Timeline in the Olivet Discourse
By Daymond Duck
God recently honored me with an invitation to speak at a church on the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24).
I recently shared my understanding of the “beginnings of sorrows” (the Jewish name; equivalent to the Church Age; a preparation or stage-setting for the birth pangs also known as the Tribulation Period, Seventieth Week of Daniel, etc.) and the “Abomination of Desolation” (an image or statue of the Antichrist that will be set up in the Holy of Holies at the coming rebuilt Jewish Temple).
For whatever it is worth, there is a little overlapping, but the first 36 verses of the Olivet Discourse could be viewed as a Jewish timeline.
The verses start at the Temple in Israel before Jesus was crucified, and they proceed to a new heaven and new earth.
I find it interesting that Jesus foretold these events in the approximate order or the approximate sequence that they would happen.
He has given us an amazing Bible.
First, Jesus foretold the destruction of the Temple, and that was fulfilled in 70 A.D. (Matt. 24:2).
Second, Jesus foretold a period of time called the “beginnings of sorrows” (Matt. 24:4-8).
The “beginnings of sorrows” (Jewish term) overlaps with the Church Age (Christian term), and that is being fulfilled now before the time of the end (Tribulation Period; Matt. 24:6, 8).
Third, Jesus said the gospel will go all over the world before the end (Matt. 24:14).
Jesus was talking about the gospel going all over the world before the end of the birth pangs (Tribulation Period), not before the Rapture.
I believe that will be accomplished by two supernatural witnesses (Two Witnesses; Rev. 11:3-13), the 144,000 sealed children of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8) and an angel that will preach to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people (Rev 14:6).
While there is some disagreement about the identity of the Two Witnesses, there is good reason to believe that one of them is Elijah, and he will appear before the Tribulation Period (Mal. 4:5-6).
The fact that Elijah will appear before the Tribulation Period and the 144,000 will be sealed early in the Tribulation Period is the beginning of the Jews taking the gospel all over the world before the end of the Tribulation Period.
Fourth, Jesus said the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet will be set up in the holy place (the Holy of Holies at the Temple; Matt. 24:15).
This will happen at the middle of the Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:1-2; Rev. 12:14).
Fifth, Jesus talked about what will happen late in the Tribulation Period when the nations are gathered for the Battle of Armageddon (Matt. 24:28).
He said, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matt. 24:28).
Not all agree, but say this is a Jewish parable that means “wherever the dead body is, the eagles gather (in Israel, vultures are called Palestinian eagles) to devour their flesh” (Rev. 19:17-18).
Sixth, Jesus talked about what will happen after the tribulation of those days (the Second Coming will be after the Tribulation Period and before the Millennial reign; Matt. 24:29-30).
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars (Matt. 24:29); everyone on earth will mourn (some rejoicing to see Him, but most crying because they are not ready (Matt. 24:30; the Old Testament saints and deceased Tribulation Period saints will be raised from the dead, and they will be gathered with living believers (Matt. 24:31).
Seventh, Jesus said there will eventually be a new heaven and a new earth.
He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus taught prophecy to His disciples.
The things He said overlap some (because of the length of some of the events), but basically, they are presented in a sequential timeline that is confirmed by other Scriptures.
God is the only One that can reveal the future, and to reveal it in sequence is even more impressive.
History and today’s headlines confirm the literal interpretation of these verses.
Be ready (and the only way to do that is to sincerely repent of your sins, ask Jesus to forgive you and to come into your heart).
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck