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  • Question about the Olivet Discourse

    Most people consider that part, if not most, of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 relates to future events. Having studied the view that this passage was fulfilled in AD 70 with the armies of Rome destroying Jerusalem, I am quite curious how people can believe that this is describing future events. Although I have been programmed since I've been a young child to believe this describes exclusively future events, and although I would be more comfortable with that being the case, I feel like an AD 70 fulfillment is the best reading of the text that does justice to what the authors believed.

    Here's my question - when we read the Bible, we should do so using the Historical-Grammatical method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...matical_method). This basically means we try to understand the author's intended meaning of a text and rely on the plain meaning of the words to dictate the meaning of the passage. So when we read the Olivet Discourse (and the parallel discourses in Mark and Luke), how can someone distinguish between what is future and what is past without violating commonsense hermenutics?

    For example, most Christians would say there are numerous jumps in the text and that Jesus alternates between audiences. In their reading of the text, several questions are asked about the destruction of the temple as Jesus and the disciples are walking there. After that, Jesus then proceeds to talk about a date thousands of years in the future that is unrelated to the question.

    In Luke 21, this is even more pronounced:
    verses 5-6 describe the destruction of the temple,
    verse 7 introducing a question about the temple
    verses 8-19 describing the end times
    verses 20-24 go back to the temple (although they aren't applied to the destruction of the temple in Mark 13 and Matthew 24, despite using the same wording)
    verses 25-36 jump to the end times

    So basically, what interpretive principles can we use to determine which are in the future, and which are not? What is the key to unlocking NT prophecy?
    Last edited by decrumpit; Jul 14th 2013, 01:33 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

    Sounds like a good topic of discussion.
    Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

      The key to this is the bible itself and not our imaginations. The bible is a whole and has synergy because it is the mind of one author. For example the phrase the tribes of the earth will see him sounds at first blush to be the whole earth, but if we look to joels prophesy, we will see the tribes of the earth is Israel. Even if we go to the word for world it csn be a geographical area or the whole world.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

        Originally posted by decrumpit View Post
        Most people consider that part, if not most, of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 relates to future events. Having studied the view that this passage was fulfilled in AD 70 with the armies of Rome destroying Jerusalem, I am quite curious how people can believe that this future. Although I have been programmed since I've been a young child to believe this describes exclusively future events, and although I would be more comfortable with that being the case, I feel like an AD 70 fulfillment is the best reading of the text that does justice to what the authors believed.

        Here's my question - when we read the Bible, we should do so using the Historical-Grammatical method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histori...matical_method). This basically means we try to understand the author's intended meaning of a text and rely on the plain meaning of the words to dictate the meaning of the passage. So when we read the Olivet Discourse (and the parallel discourses in Mark and Luke), how can someone distinguish between what is future and what is past without violating commonsense hermenutics?

        For example, most Christians would say there are numerous jumps in the text and that Jesus alternates between audiences. In their reading of the text, several questions are asked about the destruction of the temple as Jesus and the disciples are walking there. After that, Jesus then proceeds to talk about a date thousands of years in the future that is unrelated to the question.

        In Luke 21, this is even more pronounced:
        verses 5-6 describe the destruction of the temple,
        verse 7 introducing a question about the temple
        verses 8-19 describing the end times
        verses 20-24 go back to the temple (although they aren't applied to the destruction of the temple in Mark 13 and Matthew 24, despite using the same wording)
        verses 25-36 jump to the end times

        So basically, what interpretive principles can we use to determine which are in the future, and which are not? What is the key to unlocking NT prophecy?
        How can we know whether any prophecy has already occurred or not as ALL Biblical prophecy was written in the past? This is what your question boils down to.
        There are two indicators:
        The first is within the text which points to specific people, places and times.
        The second is external to the text and points to history. As prophecy is speaking of real historical events - either future events to come or past events that have happened - we are required to see what things we are told will occur related to that prophetic event.

        Matt 24 is such an event and many on this forum tie it into Luke 21. Now the problem I have with that, which has been discussed on a different thread, is that the chronology as described in Luke 21 is different to that described in Matt 24.
        By itself this isn't a problem if the two descriptions can be tied together in some way. For example if I see a robbery and described a robber wearing blue going into the bank and you see the robbery and describe a robber wearing red coming out of the bank then we must determine was it the same place, the same time, were there two robbers etc.

        For me it is clear that Matt 24 describes and connects events differently to Luke 21. Matt 24 ties in the event with Jesus return. IOW Jesus returns at the end of what occurs. Luke 21 however ties in the event with the trampling of Jerusalem. this lasts until the end of the time of the Gentiles. So Jesus doesn't return at the end of what is described.

        Thus we can clearly see from internal evidence that the two descriptions, though both given on the Mount Of Olives and about the same location, are set in to different periods of time.

        Then we have the external evidence of history. Did an army march on Jerusalem? Yes it did. So we see Luke 21 being fulfilled in history. Was there an AoD and Great Tribulation against the church finishing with Jesus return in 70 AD? No there wasn't any of the above. So from the external evidence we can see that Matt 24 hasn't been fulfilled.

        Hopefully that answers your question, but I am sure others will want to chime in.
        Last edited by Vakeros; Jul 13th 2013, 09:53 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

          decrumpit,

          Our Lord Jesus told His disciples that the Temple would be destroyed. His disciples asked, (1) when will this be, and (2) what is the sign of your coming, and (3) what is the sign of the end of the age? If the question spanned the period from the destruction of the Temple to the "end of the age", shall we not expect the Lord to answer things from the Jewish dispersion to the second coming of the Lord. I would answer you like that if I was genuine, and you would answer like that if you were sincere. Thus, the reasonable answer is that the discourse spans 70 AD to Christ's second coming, AND it would encompass what happens to the Jews, what happens to the Church and what happens to the nations, the three peoples on the earth during this time.

          Think about it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

            For example, most Christians would say there are numerous jumps in the text and that Jesus alternates between audiences. In their reading of the text, several questions are asked about the destruction of the temple as Jesus and the disciples are walking there. After that, Jesus then proceeds to talk about a date thousands of years in the future that is unrelated to the question.
            Hi decrumpit,
            As they were walking away from the temple, Jesus said the temple will be destroyed. When they reach the mount of olives only a few of his disciples come to him privately and ask when will this happen.

            Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
            3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
            Jesus answers...
            4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
            so rumors of war with Rome will lead to its destruction.but that is not the end...

            20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
            These days are described as the beginning of days of vengeance and GT so that all of what the prophets wrote will be fulfilled.

            Distress in the land and wrath to this people would continue in their exile...until the trampling of Jerusalem by gentiles comes to an end.
            During this time the Gospel is preached to all tribes, peoples..and then the end will come. (upon the whole world)

            29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
            And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

              I find it interesting that any of my pre-trib brethren can read that v30 (and 31) follow v29 and continue to hold to pre-trib.

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              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                Originally posted by Vakeros View Post
                Thus we can clearly see from internal evidence that the two descriptions, though both given on the Mount Of Olives and about the same location, are set in to different periods of time.
                Jesus gave this discourse once, as he was leaving the temple for the mt of olives. He answered their question regarding the temple and his coming privately, to Peter ,John, James and Andrew.
                So where did Luke get his infomation?...how did he become privy to what had been privately discussed?

                What right would he then have to put a different spin on it. Matthew, Mark and Luke had the discourse explained to them by eith Peter, John, James or Andrew.

                Behold I have told you everthing in advance.
                And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                  Matt 24 is such an event and many on this forum tie it into Luke 21. Now the problem I have with that, which has been discussed on a different thread, is that the chronology as described in Luke 21 is different to that described in Matt 24.
                  By itself this isn't a problem if the two descriptions can be tied together in some way. For example if I see a robbery and described a robber wearing blue going into the bank and you see the robbery and describe a robber wearing red coming out of the bank then we must determine was it the same place, the same time, were there two robbers etc.
                  Thanks. Good point, and I leave my question open to this possibility (i.e. the questions are different in Matthew from Luke and Mark). Which Gospels are describing what?

                  In response to that, I don't see a strict chronology in the Gospels. For example, the scourging of the temple occurs near the beginning of John, but near the end of the other three. Yet we don't think Jesus scourged the temple twice (or four) times! Also, the events leading to the crucifixion are different, and you can see where I am going.

                  Our Lord Jesus told His disciples that the Temple would be destroyed. His disciples asked, (1) when will this be, and (2) what is the sign of your coming, and (3) what is the sign of the end of the age? If the question spanned the period from the destruction of the Temple to the "end of the age", shall we not expect the Lord to answer things from the Jewish dispersion to the second coming of the Lord. I would answer you like that if I was genuine, and you would answer like that if you were sincere. Thus, the reasonable answer is that the discourse spans 70 AD to Christ's second coming, AND it would encompass what happens to the Jews, what happens to the Church and what happens to the nations, the three peoples on the earth during this time.

                  Think about it.
                  I think your explanation is perfectly reasonable, at least so far!

                  I very much would like to understand Matthew this way, although my question is mostly about why you believe this.

                  Most answers are like this:

                  1. Matthew 24:1-14 or 1-35 describe the temple's destruction
                  2. 24:15-end, 36 - end, or even 9-end describe the last two.

                  Could you tell me which verses describe what and why you believe this? Thanks!

                  Also, the "end of the age" has several disputed meanings, although we can agree that it probably means the end of the world, or reflects the disciples' misunderstanding of the necessity of Jesus' death and resurrection.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                    These days are described as the beginning of days of vengeance and GT so that all of what the prophets wrote will be fulfilled.

                    Distress in the land and wrath to this people would continue in their exile...until the trampling of Jerusalem by gentiles comes to an end.
                    During this time the Gospel is preached to all tribes, peoples..and then the end will come. (upon the whole world)

                    29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
                    Ok, so which parts of the three discourses are describing which parts of the stages of the end? Are only Luke 21:8-9 describing the destruction of Jerusalem?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                      Originally posted by decrumpit View Post
                      Are only Luke 21:8-9 describing the destruction of Jerusalem?
                      verses 20-24 also.
                      “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.


                      Matt v 5,6, 15-

                      Mk As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 6 Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.

                      But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
                      And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                        Originally posted by decrumpit View Post
                        Thanks. Good point, and I leave my question open to this possibility (i.e. the questions are different in Matthew from Luke and Mark). Which Gospels are describing what?
                        The questions asked are the same one, because this is the one event. Walls mentioned them above. Those who contend that Matt AND Luke have written either ONLY about 70 AD or ONLY about the End miss the fact that Jesus answers more even than the disciples ask. Matt records some of the answer and Luke the rest.

                        In response to that, I don't see a strict chronology in the Gospels. For example, the scourging of the temple occurs near the beginning of John, but near the end of the other three. Yet we don't think Jesus scourged the temple twice (or four) times! Also, the events leading to the crucifixion are different, and you can see where I am going.
                        Indeed, but the chronology of what is written when, isn't the same as the chronology of what occurs. Jesus isn't crucified first and then scourged and then carrying His cross. There is an order as to who first saw the risen Saviour etc.
                        In order to understand the chronology, the best way is to get all the verses from Matt and Luke together - Mark mainly agrees with Matt - and then put them together into a sequence. When you do that you will find that Jesus describes what will happen after He dies, how the disciples will be persecuted and there will be wars and rumours of wars - yet these are but the beginnings of birth-pains.
                        Now what you find is that Luke then separates off his account from Matt by then in verse 20 talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. Now could this be a destruction of Jerusalem at the very end? Verse 24 makes that impossible as he writes of Jerusalem being trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
                        Matt though has verse 14 with the gospel being preached in the whole world and then the end will come.
                        Now Mat 24:15 describes a different sign to watch out for than Luke 21:20. In both cases they are recording what Jesus said, so why did Jesus give to different signs?
                        Either in case one would be missed, or as a testimony needing two witnesses, or as I understand it, because there are two different events each with its own sign. Signs aren't the same as testimony. You only get a rainbow - no other sign for that covenant. You only get the sign of Jonah for Jesus death and resurrection. So we have the AoD given as a sign in Att. Is the AoD the same sign? No it isn't. The AoD is shown in Daniel as setting up an image in the sanctuary.
                        Luke as I put earlier then moves on to the heavenly signs which occur AFTER the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Matt however moves straight on from the AoD without mentioning a specific destruction of Jerusalem, no captivity or falling by swords, into the Great Tribulation.
                        On the surface Matt 24:21 seems to describe the same as Luke 21:23. Yet as you look at what is describe in Matt it is full of far stronger imagery - unequalled distress, never before and never afterwards. Also Matt 24 highlights it is only for the sake of the elect that that distress time is cut short. Now in 70 AD the time of distress being cut short had no relationship to the elect in Christ. It also had no real effect on the people of the Jews. They continued to rebel and there were still many alive who weren't in Jerusalem.
                        Finally Matt 24:29 states "Immediately..." So he has Jesus tying in the GT with the end and Jesus' return. Luke however has a clear gap of trampling after the great distress of those days.

                        I think your explanation is perfectly reasonable, at least so far!
                        I very much would like to understand Matthew this way, although my question is mostly about why you believe this.
                        Most answers are like this:
                        1. Matthew 24:1-14 or 1-35 describe the temple's destruction
                        2. 24:15-end, 36 - end, or even 9-end describe the last two.
                        Could you tell me which verses describe what and why you believe this? Thanks!
                        Also, the "end of the age" has several disputed meanings, although we can agree that it probably means the end of the world, or reflects the disciples' misunderstanding of the necessity of Jesus' death and resurrection.
                        There are three ends that I think are within the Olivet discourse.
                        The first which the disciples asked about - is the end of the Temple.
                        The second which Jesus answered first - is about the end of that age due to His death and resurrection and reveals why there is trouble between those who follow Jesus and those who follow the dying tradition. The Spirit gives Life but the Law brings death.
                        The third which Jesus answered last is about the end of this age of grace, when Jesus returns.
                        So I have Matt 24:4-11 being specifically pre-70AD, though this will occur post-70AD too. 12-14 continues through 70 AD until the end. 15-28 is specifically about the End-time of Great Tribulation, which starts in Jerusalem yet will engulf the whole world. 29-31 Is His return. 32-35 ties in the final events as a quick event, no gaps once it starts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                          Walls said;
                          Our Lord Jesus told His disciples that the Temple would be destroyed. His disciples asked, (1) when will this be, and (2) what is the sign of your coming, and (3) what is the sign of the end of the age? If the question spanned the period from the destruction of the Temple to the "end of the age", shall we not expect the Lord to answer things from the Jewish dispersion to the second coming of the Lord. I would answer you like that if I was genuine, and you would answer like that if you were sincere. Thus, the reasonable answer is that the discourse spans 70 AD to Christ's second coming, AND it would encompass what happens to the Jews, what happens to the Church and what happens to the nations, the three peoples on the earth during this time.

                          Think about it.
                          Originally posted by decrumpit View Post
                          Thanks. Good point, and I leave my question open to this possibility (i.e. the questions are different in Matthew from Luke and Mark). Which Gospels are describing what?

                          In response to that, I don't see a strict chronology in the Gospels. For example, the scourging of the temple occurs near the beginning of John, but near the end of the other three. Yet we don't think Jesus scourged the temple twice (or four) times! Also, the events leading to the crucifixion are different, and you can see where I am going.



                          I think your explanation is perfectly reasonable, at least so far!

                          I very much would like to understand Matthew this way, although my question is mostly about why you believe this.

                          Most answers are like this:

                          1. Matthew 24:1-14 or 1-35 describe the temple's destruction
                          2. 24:15-end, 36 - end, or even 9-end describe the last two.

                          Could you tell me which verses describe what and why you believe this? Thanks!

                          Also, the "end of the age" has several disputed meanings, although we can agree that it probably means the end of the world, or reflects the disciples' misunderstanding of the necessity of Jesus' death and resurrection.
                          This is worth a book, so will you accept a summary or outline?

                          As I said above, there are three peoples involved in the Lord's coming. This is because;
                          1. The Jew's time of chastisement is over and they stand on the threshold of restoration, as the prophets foretold
                          2. The Church's time for building is over and the Lord is about to judge the Christians on their work AFTER rebirth. He is setting up His Kingdom for 1'000 years and each Christian must now face the reward or loss for his/her behavior
                          3. The nations may no longer rule the earth. They are to be replaced by King Jesus and His co-kings - the overcomers. Each man who survives the Great Tribulation - that is, the living, must face just recompense for their actions during the Great Tribulation

                          Thus, the Oliver Discourse is divided into God's dealings with each of the three.

                          (1) The Jews.
                          Our Lord is in Jerusalem, talking to Jews about the Jewish Temple, so He starts there. From 24:3 onwards He describes near and far events in the time of Israel's chastisement and time that Israel is under foreign dominion. They include the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 onwards and end with with the Beast setting up his effigy to be worshiped in a newly built Temple in Jerusalem, as predicted by Daniel. At this point, Jacob's Trouble starts and anyone not agreeing with the Beast's rule out of Jerusalem must flee. All the indications in this section of scripture point to the Jew. They are; The Temple, False Christs, Persecutions, Judea, Jerusalem and the Sabbath. The section ends with Christ appearing in view of all in the "Land" (lit. Greek) around Jerusalem, and sending His angels to collect all Jews in dispersion back to their Land (they are dispersed to the four winds and collected from the four winds).

                          (2) The Church.
                          Chapter 24:32 starts with a parable. In Matthew 13:11-12 and Luke 8:10 our Lord says that parables are the way He addresses the Church. So starting with a parable, and continuing in parables as He does up to 25:30 is a sure sign that our Lord Jesus is talking about the Church. The Church is addressed completely differently to the Jews. Here, no signs are given. The issue is readiness at all hours for the Master/King's return. The Christian must maintain a moral condition, and diligent service, in the expectation that our Lord and King could arrive within the next hour. The Lords servants are addressed. Neither Jew nor the nations are the Lord's servants. The servants in this age are the Church. The section ends with two parables which indicate that when the Lord comes, some of the Church will be ready and some not. And each gets reward or retribution.

                          (3) The Nations.
                          In Chapter 25:31 the scene suddenly changes. Where as the Christian is judged in the air after rapture at the Bema (a traveling throne), the NATIONS are gathered before a "THRONOS" - a fixed throne at the seat of world power on the earth. Our Lord Jesus has already descended and fought the battle of Armageddon. Billions have died during the Great Tribulation and millions die at Armageddon, but a certain portion of the earth's nations survive. Christ gathers them and judges them. They are not judged according to their faith in Christ, but according to their appreciation of the Beast. Satan will persecute both Jew and Christian during the Great Tribulation using the nations (Rev.12). Some of the nations wholeheartedly join this persecution, some are indifferent, and some disagree with it. These that disagree go against the orders of the Beast and help the persecuted Jew and Christian by supplying their needs during the 1260 days. Those who went against, and/or were indifferent to the persecuted Jew or Christian are sent to the Lake of Fire. Those who helped the persecuted Jew and Christian are allowed to enter the 1'000 year reign of Christ as subjects.

                          Within each section above, what is missing here are all the arguments, counter arguments and counter-counter arguments of expositors over the last centuries. They fill books. All I can say is that I have examined them in light of the scriptures and come to this understanding. Matthew 24 and 25 need a good working knowledge of the whole bible to understand, for this is the culmination of all that God set out to do with man - to make him ruler and subduer of the earth. The Man Jesus arrives here, not a suffering Lamb, Son of Joseph, but the rampaging King, Son of David. The earth will have a new government. The living of all three groups are rewarded or punished. Israel is restored, the overcomers of the Church rule with Christ. The Kingdom of the Heavens comes to earth. The nations are subdued and given to Christ as an inheritance as prophesied (Ps.82:8).

                          The correct rendering is "end of the age". The Greek word is aion from which we get the English word "Eon" an undefined period of time.

                          Sorry it's so short, but it's a start.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                            Originally posted by Walls View Post
                            This is worth a book, so will you accept a summary or outline?

                            As I said above, there are three peoples involved in the Lord's coming. This is because;
                            1. The Jew's time of chastisement is over and they stand on the threshold of restoration, as the prophets foretold
                            2. The Church's time for building is over and the Lord is about to judge the Christians on their work AFTER rebirth. He is setting up His Kingdom for 1'000 years and each Christian must now face the reward or loss for his/her behavior
                            3. The nations may no longer rule the earth. They are to be replaced by King Jesus and His co-kings - the overcomers. Each man who survives the Great Tribulation - that is, the living, must face just recompense for their actions during the Great Tribulation

                            Thus, the Oliver Discourse is divided into God's dealings with each of the three.

                            (1) The Jews.
                            Our Lord is in Jerusalem, talking to Jews about the Jewish Temple, so He starts there. From 24:3 onwards He describes near and far events in the time of Israel's chastisement and time that Israel is under foreign dominion. They include the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 onwards and end with with the Beast setting up his effigy to be worshiped in a newly built Temple in Jerusalem, as predicted by Daniel. At this point, Jacob's Trouble starts and anyone not agreeing with the Beast's rule out of Jerusalem must flee. All the indications in this section of scripture point to the Jew. They are; The Temple, False Christs, Persecutions, Judea, Jerusalem and the Sabbath. The section ends with Christ appearing in view of all in the "Land" (lit. Greek) around Jerusalem, and sending His angels to collect all Jews in dispersion back to their Land (they are dispersed to the four winds and collected from the four winds).

                            (2) The Church.
                            Chapter 24:32 starts with a parable. In Matthew 13:11-12 and Luke 8:10 our Lord says that parables are the way He addresses the Church. So starting with a parable, and continuing in parables as He does up to 25:30 is a sure sign that our Lord Jesus is talking about the Church. The Church is addressed completely differently to the Jews. Here, no signs are given. The issue is readiness at all hours for the Master/King's return. The Christian must maintain a moral condition, and diligent service, in the expectation that our Lord and King could arrive within the next hour. The Lords servants are addressed. Neither Jew nor the nations are the Lord's servants. The servants in this age are the Church. The section ends with two parables which indicate that when the Lord comes, some of the Church will be ready and some not. And each gets reward or retribution.

                            (3) The Nations.
                            In Chapter 25:31 the scene suddenly changes. Where as the Christian is judged in the air after rapture at the Bema (a traveling throne), the NATIONS are gathered before a "THRONOS" - a fixed throne at the seat of world power on the earth. Our Lord Jesus has already descended and fought the battle of Armageddon. Billions have died during the Great Tribulation and millions die at Armageddon, but a certain portion of the earth's nations survive. Christ gathers them and judges them. They are not judged according to their faith in Christ, but according to their appreciation of the Beast. Satan will persecute both Jew and Christian during the Great Tribulation using the nations (Rev.12). Some of the nations wholeheartedly join this persecution, some are indifferent, and some disagree with it. These that disagree go against the orders of the Beast and help the persecuted Jew and Christian by supplying their needs during the 1260 days. Those who went against, and/or were indifferent to the persecuted Jew or Christian are sent to the Lake of Fire. Those who helped the persecuted Jew and Christian are allowed to enter the 1'000 year reign of Christ as subjects.

                            Within each section above, what is missing here are all the arguments, counter arguments and counter-counter arguments of expositors over the last centuries. They fill books. All I can say is that I have examined them in light of the scriptures and come to this understanding. Matthew 24 and 25 need a good working knowledge of the whole bible to understand, for this is the culmination of all that God set out to do with man - to make him ruler and subduer of the earth. The Man Jesus arrives here, not a suffering Lamb, Son of Joseph, but the rampaging King, Son of David. The earth will have a new government. The living of all three groups are rewarded or punished. Israel is restored, the overcomers of the Church rule with Christ. The Kingdom of the Heavens comes to earth. The nations are subdued and given to Christ as an inheritance as prophesied (Ps.82:8).

                            The correct rendering is "end of the age". The Greek word is aion from which we get the English word "Eon" an undefined period of time.

                            Sorry it's so short, but it's a start.
                            Just a quick thankyou Walls, I have learnt so much from your years of studying!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Question about the Olivet Discourse

                              Originally posted by decrumpit View Post
                              So basically, what interpretive principles can we use to determine which are in the future, and which are not? What is the key to unlocking NT prophecy?
                              As usual its best just to use the "interpretive principle" of taking the text at its most obvious face value:

                              For example you briefly describe how people interpret Luke 21, but if you read the text, it DOES jump backwards and forwards, and these jumps are obvious:

                              Jesus describes the end-times events of false Messiahs and wars and great earthquakes and signs in the sky and then in verse 12 say "but BEFORE ALL THIS". Are we to ignore those words "before all this" in favor of our personal view of the text? Not at all, let's see what happens BEFORE the great earthquakes and wars signs in the sky:
                              verse 13-24 describe the following:
                              Betrayal
                              Destruction of Jerusalem
                              Jewish diaspora (Jews dispersed to all nations)
                              Times of the Gentiles trampling Jerusalem

                              THEN Luke 21:25-27 refers back to the signs in the sky, and speaks of the second coming

                              ie the signs in the sky and the second coming occur after 70AD destruction, the Jewish diaspora and the time of the Gentiles.

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