The Olivet Discourse: History or Future?

The following is a sermon that I shared at Roeh Israel in Denver a few weeks ago. In this, I touch on the following passages: Daniel 9, Isaiah 26, Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12, and of course Matthew 24.

  • Javier
    Posted at 18:51h, 13 February


    I think the pre-trib rapture widely held in the teaching of most of the church is one of the biggest misuderstandings of the relevant biblical texts. As you clearly pointed out the gathering of the elect happens “after the tribulation of those days” when the Lord Jesรบs returns, this overides any pre-trib interpretation of the rapture.

    The things to come to the Jewish people foretold in Jeremaiah, Daniel and Matthew are in great contrast with the general interpretation of the sign John is abble to see in Revelation 12: A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under his feet and a crown of twelve stars. many have said that this woman represent the people of Israel. But contrary to the future Jacob’s trouble, this woman is saved from the wrath of the dragon and is taken care of for a time, time and half a time. If this is not Israel, then who is this woman representing?

    Great conference, keep up the good teaching. God bless.

  • Steve
    Posted at 21:52h, 13 February

    Great teaching Joel!
    It is really sad that many in the church do not see the truth of the Scriptures; in regards to the second coming. It is like a “fog”. But we know from the teachings of Jesus that 2/3 in the church are really not born again, so should it really be a surprise? And many are babies that can handle only milk, and therefore have no discernment. Matt 13:1-23, Heb 5:11-14 Only the seed sown “on good soil”, a heart prepared and chosen by God-many are called, but few are chosen, will understand. I believe this is similar to Zech 13:8-9, where only 1/3 of Israel will be saved. We must not forget, “a deluding influence” will be sent upon all who are not true believers; when the Antichrist is revealed. 2Thess 11-15 Yes, not all countries will follow him, but I believe once the professing church sees and hears this guy, they will instantly become like Zombies (much like after 9/11 and the conversions to Islam;as stated in your book). But this on a large scale. So this is how he will “control” those in countries who are not Islamic, those (among). The Western church is made up of mostly “rocky and thorny” soil. The 70th week of Daniel will put an end to these “seeds”, and only the elect will remain. We must prepare ourselves for heartache beyond what we have ever experianced; but still cling with all our hope and being to Jesus, and the truth of the Scriptures. It is very sobering. ): I thank God for you and your web-site,Joel! Knowing I am not the only one who understands and believes the truth hepls ALOT. This is a great forum! Peace, in the Lord! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jim
    Posted at 02:20h, 14 February


    First what an awesome message. I love how you show Matthew 25 to be a direct teaching on Matthew 24. So many miss this. Thank you for this powerful teaching.

    Second, thank you for your heart for our brother Jacob. These that we hide and save in the time of his trouble will be with us forever in the Kingdom. Perhaps, the time they spend with us and the testimony they hear may be a part of their salvation. What an honor.

    Third, I love how you show that “prepping” involves more than self preservation. The only true preservation is Yeshua whether we die as martyrs or are raptured after the tribulation. To live is Christ to die is gain.


  • Jeanne
    Posted at 14:22h, 14 February

    Excellent message — I took four pages of notes!

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 17:52h, 14 February

    Is Caroline Glick wrong in this column?

    I think not.

  • Bob
    Posted at 22:55h, 14 February

    Good stuff! I think I’ll give it a second listen. I’m just wondering if anyone has really looked into the prophecy in Daniel of the seventy sevens and knows of a good simple exposition of the text. I’ve read Isaac Newton, Robert Anderson and have heard a few people teach on the passage but always seem to get lost somewhere from start to finish. Audio or video would be preferred… I like knowing but don’t care much for reading.

  • Shawn
    Posted at 00:20h, 15 February

    Bob, here is a ten part series on Daniel 9 from The Mystery of Israel: I also found these notes from Joel: I’m sure if there is an audio track of him teaching on this he can point you to it. He addresses this prophecy in his books as well.

  • Bob
    Posted at 13:27h, 15 February

    Thanks Shawn, I’m really learning from that bible study. I suppose you have also watched it. I’m just wondering about the emphasis on Christianity being one with Israel, do you know of any other teachings like this that deal with dispensationalism? I’ve recently been attending a church that is right into dispensationalism and I’m having a hard time figuring out what it teaches regarding the relationship between Israel and Christianity.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 15:58h, 15 February

    thank you so much for this teaching I hope you will put more up.

  • Troy Geddes
    Posted at 16:18h, 15 February


  • alan cobb
    Posted at 17:49h, 15 February

    I thoroughly enjoyed this teaching session. I especially was drawn to what you said about the end time teaching of Yeshua in Mt. 24 should not be seen as covering a lengthy period of time, (centuries, etc.) but should be viewed within a more definite period of time; just the seven years of Daniel 9. With that in mind I have always leaned toward the beginning of sorrows to be the first 31/2 years of the seven of Daniel’s seventieth week. However, there are those who believe the beginning of sorrows, [birth pangs] began in 1948 when Israel became a nation or in 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. God began creation with a unit of seven days with a Sabbath or seventh day of rest, then instituted a seven year period known as the Sabbatical year with the seventh again being a time of rest, and lastly a period of seven Sabbatical years (49) and the next year the Jubilee year, (another period of rest). It would seem to me the end of time would have to be within another “shabua,” or period of seven units of time. Are we to expect the “Mega” earthquakes, greater wars, pestilence, famine to come to their fullness just before the Great Tribulation? Would this not be an unmistakable event?

  • Bob
    Posted at 18:05h, 15 February

    Thanks for that referral Joel. If I may ask, in your estimation, is understanding such a doctrine of much practical value?

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:21h, 15 February


    I would say it is, however if after seeking to better understand these things. you find it to be too complicated, then begin with things that are more simple. Theology is a vast world and to some degree it can be a luxury. Sometimes simply making into to the next day serving the Lord faithfully is all we can do.

  • Jim
    Posted at 18:44h, 15 February

    Bob, I find myself asking similar questions about some of the deeper aspects of theology. I think Yeshua makes the most important ideas simple and crystal clear so all of his Body can grasp it.

    Immediately after the Olivet discourse in Mt 24:1-42, the Lord begins explaining what the implications are of the endtimes. In verse 45 he begins the parable of the faithful slave and the evil slave. The faithful slave gives His household “food at the proper time”. Who is His household but both the Church and the Jews. Food is both physical and spiritual and the proper time is when the Jews will need it, when they are in hiding and are open to the gospel during the Great Tribulation.

    To me, nothing could be more clear. Yeshua has put the faithful in His Church “in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time.” v.45. Like Joseph we need to be preparing physically and spiritually in the shabua before the Tribulation so we can be this blessing. Just like Joel so eloquently taught in this message, the prepping isn’t for self preservation, it is to be a blessing to the Church and perhaps more importantly, to the Jews.

  • Seth
    Posted at 19:21h, 15 February

    Having some trouble hoping you could help with a few issues. Joel 2:31, Sun into darkness and moon into blood before the great coming of the Lord. Matthew 24:9, Immediately after the tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. Both very popular every Bible student knows these. Im confused on Revelation 6:12 the sixth seal.
    It seems to me this is the same event. Am i missing something? The question is concerning The sixth seal. Is this the return of Jesus and if so why is coming back in Rev 19:11. I can’t seem to put pieces together can you help

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:44h, 15 February


    Revelation is not laid out in chronological order. All of the passages you cited refer to the return. I would highly recommend Alan Kurschner’s book Antichrist: Before the Day of the Lord.

  • Seth
    Posted at 01:32h, 16 February


    Thanks i’ll look into that. Do you believe in the pre-wrath rapture also?
    Love your teachings.

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:27h, 16 February

    I cautiously identify with the pre-wrath view, yes.

  • Steve
    Posted at 12:40h, 16 February

    Yes, Alan Kurschners book is probably the best Prewrath treatment book available IMO. Joel- I held to Traditional post-trib for awhile too. But I think prewrath helps solve a few “problems”. Either way, they are both post-trib, as Jesus taught ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Joel
    Posted at 14:11h, 16 February


  • Jeanne
    Posted at 15:28h, 16 February


    Can you explain “pre-wrath”? How is it distinguished from pre-trib? Thank you.

  • alan cobb
    Posted at 18:06h, 16 February

    Forgive me for the awful framework of my question above. Will the beginning of sorrows be confined to the first 31/2 years of Daniel’s seventieth week, and if so will this not be an unmistakable sign of the nearness of the end of time?

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:50h, 16 February


    IMO, yes, what Jesus described as the beginning of birth pangs should be understood as referring to the first 3.5 years of the final shavuah (7 year sabbath cycle). However, I think there will be enough confusion in general that not all will see this as unmistakably that time. I think the event in the middle (Abomination of Desolation and revealing of the Antichrist) will remove all doubt.

  • alan cobb
    Posted at 20:44h, 16 February

    Thank you; this brings to mind Daniel 12:10 –

    Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, BUT THOSE WHO ARE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.

  • Endtimes Grandma
    Posted at 03:48h, 17 February

    Thank-you for this very fine teaching. I will be listening again to take notes and commit it to memory. Sometime I would like your explanation regarding the pre-wrath rapture. Anything but a post-tribulation rapture seems to be precluded by Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24.

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:03h, 17 February

    This is a good summary of the Pre-Wrath position:

  • Seth
    Posted at 12:22h, 17 February


    If the book of Revelation is not in chronological order and we are taking away in chapter 7. It seems according to Alan’s chart we were caught away
    about 3 quarters in. Does that mean the Day of the Lord is almost 2 years long? I have always thought there were 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 bowls. Jesus comes back in Rev 19 destroys his enemies, Set’s up his 1,000 Kingdom. After the that the Great White Throne Judgement and finally the New heaven and New earth. Where and how do i determine the order everything is suppose to go?

  • Joel
    Posted at 13:03h, 17 February


    No. The idea is that sometime during the final 3.5 years, (we do not know exactly when) he comes back. Alan’s chart is not intended to show a precise point, but simply that the return of the Lord and the crushing of his enemies is not something that he accomplishes by snapping his fingers and poof its done. These events clearly transpire over a period of time. How long exactly we do not know. Consider for example Isa. 63. I would highly encourage you to consider Kurschner’s book. Also, consider my article here:


  • Steve
    Posted at 15:51h, 17 February

    The reasons I went to prewrath from traditional post-trib is:
    1. The day of the Lord is an extended period of time, you can see this is so by reading over the trumpet and bowel judgments. Isa 34:8 teaches 1+ years at least. Year of pay back.
    2. The “parousia” presence, arrival, advent, of the Olivet Discourse. The (only) place in the book of Rev that uses a word that means the (same thing), and has the threefold witness of the heavens is Rev 6:16. We know that this word is the “key” word of when the resurrection/rapture will take place. Just study this word out.
    3. In Rev 6:15-17 everyone, and the armies are hiding. In Rev 19, thay are standing their ground, ready to fight Jesus.
    4. Rev 19 does not even use the word coming, meaning coming or going! This is only mentioned in passing in Matt 25:31, focusing instead on the kingdom of Rev 20. These events must be seperate events.
    5. Understanding the parousia is a single “whole”. Jesus and God will arrive, and be “active and present” in the worlds affairs at Rev 6:12-17, (through) their day of the Lord judgments. (trumpets and bowels)This is clear throughout all the teachings on the day of the Lord. Jesus will then take possession of the earth in Rev 19. He has already came back to earth at least once, because He has blood on His garments, as Joel has taught.Isa 34
    6. The multitude in heaven having come out of the great tribulation “before” judgment falls. Rev 7
    7. Paul tealling us we will be “rescued” from the “wrath to come”, not protected. 1Thess 1:10

  • NIck
    Posted at 18:37h, 17 February

    One thing I have seen prewrathers say often is that the Day of the Lord will be at least 5 months long because that is the length of the demonic torment alluded to in the beginning of Revelation 9 (the 5th Trumpet). However, prewrath is frequently mischaracterized as the “3/4 Rapture.”

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:45h, 17 February

    My opinion is that the term 5 months is an expression simply meaning a handful or a brief period. It may not necessarily mean five exact months.

  • Nick
    Posted at 21:26h, 17 February

    I may agree with you there about the 5 months being symbolic. Five is often emblematic of grace, and could speak of the Lord’s giving people opportunity to repent during the trumpets.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:53h, 17 February

    True. I should have said “may mean”. I just mean that I suspect it to mean this. But who knows?

  • Seth
    Posted at 04:11h, 18 February

    It seems it’s all Gods wrath. The Lamb opens the seals in Rev 6:1. I guess my question is what determines God’s wrath? Is tribulation not God’s wrath?

  • Seth
    Posted at 04:16h, 18 February

    I just finished Mideast Beast. I’m convince in the Islamic Antichrist and the revived Islamic Empire. Now I’m trying to put together these judgments. I have always just thought their were 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls. Thanks Joel and Steve for the info you gave me.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 22:25h, 18 February

    Joel – with your permission, may I share a link to the Roeh Israel podcast page with all of your teachings over the last couple of years? It’s obvious that we are all hungry for clear, insightful, Spirit-led teaching on the end-times, the Kingdom of God and our role in it all. Your messages at Roeh have been a great blessing to me, but perhaps others aren’t aware that they are available. Here is the link:

    Personally, my favorite is from 1-13-12 entitled “The Beast”. You laid redemptive history out so clearly and simply – I was able to share these truths with others after listening.

  • Steve
    Posted at 01:04h, 19 February

    If you read Rev 6:17 at the sixth seal, you will see that the wrath of God is only about to start. When the trumpets blow,and the judgments start to harm the earth,sea, and trees; the wrath of God has started. The 144,000 are sealed to be protected from these judgments. We as believers are not destined for the wrath of God, but to be rescued from it. 1Thess 1:10,5:9. Paul is talking about the day of the Lord wrath, the same thing we see announced at the sith seal. The great tribulation is the wrath of Satan, Rev 12:12. God will allow him to kill the #, that are predetermined to die. Rev 6:11. Tribulation, afflictions, persecution, is the way God refines us to make us fit for the kingdom. God uses secondary agents to bring His righteous judgment, sometimes for only His counsel. Rom 8:31-39, 2Thess1, Job 1-2. But this is far different than God putting His hand, His personal wrath-if you will, upon His children. You see?

  • Seth
    Posted at 03:45h, 19 February

    Yes i agree. I guess my confusion is the trumpets and bowls. Are those during the great trib or at the second coming of christ. Im having a hard putting this pre wrath rapture together.

  • Steve
    Posted at 11:56h, 19 February

    You ought to get the book, he has several charts that will give you the big “picture”. But the trumpets and bowls are after Jesus comes, cutting short the great tribulation. The Antichrist will still get his 31/2 years, but the targets will be few and far between. I believe you are seeing Matt 24 as contained in the book of Revelation? It is not. It took me awhile to see this. Just about everybody has been pre-conditioned to see Jesus coming at Matt24 as the same event as Rev 19,everything in Rev in Matt. That IS the problem. When Jesus comes at Matt 24, this is the same arrival or advent of the sixth seal. So it is impossible they are the same. As in my points above. This is not teaching 2 advents or arrivals, becuse the Bible only teaches one. Jesus will be active and present in judgment during the trumpets and bowls. He will then take possession of His kingdom in Rev 19, as Dan 2 teaches. He will crush the armies of the world. The advent or parousia should not be seen as a single “event”, the arrival is just one part of the whole. Just like when Jesus came the first time. He arrived as a baby, the heavenly host announcing this. He lived for about 30 + years acomplishing everything He had to do, He was taken back up into heaven. The thing to see is God will make His presence known, and the people will feel and “know” He is still present and active in the worlds affairs from then on,(notice they don’t repent and curse God) until He takes possession of the earth again. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you? But I believe this is what the Bible teaches. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Seth
    Posted at 16:12h, 19 February

    It does make sense and thank you and Joel and everyone else that posts here. I love this site its awesome. I love learning. I pray all the time to be drawing closer to the lord and not just swallowing facts in my head. I have Alan’s book on the way already ordered and just finished mideast beast by Joel. I guess ive never heard that way or been taught that way. Basically i have always heard i guess i like everyone else Jesus comes back and destroys his enemies and the antichrist and then sets up his 1000 reign.

  • alan cobb
    Posted at 20:55h, 21 February

    I believe the apostle Paul was also referring to the ‘appointed times of the Lord’ in I Thess. 5:1-2 when he spoke of “the times and seasons” saying to them there was no need for him to write to them concerning these. “Kairos” is the Greek word used for times and seasons and when in the plural form always means “appointed times,” (according to my Greek word dictionary). I think the reason he had no need to explain the times/seasons/appointed times was simply because THEY KEPT THESE AND CELEBRATED THESE FEASTS EACH YEAR AND KNEW THEY WERE A MERELY DRESS REHEARSALS AWAITING THEIR FULFILLMENT. These appointed times, (Sabbaths)”are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ, (Col. 2:17). Paul was speaking of the resurrection in 1 Th. 4:13-18 and transitioned into the Day of the Lord in 1 Th. 5:1-2 when he spoke of “the time and seasons,” to connect the resurrection and gathering together of the saints of God with the Day of the Lord, compare (2 Th. 2:1-3).

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