Harmony of Olivet Discourse & Revelation, posted recently by LateNightWatch, features a table listing points of correspondence between the Olivet Discourse and Revelation. The following table is similar, and simplified, and includes several additional parallels and points of correspondence.
One of the symbolic meanings attached to mountains in prophecy is connected the fact that the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. In many prophecies the mountains are symbolic of blessings, promises, and revelations of God. The Genesis account of the flood connects mountains with rest. After the flood men tried to build “a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” The progressive revelation of God’s plan in prophecy focuses on mountains, especially mount Zion, and a city, Jerusalem, which were raised up to heaven in a spiritual sense. These contrast with the tower of Babel, a kind of man-made mountain, and the city of Babylon. In the table below, references to mountains are listed, and the possible symbolic meanings attached to them in prophecy are noted.
In the Olivet Discourse where Jesus responds to the question about the sign of his coming and the end of the age, Jesus focused upon seeing the abomination of desolation mentioned in the prophecies of Daniel. Scholars have long debated what he meant. In Daniel chapter 8, a prophecy is described that refers to 2,300 days, and its meaning would only be understood at the “time of the end.” [Dan. 8:17] When Jesus referred to one of the prophecies of Daniel in connection with the “sign” of the end time, he must have meant that when Daniel’s prophecies are understood, that would be the sign of his coming that the disciples requested.
The chart below shows the relation between the 70 weeks, and the 2,300 days, and “this generation,” which is the generation Jesus represents. It runs off the chart at the right, because it continues forever.
Scott Hedge, pastor of Willomore Baptist Church at Greensboro, NC, posted a Critique of Preterist View of Olivet Discourse.
Hedge identified Matthew 24:34 as the foundation of the preterist interpretation of the prophecy, but suggested that the preterist view involves a faulty understanding of the word “generation” (genea). He wrote:
When the disciples asked Jesus, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” in Matthew 24, his immediate response was to list a series of events to set the scene, and to indicate both the scope, and the timeframe for events that he subsequently described. Events mentioned at the beginning of the prophecy, in verse 4-14, are listed in clear, unambiguous language, in contrast to events mentioned after verse 14 which are expressed in symbolic, prophetic terms.
The author of Hebrews contrasts milk and strong meat. The meaning of milk, and strong meat, as symbols representing elementary and advanced kinds of spiritual knowledge, is evident from the context. The milk of God’s word includes the accounts of the lives of men of faith, and the accounts of the history of Israel, the gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus, and the Acts of the apostles, all the events in the scriptures related in a straightforward manner.
Scripture refers to light metaphorically, to represent spiritual knowledge and understanding. Darkness represents misinformation, superstition, delusion, or ignorance. Belief in the gospel is light, and unbelief is darkness.
John said, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:5] Knowing the truth corresponds to day, and ignorance to darkness or night. Christ “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [John 1:9] He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]
The antichrist spirit, and apostasy becoming dominant in the church, are described in Daniel’s prophecies. The reign of Antiochus IV, the Seleucid king of Syria in the 2nd century BC, was typical of events of a spiritual nature, not a repetition of events of the same kind. Because of his policies, the temple at Jerusalem was made desolate, and dedicated to Zeus, which was typical of the desolation of the true temple, which is the church. Daniel referred to this desolation as the abomination of desolation. In Daniel 7 it is represented by the little horn that emerged among the ten horns of the fourth beast. In chapter 8, a king of fierce countenance who “understands dark sentences” destroys many of the holy people.
An edited version of an article I wrote about the mount of Olives in the prophecy of Zechariah 14 has been posted on agnus dei – english + romanian blog, without proper attribution. The blog seems to incorrectly attribute some of my work to a person named Justin Taylor. Portions of my original article are omitted. I did not approve of the alterations, apparently made by Rodi Galis. In the post below, my article is reproduced and the portions missing in the unauthorized post are designated in quotes.
In August 2011 Mike Vlach posted a three part series of blogs on Zechariah 14. Part 1 was Zechariah 14 and the Timing of the Kingdom; part 2: Zechariah 14:10-21 and the Nature of the Coming Kingdom; part 3: Theological Implications of Zechariah 14. His concluding comments seem mainly intended to discredit the idea that Christ now reigns as king on the throne of David.
The theological position Vlach defends is dispensationalism, and his posts seem chiefly designed to prop up dispensational dogma, rather than to expound the true meaning of Zechariah’s prophecy. For example, he does not mention the significance of the day of the Lord at all.
Revelation 16:17-21 describes the events that occur when the seventh angel pours out his vial with the last of the seven last plagues. In verse 19, John wrote of a great earthquake, unprecedented in scale, and connected with it, he said, in verse 20: “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” The earthquake must be viewed as spiritual in nature, just as the mountains and islands are spiritual.
In his Olivet Discourse, Jesus exhorted those who are in Judea to “flee to the mountains.” This implies that they are able to find the mountains. In each prophecy, the mountains meant are not literal mountains, but they represent promises of God to the saints, who are represented by “them that be in Judea.” The mountains Jesus intended us to seek are invisible ones.
In the 8th of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller asserts that “literal interpretation is to be preferred.” He wrote:
In Zechariah 14:1, Jerusalem’s spoil is divided up in her midst. The spoil is her possessions, and prophecy is one of the things given to the church, which many have treated as if it were a spoil. Dr. Michael J. Vlach discussed Zechariah 14:1-9 in his post, Zechariah 14 and the Timing of the Kingdom. In this prophecy, Zechariah described the mount of Olives being cleaved in the midst, and the two sections of the mountain moving apart, in opposite directions.
Vlach denies that the subject of the prophecy of Zechariah 14 is the church. But the name Jerusalem is applied to the church in the New Testament. Jesus said it is “the city of the great king.” [Matthew 5:35] In 1 Peter 1:1-12, the apostle Peter said the prophets ministered “not unto themselves, but unto us.” Perhaps the armies that Zechariah described, who come against the holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, include those who misinterpret prophecy. Read more…
The prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8 each describe a little horn. The horn in each chapter appears in different beasts; the fourth beast in chapter 7 has ten horns, and is identified with the Roman empire; the male goat in chapter 8 has four horns that represent the hellenistic Greek kingdoms established after the conquests of Alexander. In both chapters the little horn is not numbered with the initial horns. The little horn that grows very tall in chapter 8 is connected with the Seleucid kingdom at Antioch, in Syria. Read more…
The following table contains a brief commentary on Zechariah 14, showing how it applies to the whole of the present age of the church.
Zechariah described a day that would be “neither light nor dark,” where light means the spiritual enlightenment in the church; there is error mixed with truth, in the teachings of leading scholars.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
Below is an example illustrating Zechariah’s prophecy; light on the nature of Christ’s kingdom shines in midst of darkness and gloominess, in a preterist exposition of Matthew 24. Read more…
In Matthew 24, when the disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of his coming, and the end of the world, Jesus listed several events, that would lead up to the end of the world. Preterists filter everything said in this prophecy, and in other prophecies in the Bible, through their interpretation of verse 34, where Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Read more…
In Revelation 19:10, the angel said to John, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” What do his sayings recorded in the Gospel accounts reveal about the times and seasons? Do they support the idea that prophetic times, and units of time, should always be understood literally? Some sayings of Jesus concerning time are examined below. Read more…