NW’s full article can be found at thegospelintheendtimes blog here. This wise and insightful author is one of very few that I openly admit is more knowledgeable than I am about end times Bible prophecy – and that you would gain a greater, more academic level of insight reading his books than my books. NW makes many great points about scripture, prophecy, and its likely near term fulfillment. Excerpts below:
“When Jesus gave his great sermon on end times, he explained many of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel. This is the 3rd installment in the series and this one focuses on the Olivet Discourse and Book of Daniel.”
The Olivet Discourse and the Book of Daniel
“Three of the Gospels contain versions of Jesus’s great end time sermon: the Olivet Discourse. These versions are found in Matt. 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
On the day Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse to his disciples, he had just had a knock-down, verbal put down of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. (See Matthew 23 for the famous “woe to you scribes and pharisees” passage.) After this rebuke, the disciples knew there was no going back. Their dream of the religious leaders declaring Jesus King was now most likely impossible.
They changed the subject and brought to Jesus’s attention the majesty of the Temple. Jesus then prophesied that soon not one stone would be left on anther. The disciples hopes were crushed. Therefore they sat down with Jesus as asked him:
“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming (Gk: PAROUSIA, meaning arrival of a dignitary) and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3)
The End of the Age
In essence they were asking Jesus for some hope. That is when Jesus launched in a 90+ verse sermon on the signs that would precede his PAROUSIA or “coming.” Even the disciples question contains a reference to Daniel. The phrase “end of the age” is a reference to its three uses in Daniel. In Dan. 9:27 and 12:4,13, the key Greek words are KAIROS SUNTELEIA. KAIROS means “appointed time” and Sunteleia means “completion.”
And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolation; and at the end of time (SUNTELEIA KAIROS), an end (SUNTELEIA) shall be put to the desolation. (Dan. 9:27 LXX)
And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book (the Seven Sealed Scroll of Revelation) to the time of the end (KAIROS SUNTELEIA); until many are taught, and knowledge is increased. (Dan. 12:4 LXX)
But go thou, and rest; for there are yet days and seasons to the fulfillment of the end (SUNTELEIA); and thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end (SUNTELEIA) of the days. (Dan. 12:13 LXX)
These three uses of the word are the only Old Testament uses. It is obvious that the disciples were asking about this specific time. It is an “appointed time” (Mo’edim or Feast of the Lord)…”
“…So because the Disciples were asking about and quoting Daniel, it is not surprising that most of the Old Testament quotes and references in this sermon are from the Book of Daniel, Jesus’s “go-to” reference for the end times. Jesus quotes from Dan. 2 and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream, Dan. 7, Dan. 9 and the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks, and heavily relies on Dan. 11 and The Great Vision Prophecy.
“Things That Must Take Place”
Those who have read my newest book, Revelation Deciphered,(BUY IT HERE) are aware that the Book of Revelation begins (Rev. 1:1) and ends (Rev. 22:6) with this phrase which is quoted from Dan. 2:29,45. In Revelation Deciphered, I named this use of a common phrase at the beginning and the end of biblical phrase “Bookends,” because they “bookend” the phrase. The original use of the “bookend” phrase “things that must take place” (HA DEI GENESTHAI) is the first and last phrase in the famous passage about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Dan. 2. (DO NOT look for this exact wording in your NASB, NIV, ESV, etc. – it is ONLY found in the Greek translation, the Septuagint, and is exactly quoted in the Greek of Rev. 1:1 and Rev. 22:6.)
John “bookends” Revelation with this phrase to indicate to his readers that he is about to explain the Book of Daniel in Revelation. Jesus also quoted this phrase in the Olivet Discourse. When speaking of the “wars and rumors of wars” that were to come, Jesus said:
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. (Mark 13:7)
In this way, Jesus is telling us that terrible, violent wars and chaos are about to ensue but to not be frightened because these things are ordained by God, they are the “Things that must take place.”
“…Jesus also used a related phrase in the Olivet Discourse (“things that are about to take place”). Shockingly this phrase is also a “bookend.” It begins and ends the Olivet Discourse in Luke (Luke 21:7,36). This related phrase is also found in Revelation (Rev. 1:19) and carries a special meaning in that instance as well. Read Revelation Deciphered for more information. If you think you understand Revelation but don’t understand these phrases, there are aspects of eschatology you have missed. Revelation is a book of quotes, and those quotes define the meaning of Revelation (and vice verse, the source of the quote!)
The Seventy Weeks (Dan. 9:27)
Jesus also helped the disciples understand the meaning of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 Weeks. The primary references are:
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city . . . to seal up vision and prophecy . . . (Dan. 9:24 NASB, emphasis mine)
These are days of vengeance so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. (Luke 21:22 NASB, emphasis mine)
This first parallel reference implies that Jesus is explaining Daniel’s prophecy about the seventy sevens or Shabua. The following second reference deepens the connection between the passages:
The people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. (Dan. 9:26 NASB, emphasis mine)
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. (Luke 21:20 NASB, emphasis mine)
You are probably saying “wait a minute, Daniel 9:26, related to the “people of the prince,” is only talking about AD 70.” Is it really? Are we making the same mistake commentators previously made about all of Luke 21:20-24—that it referred to AD 70? Might this be a dual fulfillment of prophecy, both in 70 AD and in the future?
There is another parallel showing Jesus is explaining the 70 Weeks in Luke 21:20-24 in the following passage in Daniel 9:27:
And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst (middle) of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolation; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.. (Dan. 9:27 LXX)
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand). (Matt. 24:15)
The perfect parallelism continues through the end of both passages:
Until a complete destruction, one that is decreed is poured out on the one who makes desolate. (Dan. 9:27 NASB, emphasis mine)
Until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24 NASB, emphasis mine)
It appears the end point of the Times of the Gentiles is the destruction of the Antichrist. What is the link between “Times of the Gentiles” and “the destruction of the Antichrist?” The following verse in Daniel provides us the link:
They (the saints) will be given into his (Antichrist’s) hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court will sit for judgment and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. (Dan. 7:25-26 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
This above verse in Dan. 7 is the linking verse that I think Jesus had in mind. The words “times” and “destruction” both appear in this one passage. So, are the “Times of the Gentiles” the same as “time, times, and half a time?” Yes, I believe they are. Is there more proof? Yes, there is, as follows:
Jerusalem will be trampled (Gk: PATEO) under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
It has been given to the nations; and they will tread (Gk: PATEO) underfoot the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev. 11:3 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
We can see that the trampling of Jerusalem is 42 months. We already know that “time, times, and half a time” is 1260 days, 3 ½ years or 42 months. We have a match. We can now say with fair certainty that the “Times of the Gentiles” is equal to the last half of Daniel’s 70th Week (42 months) and not the time from the Babylonian invasion and not the time since AD 70, as are so frequently taught….”
“Let the Reader Understand”
A frequent question is what the parenthetical statement in Matt. 24:15 we referenced above means, “(let the reader understand),” given in reference to the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Holy Place.
The first thing we must understand is this parenthetical phrase is not a direct quote of Jesus. Jesus spoke the words; there were no readers on the Mount of Olives that day. Rather it is an addition or clarification by Matthew and Mark when they wrote their Gospels . They added this phrase because special understanding was needed about the Abomination.
Second, it is important to know that most Jewish people of that day believed the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel solely referred to a Statue of Zeus constructed by Antiochus IV during the Seleucid period; that the prophecy was already fulfilled. This revelation by Jesus that a second and final Abomination would occur was news to everyone. So the Gospel writers were determined to let every reader understand this important point.
Third, we already know that the Abomination of Desolation is a reference to Daniel in three places: Dan. 9:26, Dan. 11:31, Dan. 12:11). The reference of Dan. 9:27 (in the Septuagint) clearly shows that this event happens at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th Week. Thus Jesus was giving the disciples (and us) a clear understanding of the timing of the Abomination.
One aspect of Matt. 24:15 that was spoken directly by Jesus is that Daniel was a prophet. This is very important because the Book of Daniel is one of the MOST criticized books of the Bible by liberal critics. Their claim is that it was written during the Seleucid period and not by Daniel himself. Jesus’s statement puts that mistaken notion to rest. Jesus is clear it was Daniel who spoke of the Abomination not a later writer using Daniel’s name….”
Nelson Walters makes many great points over time, do check out his blog. And if you have a special interest in the clues pointing to the timing of the Abomination, and the Antichrist, and the fulfillment of all end times Bible prophecy, consider the links to my books in this paragraph.