Session 16: Daniel and the Olivet Discourse
Any lecture series that deals with the subject of eschatology should wrestle with Christ’s Olivet Discourse, which is a sermon by Christ on end times. When in Jerusalem, much of Christ’s preaching took place at the temple. One day while leaving the temple, he predicted that it would be destroyed. The Jewish temple had been in existence for over 500 years when Christ predicted its destruction once again. Stunned by this prediction, the disciples asked Christ what would be the events leading up to its desolation. They also wanted to know the events leading up to his second coming at the end of the Genesis age. Christ then gives them an exposition of the book of Daniel to answer their questions.
We learn from Daniel and the prophets that much of the prophetic future revolves around the Jewish temple. The Jews’ rejection of their Messiah will lead to another destruction of the temple. But this is not the last time the temple will be desecrated by unbelievers. There is a future desolation of another temple by the Antichrist and a final “abomination and desolation” when an idol of the Antichrist is set up in the temple. This is followed by the ultimate restoration of the temple in the messianic kingdom, when Christ’s dominion over this earth is established by the Ancient of Days. Based on a reading of Daniel, I will demonstrate that Christ’s reign of justice and righteousness over this world begins immediately after the fifth kingdom of the Antichrist is destroyed and the Great Tribulation comes to an end.