THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

roman seige of IsraelAnd Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:1-3).

The Olivet Discourse is a private briefing between the disciples and Jesus. Keep in mind the setting of in which things are happening. The disciples were asking a question that is easily misunderstood, which was when is the temple going to be rebuilt? Meaning, when is national Israel going to be a nation again without Rome and the sword of Rome over its neck? At this time, all Israel groaned that and wanted freedom. Thus, it is important to understand where they were coming from when they asked the question. When Jesus replied, he answers the question, but not what people are normally told he is answering.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you … For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:4, 27).

He continues and talks about how, immediately following the tribulation, of those days He will return and it will resemble the days of Noah (verse 37). In verse 34, he sums up these things by saying:
Verily (truly) I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Many Bible theologians talk about the next verse as well.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).

Jesus is answering when Israel (national Israel) will rebuild the temple and be a nation again (throw off the Roman shackle). He is saying that He does not know the hour, as it is in his Father’s timing. However, man will know the hour of His return because He has given definite signs of when it will happen. When He says, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34), He is referencing the generation that sees, or will see, the rebuilding of the Temple. According to the Olivet Discourse, the generation that sees the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem will live to see Christ’s return.

Look at the Antichrist and how he fits into everything. The word “antichrist” is made up of two roots: avri, which is “anti,” and Christos. Avri can mean “against,” “oppose,” and also “in place of.” Therefore, antichrist can have three meanings: against (in the Greek), opposite, or in place of Christ.

As early as AD 155, one of the early Church Fathers, Polycarp warned the Philippians that everyone who preached false doctrine was an antichrist. His use of the term “antichrist” follows that of the New Testament in not identifying a single person as antichrist but a class of people. Up until the Book of Revelation, antichrist is used in First, Second and Third John as a group of people who are opposed to the Gospel, or opposed to Christ. In Revelation he takes on a personality as the accumulation of all that opposed Christ in the personage of the antichrist; he is personified in the Book of Revelation. He is also the Mahdi of Islam who is said to rule not less than seven years.

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