The Olivet Discourse

Last Updated: 10/28/2023 12:42    | Print This Page | |

In the days just before the Passover when Yeshua was crucified, He went to the Mount of Olives with His disciples and as they looked at the temple Yeshua prophesied its coming destruction. As would be expected, this prompted many questions. They asked when this would happen and what the signs of His coming and the end of the world would be. Three of the four Gospels make record of this, although with Luke’s account there is a short divergence from the other two. It seems to take a key portion of a future fulfillment and re-word it to seem to cover a different time yet 40 years future to the disciples at the time, but well in our past today.

This page is not meant to cover the details of the Olivet Discourse as that is spread around this site in greater detail so I will list the topics for the Matthew and Mark’s accounts to jump to a more detailed page on the topic. Luke’s account will be touched on in more detail explianing where I think it diverges from the other two accounts to provide warning to God’s people in their near future as opposed to our near future almost 2,000 years later.

Matthew & Mark’s Accounts (Our Future)

Matthew 24:1-51 | Mark 13:1-37 | Luke 17:22-37 (not part of Olivet discourse, but covers same time)

  • Be guarded against deception (This is key for all times)
  • Many false Christ’s will come in Yeshua’s name deceiving many
  • Beginning of Sorrows
    • Wars and rumors of wars
    • Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom
    • Earthquakes in diverse places
    • Believers will be delivered up to councils, synagogues, rulers and kings and beaten. Do not think of what to say, but let the Holy Spirit speak through you.
    • Many will be offended and hate each other
    • Brothers will betray each other to death as will fathers and sons and children against parents
    • Becuase iniquity will abound, the love of many will wax cold
    • Believers will be hated for Christ’s sake because they believe
    • Gospel will be preached in all the world (Fulness of the Gentiles)
  • The End
    • When you see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 9:27), those in Judea run for the mountains and don’t turn back like Lot’s wife. Those who seek to save their earthly things will lose their life and those who are willing to lose their earthly tings will save their life.
    • Unparalleled time of trouble in history, Jacob’s Trouble. For the elect’s sake, this time will be shortened
    • False Christ’s and prophets will show great signs and wonders to deceive the world, do not be deceived
    • Do not look for Christ on the earth, He will come in the clouds with great power and glory
    • Immediately after the unparalleled tribulation in Judea that is cut short, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shine, the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of heaven will be shaken. This is the sixth seal.
    • The sign of the Son of Man will be seen in heaven and the earth will mourn. They will see Him come in great power and glory.
    • With the sound of a great trumpet, the angels will gather the elect from the earth. This is the harpazo.
    • The day and hour of this is unknown to us, only the Father knows.
    • (My comment, the 7th seal is 1/2 hour of silence in heaven after which the wrath of God begins. The coming of the Lord and our gathering to Him and the sudden destruction are the start of the day of the Lord and all occur very quickly after the cutting short of the time of Jacob’s trouble.)
  • Just as you know summer is near when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, so too know when these things begin happening that the end is near. The generation that sees these things happen will not pass away before all is fulfilled.
  • In the days of Noah, life was going on normally until the flood came and took them all away. This is how the coming of the Son of man will be.
  • In the days of Lot, life was going on normally until the day lot left Sodom when it rained fire and brimstome from heaven and destroyed them all. This is how the coming of the Son of man will be.
  • In the night there will be two in one bed, one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and the other left.
    • My comment, In the context of the destruction coming on the world, the one taken would be saved from it while the one left would go through it. In the case of Noah, the ones taken were lifted above the destruction of the waters on the ark, while the ones left on the earth were consumed by the flood. In the case of Lot, he left the city while those remaining were destroyed. Note also that the context of the taken and left covers both people sleeping at night and people working during the day indicating this taking will be happening at one time around the whole earth.
  • Warning to be sober and watch. Don’t get so wrapped up in the things of this world that you neglect the things of God and miss the signs He warned about. Watch and pray always "that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

Luke’s Diverging Account (70 A.D.)

I noticed some confusion in discussions about the harpazo because of Luke 21:7-28. There are some similarities that many quickly associate this passage and the time it is speaking of with Matthew 24:1-31 and Mark 13:1-27. While there are more similarities than not, I believe there is some distinctions in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse that draws some parallels between what happened in 70 AD and what will happen at the Abomination of Desolation. Luke 21:7-28 is split into different sections that will be separated by color:

Maroon = This is describing the things leading up to the end when everything spoken should come to pass found paralleled in the following scriptures:
  • Matthew 24:1-7 (Transition marked by “All these are the beginning of sorrows” as compared to “Before all these things.”)
  • Mark 13:1-13 (Transition marked by “seeing the abomination of desolation” as compared to “Jerusalem compassed with armies”)
Dark Blue = Separate time in our past, but the disciples future as stated “Before these things,” meaning the maroon section that matches Matthew 24 and Mark 13 accounts. While Luke talks about this time before the wars and rumors of wars, etc., Matthew 24:8-28 and Mark 13:14-23 speak directly to the abomination of desolation. This section in Luke 21 happens before both the maroon and green sections of scripture.
Green = The sun/moon/star event, or 6th seal with the following scriptural parallels:
  • Matthew 24:29-31 (Here we see the sun/moon/star event of the 6th seal, powers of heaven shaken (which is the wrath of God according to Isaiah 13:10-13), and the appearing of Son of man in great glory)
  • Mark 13:24-27 (We see here as well the same sun/moon/star event of the 6th seal, powers of heaven shaken (which again is the wrath of God according to Isaiah 13:10-13), and appearing of Son of man in great glory, just like Luke 21:25-27)

The Olivet Discourse

Luke 21:5-28
And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 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. 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. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 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. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 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. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 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. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 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. 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. 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; 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. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Luke 21:24 should be sufficient to show that this time being talked about is not the abomination of desolation and therefore doesn’t mirror the time that Matthew and Mark are talking about, even though there are some similarities. We have a starting and ending point for a diversion from the original timeline in Luke 21.

Start of diversion:

Luke 21:12 “But before all these, [speaking of Luke 21:7-11] 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.” I believe this is a picture of the beginning church after Christ’s crucifixion. While it may be that Jews that follow Yeshua today are shunned by family and friends in some cases, I’ve not heard of them being delivered up to Jewish synagogues now. Back then however, Christians were persecuted very much by the Jews, who viewed Christians as blasphemers in a strict religious culture. We may see a return to this in a more orthadox Jewish Israel when the temple is rebuilt. However, the idea of persecution for Christ’s namesake (of Christians), is still paralelled between the three passages.

End of diversion:

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.” As you can see in the abomination of desolation study, Israel won’t be led captive into any nations at that unparalelled time mentioned in the Matthew 24:1-31 and Mark 13:1-27 passages. I believe Zechariah 13:6-9 speaks to that time of unparalelled persecution unlike any time before or after where 2/3 will be killed, or cut off from God through acceptance of the man of sin, and 1/3 will escape into the wilderness. (Revelation 12:12-14) A remnant will be saved out of this time, among them the 144,000.

I also find it interesting that this diversion into our past, and the disciples future, seems to end with a familiar concept from Romans 11:25-26 of the fulness of the Gentiles. While I think the times of the Gentiles and fulness of the Gentiles are two different perspectives of two different times, they are related to the people of Israel and the location in Israel. Romans 11 as a whole is an important scripture that speaks to the Gentile believer of the blindness of Israel, unbelief and the grafting back in of those Jews who come back to faith in their Messiah and King. I believe it is possible that this times of the Gentiles is speaking to a future time, unfolding now, when Israel will once again be in full control of Jerusalem and tied to the rebuilding of the third temple. I believe it is shortly after this time, perhaps 3½ years or less, that the events of the Abomiation of Desolation, the harpazo and the signs of the 6th seal come to pass. The fulness of the Gentiles being tied to the catching away of the bride of Christ and provoking Israel to jealousy as they are unblinded and recognize their Messiah.

After the end of this diversion, verse 25 picks up with Matthew and Mark talking about the sun/moon/star event (6th seal), the powers of heaven shaken, and seeing the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Body of diversion:

Luke 21:13-23 So now that we’ve seen the beginning and end, just what does this section talk about? While there are paralells of persecution of believers and how we should approach that persecution as believers, I believe this cut to before the wars and rumors of wars is referring to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. It was at that point in history when Jerusalem was encompassed by the Roman army. This message would have rung true to believers at the time and they would have taken heed to flee to the mountains.

These were also the prophesied days of vengeance on Israel. There were many times God told His people that turning from God would mean being cast out of the Promised Land and dispersed into the nations (Deuteronomy 4:25-31, Deuteronomy 28:63-68, Hosea 9:17, Leviticus 26:21-36, Ezekiel’s 430 Days). This happened around 587 BC with the Babylonian captivity for a prophesied period of time (Jeremiah 29:10, Daniel 9:2), and in 70 AD. Both times Israel was led captive, once into Babylon, but only in 70 AD would they end up for almost 2,000 years captive into all nations.

As you can see, there are distinct differences that cannot be ignored which separate the Luke 21:13-23 account (talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and temple in 70 AD) from Matthew 24:8-28 and Mark 13:14-23 (Speaking directly to the abomination of desolation and focused on a time yet future when the beast will start his 42 months as ruler of the world. (Revelation 13:4,5)

“all things which are written may be fulfilled”

This time is God’s wrath upon this people Christ prophesied at the triumphal entry.

Luke 19:40-44
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 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. 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, 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.

What’s pretty amazing is that it was also written already in the Old Testament, waiting to be fulfilled...

Jeremiah 11:16-23
The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.