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Eschatology 101: The Olivet Discourse and Revelation (Part 2)

Eschatology 101: The Olivet Discourse and Revelation (Part 2)

Previously we had discussion about the relationship of John's apocalypse to the Olivet Discourse found in the synoptic gospels. In the greater scheme of things, it is impossible to go verse and verse in an attempt to derive correlations. But again today we will look at a portion of Scripture common to many and show some of the proper links between these passages.

I will ask you to remember, that just because these passages are linked does not prove any type of preterism. But that if a preteristic approach to the Olivet Discourse is accepted it seems reasonable to apply the principles to the book of Revelation.

Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple;

leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” - Revelation 11:1-3

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and

Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

- Luke 21:20-24

The interesting portion of this of course is the trampling of Jerusalem. Could it possibly be that these things are describing the same event? The same Greek word for "nation" (ἔθνος ethnos 1484) and "trample" (πατέω pateō 3961) are used. On the surface it would seem that these statements are related to each other. Also the language of Luke is in fact a clear interpretation of what Matthew records when he quotes Jesus as saying, "when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel" (Matthew 24:15).

Now I am far from being comfortable expounding from Daniel, but the Lord does say that this is a fulfillment of his words. The phrase could link to the passages in Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. I will not attempt to interpret these passages beyond a simple recognition that the length of time associated with these events is in the 42 months, 3 1/2 years, 1260-1290 day time frame. This length of time is important. This being the length of time to destroy Jerusalem is crucial to any preterist attempt to explain this passage.

In his book "Before Jerusalem Fell", Kenneth Gentry argues that history does properly correlate to the interpretation of this text,

Now from the time of this official imperial engagement in the Jewish War (early Spring, A.D. 67) until the time of the Temple’s destruction and Jerusalem’s fall (early September, A.D. 70) is a period right at the symbolic figure of 1260 days (or 42 months or 3 1/2 years). Indeed, counting backward from early September, A.D. 70, we arrive 42 months earlier at early March — in the Spring of 67! Surely the figure cannot be dismissed as sheer historical accident. Though the time-frame undoubtedly carries with it the foreboding spiritual connotation associated with a broken seven (3 1/2 is one-half of the perfect number 7), nevertheless, we are also driven to recognize the providence of God in these historical affairs. In keeping with divinely ordained symbol, in fulfillment of divinely inspired prophecy, it did, as a matter of fact, take Rome 3 1/2 years to trample Israel and the city of Jerusalem totally.

So there you go. I'm not making as violent a defense or attempt to link these passages. I simply am showing another place where the correlation between the book of Revelation and the Olivet Discourse seems to be lined up for both harmony and historical fulfillment.

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