Judas stepped in front of Jesus and pointed at the temple structure. “Have You ever seen anything so marvelous? The gold is incredible. There’s no better building for God’s house.”
Jesus stared into his eyes. “Every stone you see here shall be thrown down in days to come.”
The disciples looked at Him, then at the temple and each other. Jesus walked out of the temple and led them to the Mount of Olives.
Peter, Andrew, James and John sat in front of Jesus.
James leaned forward. “What signs shall we look for before the temple’s doom?”
Andrew pulled James’s shoulder back. “And what shall we expect before Your kingdom begins?”
The other disciples gathered around their rabbi.
“Many will come claiming to be Me. Don’t fall for their deception. Wars and hints of war will happen. Several earthquakes in various places will occur, along with famines. Deadly diseases will run rampant. These are just the beginning.
“You will be hated because of Me. Don’t worry what you’ll say when they drag you before councils. The Holy Spirit will speak through you so they can’t refute your testimony. Family members will betray each other to death, including some of you.
“When you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ mentioned by Daniel run. Don’t go into your house for anything. Tribulations will increase to an unprecedented point. The time will be cut short so some will survive, the elect.
“The sun will be darkened. The moon and stars will dim. As lightning fills the sky so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Everyone will see Him. The elect will rejoice. Others will fear. Angels will sound the trumpet and gather the elect from earth and heaven.”
Jesus reached up and plucked a small leaf. “Just as you know summer is near when the trees bud recognize the signs I mentioned. God’s chosen people will not pass away before these things occur. Earth and heaven will pass before My words ever do.”
The Olivet Discourse is an interesting conversation Jesus had with His disciples during His last week on this earth. They knew his kingdom needed to be established because of the prophesies they’d heard about. They assumed it would begin at that time.
Then Jesus throws a monkey wrench into the works by predicting the destruction of the temple they were just in. That brings about more questions. What signs will precede that event? What signs will precede Your kingdom?
Jesus did His best to answer both questions, but He muddied the waters at the same time. Which answers are for what event?
The temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Many believe ‘the abomination of desolation’ Daniel wrote about occurred before that event. Some Jews who were passionate about keeping their country intact and independent killed the priests in the temple. That precipitated the war with Rome that led to the demolition of the temple.
Others think the abomination has yet to occur. They prefer an end-times rendition of that cataclysm. All I know for sure is we’ll know for sure after Jesus’s kingdom is established and this is all over with.
Some of the Olivet Discourse was directed directly at the disciples. Jesus told them they’d be brought before councils to be beaten. He told them the Holy Spirit would speak through them at those times. Some people misinterpret that statement to say preachers don’t need to prepare a sermon so the Holy Spirit isn’t hindered.
Great care needs to be exercised whenever a person handles biblical doctrine, whether that’s prophesies or any other type of scripture. Don’t twist it to say what you want it to say for your personal convenience.
I’ve heard too many radio preachers take a verse out of context to fit their message. That type of laziness will only come back to haunt them when they stand before God to answer for their actions. Teachers are held at a greater level of scrutiny for an important reason. Many cults are built on misused Bible verses.
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The temple Herod commissioned to be built was still under construction during Jesus’s lifetime. So, why was it destroyed so soon after it was built?
It was used as a place for many confrontations between Jesus and the religious establishment of that day. That’s why it was rebuilt at that time.
It became completely obsolete after Jesus’s sacrificial death brought an end to the sacrificial system set up by Moses. That’s why it was destroyed.
The sheep and doves offered for sins committed pointed forward to Jesus, the Messiah, who would end such sacrifices.
The temple was a building that replaced the movable tabernacle the Hebrews hauled around before they moved into the promised land. Both structures were a representation of God dwelling among men with the priest being the go between for communication purposes.
Since Jesus is our ultimate High Priest who intercedes for us to God no building is needed for such purposes.
The Holy spirit who indwells us now communicates for us to God the Father. Our bodies are now considered the temple of God among men.
Our challenge is to maintain our personal temples in such a way that pleases God.
His love is unconditional so there’s nothing we can do to bring about the destruction of these temples such as the building in Jerusalem endured.
God doesn’t have a body. He is a Spirit.
Everything set up by Moses and the law served to represent our relationship with God’s spirit in a physical way. When the kingdom is established all hindrances will be removed and our relationship with God will be restored completely.
Until then many things will become worse to get people’s attention. Jesus hinted at that in His discourse with His disciples. He further described the events leading up to His return to John in the book of Revelation.
Looking closely at that book shows me the end is near.
The leaves are budding.
Let’s get the word out about the kingdom coming soon.
I’ll see you later. Wade