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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 21:5-36

 

“And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign shall there be when these things shall come to pass?  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived:  for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near:  go ye not therefore after them.  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified:  for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:  and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:  for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.  In your patience possess ye your souls.  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!  for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:  and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:  for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.  Heaven and earth shall pass away:  but my words shall not pass away.  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

 

Initial Destruction of Jerusalem Prophecied By Jesus

 

 All of the first part of this prophecy was fulfilled and is in the history books, particularly Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, having been fulfilled in 70AD.  It starts with the widow giving her two mites in verses 1-4, all she had, into the Temple treasury.  That focused the disciple’s attention on the grandeur of the Temple and its wealth.  Luke 21:5-6, “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  We as believers in Jesus shouldn’t be focused on this world’s wealth either, as Jesus says it’s all going bye-bye, just as that whole Temple complex and it’s financial wealth is now rubble.  We as believers shouldn’t be focused on this world’s wealth either, as Jesus says it’s going bye-bye.  Just as that whole Temple complex and its financial wealth is now rubble.  As we will see, there is a duality to this whole prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem.  History shows us there was a prior destruction which occurred in 70AD, but we will see that a future destruction of Jerusalem is tied right into verses describing end-time events.  So keep that in mind.  His disciples then ask him, “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?”  This question of theirs would appear to be totally focused on the soon-coming destruction of Jerusalem (cf. verse 5), with not a stone left upon another which occurred in 70AD.  But what Luke leaves out of their question in verse 7 is “the end of the age” and the Lord’s 2nd coming aspect of their question which we find recorded in Matthew 24:3, “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 [eon, age, end of the age]?  In Matthew 24:2 Jesus had just given them the “not one stone left upon another” prophecy for the Temple complex and Jerusalem.  Careful comparison of these two Gospels gives us the complete question of the disciples.  It covers the oncoming initial destruction of Jerusalem, and the final end-of-the-age destruction of Jerusalem, and subsequent warning to all believers who might be in the area to flee, as we’ll see. 

 

End-Of-The-Age Markers Given Next

 

“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived:  for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near:  go ye not therefore after them.  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified:  for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:  and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:8-11)  These verses identify “the times of the end” and what would be commonplace.  Understand all these items Jesus listed go together to identify an age believers would come to live in, an age in world history containing all the above-mentioned identifiers.  Let’s list them one at a time.  1. “for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ…  False Christianity would abound, would be commonplace.  2. “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”  A cycle of World Wars (which really could be stated as having started with Napoleon, and really got going through two World Wars, World War I and World War II, and now we find ourselves waiting for the Big One, World War III (which we find prophecied in great detail throughout the Book of Revelation).  3.  “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places…”  Also during this end-time period there would be a very large increase in earthquake activity.  Log onto this link for an interesting article on this subject:  http://digitaljournal.com/article/322997.  From the Tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands from Borneo, Thailand, the east coast of India, all the way to the east African coast, to the giant earthquake-tsunami that wiped out the nuclear reactors in Japan, big ones have been occurring with greater regularity.  4. “and famines, and pestilences…” Another end-time marker would be the increase of famines and resulting disease epidemics that would be stalking the poorer continents and nations of this world (Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh).  4.  Finally, and this has not started to occur yet, but keep an astronomical eye out for this one, “and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (verses 10-11)  Hang onto your hats, folks.  These haven’t occurred yet, these “heavenly signs.”  But if Jesus said it, they will, rest assured.  But before all these signs of the times come to their full fruition, one other thing will occur.  We know we’ve already gotten into a period marked by “kingdom against kingdom”, a cycle of world wars.  But before all these things combine, bringing on the Big One, World War III, we have one other thing Jesus prophecied.

 

Intense Persecution of Believers in Jesus Comes

 

“But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:  for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.  In your patience possess ye your souls.”  As I showed in my expository study of Matthew 24, this period of intense persecution could come on all believers in Jesus Christ when the Beast person and False Prophet first make their appearance, brokering a peace treaty between the Israelis and ‘the king of the south,’ some Muslim/Arabic caliphate (which is in the process of forming right now).  This, as Matthew 24:9-14 indicates, will be an intense period of Gospel proclamation around the world, accompanied by intense persecution of Christians.  As Matthew 24, verse 15 shows, the very next event to occur is the breaking of this peace treaty by the Beast, whose armies now surround Jerusalem, having entered in person into the recently recreated Temple of God.  “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:  let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes…For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:  but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-18, 21-22)  This had a prior fulfillment in 70AD when Jerusalem’s walls were surrounded by Vespacian, but within the context of Luke 21:10-11, and Matthew 24:15-18, 21-22 which we just read, it has a far greater fulfillment prophecied to come in the near future.  This amounts to the last three and a half years of the prophecied 7-year tribulation, which includes the Four Seals of Revelation 6:1-8.  The first seal being false Christianity, culminating in the first three and a half years of this seven peace-treaty year period.  At verse 15 of Matthew 24, the last three of the four great seals are opened and unleashed on humanity.  But during this first three and a half years, the real Church, Body of Christ, seeing and recognizing the Beast person and False Prophet for who they are, start preaching up a storm, proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation to the world.  They realize at this point that they only have three and a half years to proclaim the Gospel before the events of Matthew 24:15-22 start to occur, when no man can preach Christ and live.  This intensified preaching of the Gospel brings a large amount of persecution with it.  But if you realized you only had three and a half years to get the job Jesus gave you wrapped up, wouldn’t you be excited?   That Gospel proclamation job is spelled out in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  What end?  Reread verses 15-22 again.  This whole three and a half year period is spelled out in the block of verses from Matthew 24:9-14, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you:  and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another, and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”--- Strong’s # 26, Greek agape.  This Greek word agape’ is used exclusively in the New Testament to describe God’s love shed abroad in the hearts of believers by God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.  So by the use of the word agape’ here for the word “the love of many shall wax cold”, this is talking about the love within believers.  What Jesus is saying is, the evil times accompanied by this intense persecution will cause the agape-love of some believers to “wax cold.”  Paul cautioned all believers not to allow God’s Spirit to be quenched, in the short verse “Quench not the Spirit.”  Let’s continue with the quote of Matthew 24:9-14.  “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  Verse 13 would tend to go against the “once saved, always saved” doctrine so popular in Christian circles, as would Paul’s clear statement “Quench not the Spirit”, which shows that we, through neglect or disobedience, can quench God’s Holy Spirit within us.  In light of this, it remains to be seen whether this “once saved, always saved” doctrine holds any water.  But through the intensity of this prophecied persecution of believers in Jesus, we see some let their agape-love grow cold.  Jesus cautions then in the next verse, verse 13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” 

 

The Great Tribulation Comes On The World

 

What follows after this three and a half year period of intense Gospel preaching was seen in Matthew 24:15-22, and also here in Luke 21:20-24, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the destruction thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!  for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:  and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”---Now this happened previously, to a far lesser degree than it will during World War III.  Jerusalem was trodden down of the Gentiles from Vespacian and the Romans onward until 1967, when the Israelis freed up all of Jerusalem, especially the Old Quarter.  But the Temple Mount still has a mosque on it.  And Jews taken captive from Judea and Jerusalem were taken into slavery, and actually built the Coliseum in Rome  But the next four verses put this end-time fulfillment into sharp focus, showing there definitely is a future fulfillment coming---“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after these things which are coming on the earth:  for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (verses 25-28) This occurs during the last three and a half years of the seven year tribulation.  The first three and a half years are relatively calm, with mainly false religion going out full-force from the False Prophet, probably working out of Europe somewhere.  The Beast person will have made a peace treaty between the Muslim/Arabic ‘king of the south’ caliphate and the Israelis, and this will last for 3 and a half years.  But then, as verses 15-22 of Matthew 24 and Luke 21:20-28 show, all hell will break loose, as this Beast personage enters the recently rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, claiming to be God.  That will be when this “peace treaty” will be broken, and WWIII will break out upon the world, starting in the Middle East.  Jesus then gives his advice for any believers living in “Judea,” which would be the modern Israeli nation.  Currently there is a growing number of Messianic Jewish believers in Jesus living in Israel today.  They’re told to flee when they see, verse 20, Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, “Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” (verse 21)  Now realize, this occurred in 70AD and then again in 135AD.  But this is given in context with verses 25-28, the end-times, and Jesus’ 2nd coming.  So it will have a strong future fulfillment as well.  As I explained in the Matthew 24 expository study, this Olivet Prophecy was not the full version of Jesus Christ’s teaching on the subject of his 2nd coming and all the events leading up to it, but was a ‘quick and dirty’ version, a quick overview of the full version, found in the Book of Revelation.  The Book of Revelation, which Jesus later gave to the apostle John, was the full version containing all the details leading up to and including the events of his 2nd coming. 

 

Parable of the Fig Tree

 

“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.  Heaven and earth shall pass away:  but my words shall not pass away.” (verses 29-33)  God in prophecy always used the fig tree as a symbolic representation for the nation of Israel (the Jews of which make up one tribe of the Israelite nation).  God, Christ, is using Israel, his fig tree, as his prophetic timepiece here.  The Israeli nation, representing all of Israel, came back into existence in 1948.  God’s prophetic timepiece started ticking from that moment onward (cf. Jeremiah 24:1-5; Hosea 9:10).  The way some Messianic Jews look at this, a generation is about 70 years long.  Roughly from 1948-1950 to 2018-2020AD is 70 years long.  Sometime within this “generation,” the way they look at it, all this will be fulfilled, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (verse 32) 

 

Advice Of Jesus For Believers Who Would Live in “this generation”

 

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (verses 34-36) Watch in context with praying means a whole lot more than just watching world events, current events, with an eye to prophecy.  In context with verse 34, it implies remaining spiritually sober and strong, maintaining close spiritual contact with God through prayer.

 

Related links:

 

To read the parallel Matthew’s parallel account of Luke’s account of the Olivet Prophecy, see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm

 

To read a good article about coming worldwide famine, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/2010/Coming%20World%20Famine.htm

 

What is the Gospel we will be proclaiming to the world? (cf. Matthew 24:14)  See: http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm

 

For Jesus’ full version of the Olivet Prophecy, the Book of Revelation, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation1.html

 

For 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ prophecies, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming.htm and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Daniel/daniel.htm

 

To view a third interpretation of Revelation, harmonizing the Classic Pre-Millennial and Dispensational, Rapturist passages, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm

 

The Fig Tree Prophecy.  See:

http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Fig-Tree

 

To view this site’s extensive section on Prayer, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prayer/bibleway.htm and,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Prayer-groupGuidelines.htm

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