 7, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 8

In Parts 1 through 7, and exposition was given that covered Mark 13:1-8, Matthew 24:1-8, and Luke 21:5-19. Part 7 completed Luke 21:12-21 as an answer to the first of three questions the disciples asked Jesus, which are found in Matthew 24:3, the first question being, “when shall these things be?” They wanted to know what signs would be occurring from that time until the temple was leveled.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Part 7 ended with Jerusalem compassed about and placed under siege by the armies of Titus, son of the Emperor Vespasian, and a Prince of Rome.

Since I have already fully exposited on Luke 21:21, we will begin Part 8 with an exposition of 21:22.

Luke 21:22

(22) For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke is not referring to all things concerning all written prophecy up to the final heaven age. He is referring to all the things the prophets wrote concerning the context of what he had just written in Luke 21:12-22, which consisted of the events leading up to, and the actual desolation of, the old city of Jerusalem itself. Israel and Jerusalem would not listen to what the prophets said or wrote. The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 23:30-32 states that were indeed the children of their Fathers who killed the prophets, and in 23:36-38 boldly says the punishment of Israel and the city of Jerusalem would come on that present generation. And in the latter years of that generation it came precisely as Jesus had stated.

Matthew 23:30-32 – And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. [31] Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. [32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Matthew 23:36-38 – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

These were indeed the days of vengeance from 66 A.D. to 73 A.D.! What went on during the siege of Jerusalem is well documented by the great Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, but Jesus stated it very plainly in two different sections of Luke.

Luke 21:23 – But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Luke 23:27-30 – And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. [28] But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. [29] For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. [30] Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

The information following was taken from the writings of Josephus, and describes the distress brought upon them, especially upon the elderly, and those women carrying or raising small children.

“Thus it was that wives robbed their husbands, children their fathers, and – most horrible of all – mother’s their babies, snatching the food out of their very mouths; and when their dearest ones were dying in their arms, they did not hesitate to deprive them of the morsels that might have kept them alive.” “They showed not pity for gray hairs or helpless babyhood, but picked up the children as they clung to their precious bits and dashed them upon the floor.” “If they had flesh on their bones they were deemed to have plenty of stores; if they were already reduced to skeletons they were passed over, since they were certain to die of famine in a short while.” “With dry eyes and grinning mouths those who were slow to die watched those whose end came sooner.” Starvation and acts of cannibalism went hand in hand within the city.

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 111

March 14, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 9

Luke 21:24 – And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Part 8 ended with the city of Jerusalem under siege in a horrible state of butchery, pestilence, and starvation, and on the verge of being overrun by the army of the Roman Prince Titus. The siege had lasted some seven months. It began in March of 70 A.D., the first two walls were captured in May, the Fortress Antonia in July, the temple was fired in August, and the city was desolated in September. The generation of the cross did not pass before it happened, exactly as Jesus had stated earlier in the Olive Discourse, in Matthew 23:36-38. The temple Jesus rendered spiritually desolate on the cross, was made physically desolate by Titus in 70 A.D.

Matthew 23:36-38 – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Josephus describes the final onslaught of the Romans, when they came into the city like a flood, as a great wave of sheer horror: “They poured into the streets sword in hand, cut down without mercy all within reach, and burnt the houses of any who took refuge indoors, occupants and all. Many they raided, and as they entered in search of plunder they found whole families dead and rooms full of the victims of starvation. Horrified by the sight, they immerged empty handed. They ran every man through whom they met and blocked the narrow streets with corpses, deluging the whole city with gore, with some of the fires being quenched by the blood of the slain. At dusk the slaughter ceased as the fire gained the mastery, and when the sun rose over Jerusalem it was all in flames.” And it was all because they did not know Christ’s time of visitation as their Messiah.

Luke 19:41-44 – And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, [42] Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. [43] For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, [44] And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

During the siege, 1,100,000 Jews perished by the sword, pestilence, and famine. Some 97,000 were taken captive, most of which were sold off as slaves across the world of the Roman Empire. Jerusalem was trodden down under the control of many different Gentile (non-Jewish) nations continuously until June of 1967. In 1967 the Israeli army took it back from the Jordanians, and for the first time in almost 1900 years it was militarily in the hands of Israel. It will remain under control of the Israeli military until the Gentiles retake it to begin the fulfillment of Revelation 11:2, after which it will once again be under the control of Gentiles for 42 months (1260 days), but “the fullness” of the Gentile Age of Romans 11:25 will then come in to close out the 42nd month.

Revelation 11:2 – But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Romans 11:25 – I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

The “times of the Gentiles” for Old Jerusalem, and its Temple Mount, were fulfilled in June of 1967. But the “fullness of the Gentiles” is still to come in, and refers to the absolute end of the Gentile Age, at which time all of Israel is grafted back into God’s Olive tree for Christ’s reign.

I believe the following events represent the pattern that began in 1967, which will end at the end of the tribulation period.

1. Jerusalem and its Temple Mount were captured in June of 1967.

2. Jerusalem and its Temple Mount will fall to the Gentiles. I believe this “may” happen between 2004 and 2008.

3. Forty-two months after it falls to the Gentiles, the Israelis will take it back as the fullness of the Gentile Age comes in to end the period of tribulation, and Israel is restored to power.

 

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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 112

March 22, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 10

In Parts 2 and 3 it was established that Luke 21:10,11 is the answer Jesus gave his disciples to their second question in Matthew 24:3, the question being “and what shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Matthew also provides the answer in Matthew 24:7,8, and calls the events in it “the beginning of sorrows,” but Luke does not? Why?

Matthew 24:7,8 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Luke 21:10,11 – Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Luke does not call it “the beginning of sorrows” because he adds “fearful sights and great signs,” and they are not to occur in this time period, but rather in the time of the answer to the third question. And the third question was what shall be the sign “of the end of the world (age)?” You can see this by linking these two signs from Luke 21:11 with 21:25.

Luke 21:11 – And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Luke 21:25 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

In Luke 21:8,9 and 12-24 Christ answers the first question, “when shall these things be,” or what signs will occur before the temple’s leveling? In the last part of verse 24 he tells the disciples what will happen to the Jews after the temple is leveled until the times of the Gentiles for Jerusalem are fulfilled. This period was from 70 A.D. to 1967. We are now waiting for the “fullness” of the Gentiles to come in (Romans 11:25) at the 2nd Advent of Christ. Luke 21:12-24 has already been fulfilled. We are now waiting for Luke 21:25-27 to be fulfilled.

Luke 21:8,9 – And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. [9] But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Luke 21:12-24 – But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. [13] And it shall turn to you for a testimony. [14] Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: [15] For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. [16] And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. [17] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. [18] But there shall not an hair of your head perish. [19] In your patience possess ye your souls. [20] And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. [21] Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. [22] For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. [23] But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. [24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

In Luke 21:10,11 Christ answers the second question, “and what shall be the sign of thy coming?”

Luke 21:10,11 – Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: [11] And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

In Luke 21:25-27 Christ answers the third question, and what shall be the sign “of the end of the world (age)?”

Luke 21:25-27 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

  
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PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 113

March 28, 2003

The Olivet Discourse

Part 11

Luke 21:24 – And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

The prophecy, concerning “the times of the Gentiles” in Luke 24:21, applies specifically to the city of Jerusalem, and its Temple. And, indeed, the city and temple were “trodden down of the Gentiles” until June of 1967. However, the prophecy in Romans 11:25, concerning the “fullness of the Gentiles” coming in, refers to the absolute end of the Gentile age, at which time the entire nation of Israel will be grafted back into God’s olive tree. This will not be accomplished until Jesus returns with the saints to end the tribulation period, and begins his millennial reign.

Romans 11:23-25 – And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. [24] For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? [25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

This is the time of Christ’s coming to end the battle of Armageddon, and to bring in his kingdom, which is promised to be the place of inheritance for the saints in Daniel 7:14,15,18.

Daniel 7:13,14,18 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. [18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Jesus finished the answer to the first two questions of Matthew 24:3 in his discourse in Luke 21:8-24.

Matthew 24:3 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

In Luke 21:25,26 Jesus answers the third question, what signs will mark the time when the kingdom comes to end this world (age) and bring in your reign over all nations?

Luke 21:25,26 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

This answer is tied to the beginning of the last 1260 days of tribulation, which I believe is found in Revelation 6:12-15, and gives an overview of all that will happen during the last three and one-half before Jesus comes to end the tribulation period.

Revelation 6:12-17 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Then, in Luke 21:27,28 Jesus comes with the saints to end the age and bring in his Kingdom. And he closes with advice to all believers.

Luke 21:27,28 – And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.