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The Olivet Discourse: Analyzed and Explained

The Olivet Discourse contains one of the most fascinating discussions in the Bible regarding end-times prophecy.  There we read where Jesus Himself explains end-times events after a small group of disciples asked Him, “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  Standing their on the Mount of Olives (hence the name, Olivet Discourse), Jesus responded to that question and provided us with great insight about signs that will happen “at the end of the age”.   Without careful study, however, the text can be a little confusing.  I pray the following will shed some considerable light onto the very important words Jesus spoke to us about the end times.

 

 

Matthew, Mark, and Luke

 

Often people that study the Olivet Discourse tend to focus on just one book of the Bible.  In my experience, I have seen most often Matthew chapter 24 is chosen: perhaps because it is the first place it is discussed and/or because it is the one referenced most often by others (somewhat of a cycle).  Indeed, the accounts are very similar and, depending on why the verses are being referenced, it may not matter which account is used.  However, as shown below, a more careful analysis will reveal nuances that are absolutely crucial to a deeper understanding of end-times Bible prophecy, particularly when one begins to consider a futurist vs.  preterest theology, the timing (and even existence) of the Rapture, and evidence that we are now living in the end times


To do this, one must examine the accounts of the Olivet Discourse as described in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  As I discussed in Chapter 11, this concept of extensive cross referencing to increase knowledge is explained in Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.  Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” (Emphasis added)

 

The analysis below examines the Olivet Discourse in light of two important considerations: the audience each Gospel was written for and the time frame being discussed.  Once those two contextual issues are understood, a great deal more light is provided to the topic of end-times prophecy. 

 

 

The Intended Audience

 

To address the topic of for whom a particular gospel that has the Olivet Discourse (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was written, one must understand that Bible scholars agree that the Gospel of Matthew is written with a Jewish audience in mind, while Luke's and Mark's accounts are intended for Gentiles (and particularly Christians since that would be the majority of the readership of the Bible).  This concept is supported throughout the gospels and can be corroborated if you consult a good study Bible that explains the general background, authorship, and the intended audience at the front of each book.  (You can view an online edition that addresses those topics.) Examples within the Olivet Discourse include where Matthew mentions observing the Sabbath (v21), while Mark and Luke do not; or when Luke mentions “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (v24), while Matthew does not.  Typically the nuances of the intended audience are subtle and do not significantly impact one's study or application of scripture.  However, when carefully studying the Olivet Discourse, the contextual importance of the audience is considerably more significant. 

 

 

When is this to Happen?

 

As for the topic of which future time period the writer is writing for (whether it's the destruction of the Holy Temple that happened in 70 A.D., or future events that have not yet happened), that will be examined and pointed out throughout the commentary below.  To ensure the integrity of the words of the gospel, my comments are in blue text.  Please also note that in the Olivet Discourse, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all are quoting Jesus; however, since it's almost entirely Jesus' words I have not denoted the words in red letters for the sake of making it easier to read and possibly print.

 

 

Matthew:  24
Audience: Jews

Mark: 13
Audience: Christian Gentiles

Luke: 21
Audience: Christian Gentiles

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

4.  “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

7.  “Teacher”, they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

 

04.  Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
5.  For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am the Christ’, and will deceive many.

5.  Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
6.  Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he’, and will deceive many.

8.  He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived.  For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he’, and, `The time is near.’ Do not follow them.

 

6.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

7.  When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

9.  When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened.  These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

 

7.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8.  These are the beginning of birth pains. 

8.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.  All these are the beginning of birth pains. 

10.  Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
11.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

 

9.  Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11.  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13.  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

9.  You must be on your guard.  You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.  On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.
10.  And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
11.  Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say.  Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12.  “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.  Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
13.  All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

12.  “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.  They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
13.  This will result in your being witnesses to them.
14.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
15.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
16.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
17.  All men will hate you because of me.
18.  But not a hair of your head will perish.
19.  By standing firm you will gain life.
 

 

Up to this point, all accounts are relatively in sync, as they describe that Christians will be persecuted for their faith.  Then, in Matthew (v14) and Mark (v13), it’s explained “and then the end will come” and “he who stands firm to the end”.  In other words, they indicate they have described a set of sequential events which have ended.  Luke, however, continues to describe more of those same events in more detail, and then, as you see further below, quits writing for some time.  In fact, we see in Luke v24 another example of how Israel becoming a nation is very important since the Jews did, in fact, fall by the sword in 70 A.D and were “taken as prisoners to all the nations”—that is, until 1948.  

 

Beginning in the verses below in Matthew (v15) and Mark (v14), we see where they record the second part of the “dual prophecy”, which are events that are even future to us now.  As we closely examine other parts of the Olivet Discourse, that supports that statement quit clearly:

 

  • Matthew (v3) says the disciples asked "what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Luke does not record the question that way.  Thus, Luke quits writing until he describes the very end in v25.
  • In both Matthew (v15) and Mark (v14) below Jesus says “let the reader understand”, as Jesus is acknowledging that the audience will be people (readers) much further in the future (which is actually you and I that are now reading what we refer to as the “Olivet Discourse”). 
  • Both Matthew (v21) and Mark (v19) explain that distress unequaled to that which has ever happened before, or will ever happen again will occur.
  • Having already warned of false Christs (Matthew v5 and Mark v6), Jesus warns that, again in the end days, it will happen (Matthew v24 and Mark v22); and false prophets will also appear and they will perform great signs and miracles.  In other words, Jesus is not repeating Himself as much as he is mentioning two distinct time periods, with the second having even greater deception.

 

Also, note that we see both Jews (Matthew) and Gentiles (Mark) are being talked to in the future, as God’s grace will be extended to both groups in the end times.

20.  “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.
21.  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
22.  For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.
23.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
24.  They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

15.  “So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand–
16.  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17.  Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.
18.  Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.
19.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
20.  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
21.  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again.
22.  If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

14.  “When you see `the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
15.  Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out.
16.  Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.
17.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
18.  Pray that this will not take place in winter,
19.  because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now–and never to be equaled again.
20.  If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive.  But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

Jesus is referring to Daniel 9:27: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven'.  In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The warning to the left is very clear to the future reader: once the “abomination of desolation” happens, whomever is in and around Judea (which could be both the Jews Matthew is writing to and the Gentiles that Mark is writing to) needs to flee the area immediately, as the Great Tribulation (God's most devastating wrath) will commence extremely soon.  That makes sense given Satan (via the Antichrist) will be in the Holy Temple and proclaiming to be worshipped!  God's wrath will be so great that it will have to be shortened for the sake of the elect (which will include the Jews and other “Tribulation Saints” on earth at that time). 

 

23.  At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it.
24.  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible.
25.  See, I have told you ahead of time.

21.  At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ !’ or, `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.
22.  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible.
23.  So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

Note the plurality of false Christs and false prophets.  In addition to THE Antichrist, others will also come and claim to be Christ or falsely come in His name.  While false Christs appeared in the past (Matthew v4-5, Mark v5-6, and Luke v8), this time they will also perform signs and miracles to add to the deception. 

Jesus makes a point to tell us that we have been warned, which also points out that studying Bible prophecy is important.

 

26.  “So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
27.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man
28.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Reference to the “inner rooms” is a reference to the Holy Temple, which had an inner room where, during Old Testament times before the Holy Spirit came, God dwelt.

 

Just as lightning is obvious and seen by all around it, there will be no mistake knowing when the real Christ returns.

 

Notice that Matthew (v29), Mark (v24), and Luke (v25) all harmoniously record the discourse again.  The following end-time events are ones that everyone (people in heaven and on earth) will be able to witness; thus, no matter the audience or time period, these events are universal.

29.  Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

24.  But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25.  the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

25.  “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

 

30.  At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.  They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

27.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The Second Coming

26.  At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

27.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The Second Coming

27.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The Second Coming

 

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

27.  And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Both the Jews that Matthew is writing to and the Gentiles that Mark is writing to are included in the final “gathering”.

 

Up to this point the discourse has covered a wide range of sequential events.  It started with the initial question of “when will this happen”, was followed by Jesus’ answer (which included a description of the “beginning of birth pains”), and it concluded with the “Second Coming”.  Starting with Luke v28 the discussion exited a sequential discussion, as Luke records Jesus saying “When these things begin to take place”, which strongly suggests The Rapture will occur early in the Tribulation.  Also, note that to “stand up and lift up your heads” implies one should be looking for the Rapture at the beginning of the events previously described, because it will be imminent.  Now it makes sense why Luke did record some of the end time events (not just 70 A.D. events) starting with v25, as he needed those recorded so that his word “When these things begin to take place” as a point of reference.  Also, it’s important to note that “lift up your heads” means deliverance will come from above, not by death or persecution.

28.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

 

So, somewhere along the way, “When these things begin to take place”, the Rapture of the Church occurs.  It may be reasoned that since Jesus did not know when the Rapture was going to happen (see Matthew v36 and Mark v32), then He was not able to tell us exactly when.  Also see the comment below about “The Parable of the Persistent Widow”, which provides additional information about why it may be that Jesus did not yet know the timing of the Rapture when He was discussing end-times events in the Olivet Discourse.

 

As noted previously, at this point the discourse has broken away from providing sequential details of the end times.  Immediately below we see the frequently-discussed fig tree analogy, which explains that a generational time period will not pass from the time it all begins until it all comes to pass.  Many Bible prophecy experts agree that Israel becoming a nation in 1948 was the event being referred to with the fig tree.  Regardless of whether that theory is correct or not, it should be noted that in this point in the Olivet Discourse Matthew, Mark, and Luke record the fig tree analogy in unison and almost verbatim, providing further evidence it is both a universal audience and a common time period being discussed. 

 

32.  “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
33.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
34.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
35.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

28.  “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
29.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.
30.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
31.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

29.  He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
30.  When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
31.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32.  “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
33.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 

36.  “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

32.  “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33.  Be on guard!  Be alert!  You do not know when that time will come. 

 

 

37.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man
38.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
39.  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man
40.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
41.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 

Here we finally read about events that describe the Rapture; however, given the location, it can not be inferred exactly when it happens.  While early prophetic signs like natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, the decay in the morals of society, and economic turmoil (all of which are addressed in more detail within Pray That You May Escape) could be missed by many people as apocalyptic signs, the more obvious events that are described in vivid detail in the Book of Revelations will not be missed by anyone.  We read of the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-17), (Revelation 8:1-5), seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-21), (Revelation 11:15-19), and seven bowls (Revelation 16:1-21) which are dramatic events that will cause men to faint from terror (Luke 21:26) and people to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains (Revelation 6:15)!

 

This will be as a result of, to name a few of the obvious signs, swarms of stinging locusts, sores that break out on most or all people, great famines and earthquakes like never known before, monstrous tsunamis, rivers of blood, and uncommon celestial events (a blood moon, solar eclipse, and “stars falling from the sky”).  Another rather unusual and dramatic event will be an Antichrist demanding he be worshipped in the Holy Temple that has been rebuilt in Jerusalem.  Thus, people (particularly anyone that has not accepted the “mark of the beast” which would enable them to buy and sell) will certainly not be going about their everyday business (eating, drinking, marrying, working, etc. as described Matthew v38-41) when those types of events are happening and, therefore, it’s logical to conclude that the Rapture will happen before the particularly obvious signs of the end times occur.  Therefore, the Rapture will have to happen before the most devastating wrath of God is poured out, which coincides with what Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (There is commentary further below about why a description of the Rapture is not included in Luke's account.)

 43.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
44.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

34.  It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35.  “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.
36.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
37.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: `Watch!’”

 

 

Notice that in the parables provided in the discourse and in Luke's words to the right we are consistently told to be watchful and prayerful and cognizant of what is going on around us.  The events described must be the Rapture rather than the Second Coming since only the Rapture will come “like a thief in the night” at an unknown day and hour.  The Second Coming, on the other hand, will be a glorious event witnessed by all (like lightning that flashes across the sky for all to see). 

The last verse of Luke (v36) gives us something specific to pray for: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. (More commentary is provided below this subject under the section entitled “The Parable of the Persistent Widow”.)

34.  “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
35.  For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
36.  Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

 

When studying scripture, knowledge of other scripture is important to help provide more context and understanding, and the Olivet Discourse is no exception to that general rule.  There are many places in scripture that discuss eschatology and, therefore, compliment what is being said in the Olivet Discourse.  For now, however, I'd like to point to two other sections in Matthew and Luke that enhance what was discussed previously. 

 

 

WHERE IS LUKE'S DESCRIPTION OF THE RAPTURE?

 

You may have noticed that neither Luke's nor Mark's version of the Olivet Discourse includes the text that describes a Rapture (unlike Matthew v37-42 which does).  Initially this could be concerning given the previous commentary explains Matthew is talking to Jews, and Luke and Mark are writing to Gentiles.  First, to address Matthew's text, we must note that at the point he does mention the Rapture he had changed his writing to record general, future events: Matthew 24:3-31 covered a range of prophetic events that began with the initial question of “when will this happen”, included a discussion of the “beginning of birth pains” and finally ended the “Second Coming”; but then verse 32 has a general description of all that is to happen via the fig tree analogy.

 

Also, keep in mind that Matthew and Mark are addressing those left behind because they have not accepted Jesus as their Messiah; thus, they will later witness the “abomination that causes desolation”.  The Rapture, along with the 144,000 witnesses (Revelation 7:4) and two prominent witnesses (Revelation 11:9), and other end times events will all combine to help provide testimony to many Jews (who will later become Messianic Jews) and Gentiles alike.  Information that Christians have left behind in books and web sites will also help, which is yet another reason that the study of eschatology is important and very relevant.

 

As far as Luke's notes of the Olivet Discourse, however, it is true we do not read about events that describe the Rapture like we do in Matthew (e.g. two people going about their normal activities and suddenly one is taken away).  Thankfully, we need only back up a few chapters to Luke Chapter 17 where, in a previous scene, he had already recorded such events (and in even more detail).  We read in Luke 17:26-36:

 

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark.  Then the flood came and destroyed them all.  It was the same in the days of Lot.  People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them.  Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.  Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.  Two men will be in a field; one taken, the other left.”

 

 

THE PARABLE OF THE PERSISTENT WIDOW

 

Another important concept to note is that, immediately after Luke discusses the Days of Noah—wherein he very clearly describes the Rapture—there is an interesting parable provided about a widow:

 

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’  For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)


When we consider Luke is writing for a Christian audience and we couple The Parable of the Persistent Widow—which comes immediately after Luke discusses the Rapture—with what he says in the Olivet Discourse, it certainly provides us with something specific to pray for.  Luke 21:26 records Jesus saying to us: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

It seems clear that God is waiting to hear our persistent prayers before deciding the timing of the Rapture.  Therefore, I think all Christians should include in their daily prayer that the timing of the Rapture will occur in such a way that they may be able to escape the terrible events that are foretold to happen in the end times!


See Chapter 12, What To Do Now for more details of what we should do to prepare for the end times.

 

 

SEASONS OF THE FIG TREE

 

I would like to share with you something else I realized one evening while studying.  Initially I found it interesting that Jesus specifically mentioned the fig tree since I recall reading how it had two or more seasons, which made the analogy of the fig tree even more appropriate to the prophecy in the Olivet Discourse since it covers two time periods (70 A.D. and the future).  Moreover, while confirming the two seasons of the fig tree, I learned another interesting attribute of the fig tree: the early crop ripens in May; but then it has another main crop which ripens in late June and continues to ripen into August.  This is like the prophecy told in the Olivet Discourse, where we witness a smaller event happening in 70 A.D. and then a larger, more significant event, that will happen in the future.  God's Word is amazing! 

 

 

WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE COME?

 

Scripture tells us that when we least expect it, it will happen. A logical connection is that when most people in the church becomes apathetic to prophecy (and that can be an accusation of the church today), it will happen. Despite the abundance of Bible Prophecy available to Christians today, many only have a vague idea of the major concepts. In fact, although I try to teach about Bible Prophecy without being "over the top" and alarmist about the topic, it does not phase me when I run into those that scoff at the thought of studying Bible Prophecy, as that very thing is foretold to happen:

 

I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” (2 Peter 3:2-4)

 

 

Notice that Jesus repeatedly explains it will come at a time when we are not expecting it to:

 

  • “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42)
  • "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44).
  • "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Matthew 25:13).

 



There's a lot more to learn!  The information above is only a small part of the book.  The entire book will help you clearly understand:
  • Why Bible prophecy is more important than ever
  • What Jesus Himself told us about the end times
  • How today's headlines are fulfilling prophecy
  • Israel's critical role in Bible prophecy
  • The United States' role in prophecy
  • How natural disasters relate to the end times
  • Key prophetic signs you should watch for
  • What you should do about what you learn
  • And much more

Pray That You May Escape Book








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